Deciding to create a social presence for your brand is just the beginning — you also need to determine which channels you should focus on. The huge number of options make it impossible to be active everywhere, which means you need to determine early on what the best social media networks will be for your business. The key? You only need to be where your customers are.
How To Find & Reserve Your Social Media Names
You do need to consider that you may add different products and services to your offerings in the future, which could lead to targeting new audiences. Therefore, if you can perceive ever using an account in the future, now is the time to reserve your name. Plus, the most popular platforms do change over time, with some slipping out of popularity and others rising up to take their places. You may not think you need to be on certain platforms, but it may still be best to go ahead and reserve that name just in case! Signing up now means you avoid someone else taking the name you want.
A site that we love to use is Namechk. The service lets you check the availability of names across platforms and allows you to reserve them. Reserve your name now and be consistent across all platforms. If you have the same name scheme across multiple sites, you’re easier to follow, which naturally increases engagement with your biggest fans.
Reserve The Top Platforms
When choosing where you should create your account (and where to develop a strategy to stay active), a good place to start is to look at the top platforms being used throughout the world versus top platforms for your primary demographic.
Whereas the online marketing incumbents for B2B and B2C marketing continues to be Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, the truth is that the most widely-used platforms in upcoming generations are Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Now is the time to determine if you have the bandwidth create accounts on all of these or if you want to focus only on the up and coming. This is entirely dependent on your demographic. We suggest you go where your competitors are most active.
Small businesses have small budgets. Spreading your social media strategy thinly across six platforms will be less effective than focusing strongly on three platforms that will take your business into the future. With each platform, take into account what benefits they offer, what kind of users they’re popular with, and what purpose they serve for you.
No matter who makes up your target audience, you’ll find a large number of prospects on Facebook. It’s by far the largest social media platform — with 2.23 billion monthly active users in the second quarter of 2018. Facebook is also a top platform for ads, as its specific targeting options allow you to define your exact audience. One final benefit is that you’ll receive great insights into performance, allowing you to continually make improvements to your strategy.
Despite being one of the newer social media platforms, Instagram is rapidly becoming one of the most popular. Obviously, it’s a good choice for brands offering visually-pleasing products, but it’s just as feasible for all other types of businesses to create images that make an impact on Instagram. For instance, you can post pictures that represent what you do.
And there are several reasons why you should want to. For one thing, more than one third of the one billion monthly active users on Instagram have bought an item after seeing it on the platform. Another is that 80 percent of users follow business accounts.
Twitter is one of the best known social media platforms, but it is no longer right near the top of the list for most used across a widespread demographic. All the same, if the type of content you are releasing is suitable for Twitter, it should be one that you include in you social media strategy. This is particularly true now with the longer character limit on tweets, which has led to greater engagement. Plus, Twitter is an excellent tool to find out what’s trending in media and join real-time conversations.
B2B brands need to be on LinkedIn. It’s an extremely effective way to find leads, as users come to the platform seeking out industry-related information. You also have a variety options for paid advertising to help you improve your reach. Likewise, B2C brands should be on LinkedIn for hiring purposes. Displaying your company culture and encouraging your employees to link their personal profiles to your business is a fantastic way to get your brand noticed as a great place to work. Being on social media isn’t always about getting a new customer; with LinkedIn, it can absolutely be about hiring the next super genius for your business!
Internet users love video content, and the king of video is YouTube. In fact, it ranks second in top sites on the web, according to Alexa. If you want to create a video for your website or blog, YouTube is your best option for hosting the content. Having a profile set up where users can find more of your videos will improve your brand image and help people feel more of a connection with your business.
Google+ & Google My Business
It’s easy to forget about Google+, but it actually is important for certain types of businesses. Although Google has done ever more to separate the functionality of Google+ and Google My Business, the features of Google+ are still evident in the Google My Business platform. Google My Business allows you to verify your business address to be found on Google Maps. This feature also allows you to post limited content directly to your Google Maps listing, making searchers aware of upcoming events or promotions.
Pinterest is an excellent option for businesses looking to gain leads over social media. It is obvious how to use the platform for aesthetically-pleasing products, but if you get creative, almost anything can form a pin — much like with Instagram.
Although Pinterest is not as widely used Instagram, it is better suited for brands, as you have more options to link posts back to your website or online store. Having a presence on Pinterest is especially valuable for small and local businesses looking to improve their visibility.
Snapchat is one of the top social media platforms for Gen Z. However, it is important to note that this platform is considered a dark social network. That means you have no way of tracking your visibility like you would with Instagram Stories. Whereas many brands are crushing it on Snapchat, both brands and users are shifting more toward Instagram Stories — simply because it is public, searchable, and quantifiable for business.
Still, Snapchat offers an effective way to show people using your products, enjoying your services, or otherwise having contact with your brand because of the temporary nature of the content. With Snapchat, brands are constantly challenged to be in the moment and get creative. Consider using Snapchat for one-on-one communication and for rare forms of social as a service — not just for putting your brand on blast.
Set Up Your Profiles
To start building your social presence, check out our detailed instructions on how to set up profiles for:
- Google+ and Google My Business,
- and Snapchat.
Once you have all your social accounts, pages, and profiles set up, you need to decide where you will maintain an active presence and start developing your social media strategy. The rest you can just keep in case you want to use them later. Bear in mind that your strategy for each platform will be quite different. You should consider using professional online marketing services if you want to reduce your workload and optimize engagement.