Harnessing the Power of Social Networks for Business
By Debbie Harris
By now you probably know that social networks are not going away. You know you have to use it for your business and yet you are still confused about HOW to use it effectively. Social media marketing can be overwhelming and is ever evolving. I encourage my clients to start slow, take baby steps and progress as they get into a rhythm with a couple of initial platforms. Begin by focusing on those sites that cater to your primary customer. Think about age, sex and whether you are promoting a consumer or business to business product or service.
Let’s look at the most relevant social media platforms today:
- LinkedIn – this is your Business to Business platform. Its users are highly educated, professional and have a relatively high income. Professionals must have a complete optimized profile and there is a great chance you will get business if you use LinkedIn properly.
- Facebook – this is your ‘home base” for almost everyone demographic. Approximately 50% of 65+ are using this platform and while teenagers have moved away from it, they tend to come back as they reach college age and beyond.
- Twitter – a great social platform for branding, exposure and connecting. Use hashtags (#) to search for conversations and join in conversations. Crosses a lot of demographics and is often where people get their news, weather, traffic, entertainment and sports updates.
- Instagram – this is now a very important photo and video platform. It is particularly key for the 35 and younger audience.
- Snapchat – this platform has matured and is a must if you are reaching a teenage audience.
- Pinterest -this is a billboard visual site that women are addicted to. Its audience is almost 80% women so if your product can be portrayed visually and appeals to women, don’t neglect this one.
- YouTube – video has continued to be essential in social media marketing and you should have a YouTube channel for your videos.
- Periscope and Facebook Live (YouTube Connect soon) – these are live streaming video apps and they are becoming extremely popular. We all seem to be fascinated by “in the moment” short videos. If you are reaching the teenage audience, Periscope is the one you want to be using.
Pick two of these and start there. Post 2-3 times per week and don’t stress, have fun. Next time we will explore WHAT to post.