Which social media platform is right for my business
Social media platforms have undoubtedly revolutionised the way through which companies interact with their customers and accomplish their business goals in the virtual world. One of the main reasons for the immense success of the development of social networks is the fact that they offer reliability in reaching a high number of customers in a specific target group as well as an absence of physical borders between the retailer and the consumer. Therefore, once the business reaches the desired audience, it can produce customised marketing strategies which will easily affect the targeted market, usually at a low cost.
However, as there are numerous options for social media marketing, small businesses and start-ups often struggle to choose the most applicable for them that would fit best into their business plan. So, here is an overview of some of the major social networks, their advantages and the customer groups that they can be most beneficial for.
Nowadays Facebook is one of the most popular ways for users to interact with one another in the virtual world as it enables the creation of online communities where participants can share interests, personal information and other content. Furthermore, as Facebook reaches a vast audience all over the world, some businesses might choose to use it as their main mean of communication with clients and neglect the development of websites. This could be an applicable approach for some retailers depending on the essence of their business but Facebook alone is sometimes not enough as its purpose is often informative rather than business-oriented. Therefore, a major challenge that companies, presented only on Facebook face in the establishment of a successful online relationship with consumers is to represent the same personal interaction and `friendliness` that people share with their friends and relatives through private profiles. Nevertheless, if the majority of your customers are seniors (55+), they are very likely to be Facebook users and consequently, you will be able to reach them easily on this social platform. Also, if you own a small business concentrated into a niche market, then you might find groups of potential consumers on Facebook which share interests in your business area.
Instagram is another social media platform which has gained vast popularity over the past few years. Instagram’s main audience consists of teenagers and millennials, so if your business’s target market is seniors, Instagram is probably not the most suitable approach to reach and intrigue them. However, if the products and/ or services that you are offering are designed for people under the age of 25, then Instagram is a must. One of the specifications of this social network is the fact that its main content is pictures and videos. Therefore, your business has to provide intriguing content presented as pictures, short videos or `stories`. The stories have a 24h expiry period which means that in order to maintain a popular account on Instagram, you need to provide your clients with daily less-wordy updates.
Promoting a business through Snapchat could be a difficult task as the shared content is based solely on `stories`. While on Instagram the users can post pictures and videos which will remain on their profiles and only the stories are temporary, Snapchat relies entirely on content which expires within a day meaning that the user needs to start all over again with new information in order to keep the profile popular. Many small businesses find this approach extremely difficult as it requires the constant posting of intriguing content so that to keep the audience interested. Snapchat is currently highly popular amongst people under the age of 21, so if this is your target audience and you consider this social network as a tool in achieving prosperous business results, then go for it. However, if it does not match your business goals and customers, it might appear to be too time-consuming and not providing the desired goals.
The social media platform focused mainly on business is LinkedIn. One of the main purposes of this social media platform is to establish connections between employers and potential employees, to enable businesses to interact with one another and to widen the network of connections for a company or individuals. As much as it is a great place to find potential business partners, highly qualified employees, suppliers and/or clients, LinkedIn is not so applicable for business promotions. Nevertheless, having a reliable and wide network of business professionals is essential for every business’s success, so developing a LinkedIn account could turn to be extremely beneficial for business development.
This social network also gained popularity over the past few years as it is based on short `tweets` which usually have informative purposes such as daily news from all over the world, political updates, celebrity content etc. Essentially, all kinds of information could be found on Twitter so it is up to the user to decide that is worth following and receiving updates for. Twitter’s feeds are limited to 280 characters or less which means that the messages posted by users should be kept short which usually requires well-developed editing skills so that a short text can reach the desired audience. Twitter is currently popular among teenagers and millennials, so if that is your business’s target market, Twitter could be implemented into a successful digital marketing strategy as it offers fast and easily accessible advertising.
In conclusion, there are numerous benefits to using social media platforms as marketing tools and choosing the most appropriate ones for your business and the best approaches for their development would guarantee your business’s success into the online world.