And which social network should I choose?
Is your business on social media? It’s a specific yet vague question at the same time. As the new 'word-of-mouth marketing' social media can be important for business growth but where do you get started? Most Christchurch business owners don’t have time to manage multiple pages!
The good news is; you don’t have to. By knowing your audience, you can target them effectively by choosing the social media platform they’re most likely to be on. Don’t waste your time trying to reach people where they aren’t, check out Inform PR’s guide to social media.
The great social media generalist.
If your company deals directly with consumers (B2C), then you need a Facebook page.
Facebook encompasses all ages, all interests, all demographics. You are virtually guaranteed to find your niche audience here. If you don’t yet have a business website, your company Facebook page can act as a substitute. Facebook is also the perfect accompaniment to your website, easily updated and directing traffic where you want it.
Facebook paid advertising allows you to choose your target audience with great accuracy. You can refine your target audience by age, gender, location, interest… even a person’s favourite movie.
The versatility of Facebook allows it to be whatever your business needs it to be: Engage with customers, promote brand awareness, dell products, direct traffic, or host competitions. You’re only limited by creativity.
The makers of Instagram recognized smartphones don’t have the best cameras, so created a photo sharing app with a series of filters that makes them look better.
6% of the world’s top brands have an Instagram account, allowing them to share edgy and exciting photos, and engage with their consumers who are doing the same.
As Facebook owns Instagram, it’s easy to link content across the two platforms.
Approximately 300 million Instagram users post 70 million photos each day. Your typical Instagrammer is female, and between 16 – 24 years old.
It’s one account that connects all of Google’s services: Blogger, YouTube and Google groups like AdWords, Maps, Drive and Calendar.
Similar to Facebook, Google+ is an online profile that allows you to post updates, photos, videos and enter group discussions. Unlike Facebook, there is no word limit on how much you can post and there is no “Friend Request” process. Google+ is more like Twitter in the sense that if you like a person or organisation you can choose to receive their updates.
Google+ isn’t very popular as a social networking site in New Zealand. What makes it interesting is the way Google+ posts get indexed by Google searches.
If you regularly post on topics relevant to your business, when people search using those keywords your Google+ posts can appear as results.
You stand a much better chance of being contacted if your business is 3 or 4 of the top 10 Google search results.
Constant life updates limited to 140 characters. Think short Facebook status update anyone can see. You can attach photos and short videos, but sending ‘tweets’ are perfect for alerting people to updates on your website or blog.
Users follow people or organisations they find interesting and receive updates whenever a tweet is posted. Unless a Twitter account is set to ‘private,’ all tweets can be viewed and searched by anyone.
This is where hashtags come into play. Because tweets are limited to 140 characters, people wanted a way to categorize them according to topic. A popular hashtag in Christchurch is #EQNZ, or Earthquake New Zealand. By adding that hashtag to the end of your tweet, people know you’re talking about a recent earthquake.
New hashtags are often created so people can keep track of unfolding events like sports matches, conferences, or disasters.
“Imagine if the internet was only stuff you love.” Pinterest is a compelling social media tool that works well over smartphones, laptops and desktops.
Pinterest allows you to save and categorize web pages into one place. If you’re looking for marketing ideas for your business, or want to collate news from others in your industry, you could create a ‘board’ for each topic and ‘pin’ different pages to it.
As a business, this would involve you updating your website regularly to introduce new pages and new content for your Pinterest followers, who are predominantly female.
It may sound time consuming, but over half of Pinterest’s 70 million users say they browse one of the 500,000 Pinterest business accounts for product advice while in store
It’s Facebook for professionals. No funny cat videos here.
If your organisation focuses more on B2B or business to business marketing, LinkedIn is for you. It’s a networking tool that allows to connect with like minded business professionals.
Post updates to your company page, advertise job vacancies, or alert people to industry updates.
Connecting with people via LinkedIn after a meeting is also a non-confrontational way of following up and finding a little more about them. You’re not aiming to make friends and engage with customers, you’re making business connections and building relationships that strengthen your company.
It’s the world’s second most popular search engine after Google and holds a range of videos on every topic imaginable.
YouTube videos are perfect for direct sales, introducing your business, or sharing a tutorial on how to do something. It’s easy to fall back on old habits and create a straight advertisement. But people watching YouTube can skip it straight away if they get bored. YouTube videos must add value in some way, either educating, informing or entertaining. The best YouTube videos do all three!
Many studies show that people have better recall and awareness about something they’ve seen in a video, rather than something they’ve read about. What better way to encourage people to engage with your company?
Check out this video of the perfect YouTube ad:
See how it's straight to the point, fun, and constantly reinforces their message? It's so funny, and well made people actually want to share this ad with their friends! How many ads have that effect on you?
YouTube integrates with most other social networking sites, so your one video can be seen across multiple platforms multiple times. With the rise of smartphones and recording equipment, making a video has never been easier.
Hopefully you have a better idea of where your customers are and where your business should be online. If you're thinking of branching your Christchurch business out onto social media, and want some ideas on starting up, contact Inform PR.
If you're looking for ways to make your business stand out and get noticed, you've come to the right place!