How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

So you realize that you need to be social. But where do you start?

It can be overwhelming. There are numerous platforms and every social media advice website will tell you something different. Here is what it comes down to – you need to evaluate your brand message and your marketing goals and find platforms that match the “persona” of your business.

“But how do I know which platforms match my business?” Luckily, I am here as a social media expert to break it down the main platforms for you.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Facebook. Many say Facebook marketing is as dead as paper marketing, which, if you follow my posts, you know is not the case. It is good to have some Facebook presence no matter what your business is (however retail, restaurants, and local businesses do the best). It’s a numbers game – there are over 1.2 billion active users as of January 2014. You can’t ignore that big of platform. Granted, Facebook’s algorithms make it hard for your messages to reach that platform, but if you do a little bit of research you can greatly use organic reach Facebook to your advantage.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Twitter. With the right hashtags, you can do anything on Twitter. Yet the best businesses on Twitter are the opposite of the best businesses on Facebook. This is because retail, restaurants, and local businesses have a dedicated customer base while other businesses have more casual relationships with the audience. This is where Twitter comes in. Twitter allows you to connect with other businesses, prospective customers, and industry enthusiasts who will promote you for free – as long as you use the right hashtags. I insist the majority of my clients get both a Twitter and Facebook. They are the two powerhouse platforms you can’t ignore.

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is THE platform for B2B marketing. Yet LinkedIn can be tricky. You need to have one employee be the “face” of the company, meaning they create, manage, discuss, and make connections on the company’s behalf. It can be tricky to outsource your LinkedIn marketing. Usually it is best to do in house after researching the best way to use LinkedIn as a connector tool, not as a spam marketing robot.

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Google+. I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with Google+. There is a lot to be desired and I don’t see its use as a social media platform – outside of its affiliation with Google. With Google’s search engine rules, having a Google+ page is practically a must. With a Google+ page, you get higher search engine rankings and more credibility in Google’s (AKA – Internet God’s) eyes. If you rely on high search engine rankings for your business, get a Google+ page.

Via Flickr marioanima

Via Flickr marioanima

YouTube. YouTube is more of a supplemental platform for your marketing plan. Only certain brands are good for YouTube. If you have the opportunity to make instructional videos, product reviews/highlights, or “commercials” online with your product or service, then YouTube is a great platform for you. Just make sure your videos are professional and high quality!

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Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform if your business is highly visual. If you have high quality product photos or offer services that are eye-catching, get your boards started! The pinning platform is best for craft, home decor, home improvement, wedding, food-related, and retail businesses.

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram is great for highly visual businesses. The difference in Instagram – you need to be very interactive as well. On Pinterest, you can get away with throwing up content without a whole lot of interaction. On Instagram, you have to be involved. You have to know the best filters, know the hashtags, and know your audience as well as constantly communicating with your audience.

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Blog. Bottom line – blogs are important for pretty much every business. Blogs are your opportunity to showcase your knowledge about your industry. The golden rule is to never write an entire blog post as self-promotion. You should always blog to give away “free samples” of information to your audience so they want more.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

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How to Make YouTube More Social

When done correctly, YouTube can be an amazing revenue generator in your social media marketing plan. You can read my other blog posts on how to use YouTube correctly. However, even with my tips, many businesses only optimize their profile and throw videos onto the internet. YouTube videos are often considered a link to share on other platforms, but YouTube should be considered an actual social, interactive platform in its own right.

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Create Videos Inspired by Followers

Sure, you can plan a video content calendar that goes for months on end. But make sure you leave spaces for video content that your followers request. To find out what your followers want to see, ask them! Ask in actual videos or in your commentary when sharing video links. You can read their responses on other platforms or…

Read through Your YouTube Video Comments

There may be a lot of them, but try to scan through all of your comments on your YouTube videos. Mark spam posts as spam, but don’t mark negative posts as spam to get them off your feed. Only positive comments makes viewers suspicious. Try to respond to as many comments as you can. If you just enjoyed what someone said but have nothing to add to it, thumb it up to show your appreciation. Don’t try to force a conversation if it isn’t there.

Use Call to Action

Every business feels odd telling viewers what to do. But you need to include a call to action in every video. It can be spoken at the end, in a graphic screen with links at the end, or in the description below the video. Many of your viewers will follow your call to action and do what you want them to, making the platform more socially interactive.

 

23 Stats and Tips for YouTube Marketing

YouTube video marketing is one of the most often overlooked avenues of social media marketing for businesses. Understandably so, since it takes a lot of work and a bigger budget to accomplish this internet marketing strategy. Businesses need a video production team, either in house or hired, in order to pull off YouTube as a viable marketing strategy.

If there is room in the budget, YouTube can completely transform your business. Creating engaging, entertaining, or educational videos will be favored by your customers and can do a great job of allowing you to gain new customers.

Via Flickr by webtreats

Via Flickr by webtreats

Take the company Blendtec, for example. They took advantage of YouTube in its early stages before social media marketing was even a thing. They uploaded videos of a “Blending Expert” putting various products into one of their blenders. This man blended everything, from iPods, golf balls, cassette tapes, lighters, toy cars, and more. The videos demonstrated the blender’s awesome capability to blend the toughest objects without much effort and no damage to the blender.

Incorporating this kind of visual content is important to your marketing strategy. Videos can be uploaded to a company YouTube, which customers can subscribe to. The videos can also be shared on all of the company’s social media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

The benefits of video marketing speak for itself:

  • 90% of all information transmitted to the brain is visual-based
  • Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text
  • People remember only 20% of what they read
  • 40% of people respond better to visual information
  • 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute
  • Video links on social media websites are shared twelve times more than plain link and text posts combined
  • Viewers spend 100% more time on pages that have videos
  • Posts with video links attract three times the amount of inbound links than plain text posts
  • 70% of search results are videos
  • 88% of businesses say videos embedded in emails improve their campaign results
  • 76% of businesses say video emails have high click through rates
  • 72% of businesses say prospective clients are more likely to buy their product or service after viewing video content
  • 58% of B2B marketers believe that video marketing is extremely effective

To see the best results on a YouTube video marketing campaign, you will need to follow these ten tips to get the best engagement, brand reach, brand awareness, and lead generation.

  1. Title and tag videos with SEO keywords.
  2. Educational titles are better than promotional titles.
  3. Submit a video site map to search engines.
  4. Embed a video on the website’s homepage that represents the company in general. Make the SEO keywords in the video the same as the home page’s keywords.
  5. Create playlists of similar content videos. Consider having different categories of videos you upload, such as How-To, Product Review, and Fun Videos.
  6. Keep the videos short or break longer video ideas into a series. 2-4 minutes is the best video length.
  7. Do not be too promotional. See Blendtec or Old Spice videos for guidance.
  8. Encourage audience ideas by actively responding to and reviewing comments.
  9. Show off the personality of the brand, like Blendtec and Old Spice do.
  10. Add calls to action to go to the website or other sites that are specifically chosen by the business. The landing page they are sent to should be set up to capture viewer information.

In your opinion, which brand does the best job of YouTube marketing? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!