Social Media for Business: The Top Platforms You Should Be Using

Companies have to maintain a social media presence to reach the largest segment of their target markets. Maddie Davis has kindly contributed this post to help you get up to speed with what platforms you and your business can focus on!

The benefits of social media seem to increase with each passing year. Originating as communication and entertainment platforms, social media has evolved into so much more in the present day. Today, individuals and businesses alike are utilising social media to engage with one another, share moments, search for information and build notoriety. Stats vary, but there are now 3.484 billion active social media users around the world – 45% of the world’s population.

It’s imperative for brands to maintain a social media presence to reach the largest segment of their target markets. Depending on your industry focus and audience preferences, there may be some variations in the social platforms used from one customer base to another. To cover all your bases and ensure your messages are being well received, we’re highlighting the top 3 social media platforms your business should be using.

YouTube

YouTube hosts 2 billion monthly active users and more than 30 million active daily users. For businesses looking to promote their brand in an interactive format, to the largest possible audience and with a minimal budget, YouTube is the place to be. The platform provides businesses the opportunity to demonstrate a range of content through video series, channels and advertisements. Regardless of your business size or focus, there is an opportunity for you to reach your target audience. 

YouTube Channels

YouTube marketing is most effective when you don’t try to appeal to everyone at once. Channels help avoid this by enabling the creation of multiple focuses, each one with the potential to host different types of videos. Software technology company, Oracle presents a good example of the potential diversity YouTube offers through its broadly focused channels. The tech giant targets different segments of their customer market through several different channels, each dedicated to different sectors of the company. Including product tutorials, brand partnerships and company leadership

Search engine optimisation

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and therefore incredibly useful for increasing traffic to your marketing content. A 2017 study projects that video will represent 80% of all internet traffic by 2021. The growing interest in video among consumers is likely going to continue and in turn, impact the way Google ranks sites offering video content. By implementing basic SEO best practices to your YouTube channel you can generate improved brand visibility. Performing keyword research and including relevant keywords within your channel, video titles and video descriptions is a great way to start. 

Facebook

With 2.41 billion daily active users, Facebook is recognised as the most widely-used social platform in the world. Due to its massive user base covering a wide demographic, Facebook for Business can help businesses improve engagement, increase customer support and boost overall brand recognition.

Facebook Advertising

Depending on your brand voice and audience preferences, there are several types of advertising possibilities through Facebook. Images, videos, carousel ads, lead ads and more can all help get your message in front of the right people. Additionally, Facebook advertisements can be targeted to reach specific customers based on the most relevant demographics, including age, gender, personal interests and purchasing behaviors. 

Facebook Messenger

One of the greatest benefits of social media for business is the convenience it offers for connecting with customers. The messenger application enables businesses to communicate directly with individuals, providing a highly effective pathway for generating leads and converting customers. Online tech publication, TechCrunch does a great job utilising this feature for reader engagement. On their Facebook page, there’s an option to click “Send Message” which directs users to the site’s messenger chatbot. This not only offers readers the ability to access customer support efficiently but also allows TechCrunch to message Facebook users daily digest links, to increase the odds of people clicking through their site. 

Instagram

90% of today’s top 100 brands use Instagram. With 500 million daily active users, the photo-based social media platform is one of the fastest-growing tools, providing businesses with a range of notable benefits. From influencer marketing and customer engagement, brand humanisation and even profit gain, each of these are potentially achievable through optimised Instagram usage. 

Shoppable Posts

More than just a product promotion tool, Instagram allows you to actually sell through the platform. The shoppable posts feature enables businesses to tag items in their photos which include links that offer a product description, price and the ability to “shop now,” which directs a user right to your online store. With 72% of Instagram users having purchased products through the platform, there’s no question as to why this tool is a must for any ecommerce business.

Stories

Instagram’s 24-hour stories provide a chance for businesses to humanise themselves and show off the real people behind an otherwise faceless brand. Through impromptu videos, snapshots and re-posted content from customers, Instagram Stories allow you to share what goes on behind the scenes. Some common examples we see from brands are office tours, company events, employee interactions and live Q&A sessions with audiences. These unscripted, unedited insights can make all the difference in your business’s relatability. 

Instagram TV (IGTV)

Launched in June 2018, IGTV is a long-form vertical video channel, providing brands and influencers an opportunity to expand upon the success Instagram Stories have eliciited. The typical IGTV video is between 15 second and 10 minutes long, while verified business accounts can broadcast for up to 60 minutes. Still in the early stages of wide brand adoption, IGTV can enhance your video marketing efforts by enabling more in-depth and engaging video production without requiring any additional equipment or effort. For verified accounts, Instagram also offers the option to share one-minute previews of new IGTV content on your Instagram feed. This significantly increases brand discoverability and improves the odds of attracting the attention of customers who are not yet on the ITV app. IGTV also saves each shared video, creating a library of videos audiences can find on your profile at their convenience. 

Social media usage among consumers will only continue to rise and along with it so with the need for business participation. To best relate with the modern customer, we encourage you to jump on the social media bandwagon through these three platforms.

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