Which Social Media Platforms are Best for Your Business?
Author: Kate Springer - Digital Marketing Intern
It’s no secret that social media helps engage people with your business, but a big challenge is that it’s constantly evolving. Channels can go from popular one day to out of favor the next, features are consistently added and amended on sites and apps, and marketing metrics change. Since social media marketing isn’t static, many businesses are faced with the daunting question of how to use social media channels to communicate effectively. As Hark’s Digital Marketing Intern, I spend a lot of time managing social media accounts for many unique clients. Since I see and use social media almost daily, I’ve had the opportunity to face challenges and advantages within each platform, experiencing firsthand the pros and cons each channel presents.
Here’s an overview of the 5 most popular social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
Best for: Sharable content, short messages, articles, videos, and infographics.
Want to post about an exciting update, highlight a specific service your company offers, or share pictures from an event you attended? Facebook is great for posting a broad spectrum of content. It allows enough text space to communicate a well-composed message to your audience, and has the option to include multimedia such as photos, gifs, or video. Because of Facebook’s sharing standards, videos longer videos longer than 3 minutes will reach more viewers. While there is no text limit to a Facebook post, (well, it’s actually a whopping 63,206 character limit… challenge accepted?) the text will be cut off in the post preview after about 80 characters.
Best for: Micro messages under 140 characters, short updates or announcements, sharing a picture or video clip
If sharing of-the-moment news, growing brand awareness, connecting with a wide variety of people, or providing fast customer support is a priority for you, there’s no better channel than Twitter. The 140-character limit is strict, which means users have to choose words carefully and only include essential information in each tweet. In this space, information has an expandable reach by including relevant hashtags in your tweets. This means that the hashtags you choose are almost as important as the content you’re sharing, and necessary to include if you’re trying to reach an audience beyond your followers.
Best for: Posting high-quality photos or graphics
Businesses with any sort of visual component can thrive on Instagram. Any industry that has a strong visual element such as fashion, food and beverage, travel, retail, or creative arts should strongly consider adding Instagram to their audience engagement strategy. It’s highly browseable, easy to use, and focuses almost entirely on the ability to communicate through imagery. Think of it as the opposite of Twitter’s text-infused content. However, similar to Twitter, Instagram also leverages hashtags to reach new people. Long captions, about 125 to 150 characters long, can also be used to add depth to the visual content.
Best for: Company and industry news, press releases, job opportunities, networking
Millions of professionals use LinkedIn, so it’s an excellent platform to reach new prospects, showcase the great things your company is doing, share project updates, promote new positions to potential employees, and build your professional footprint. This is the social space in which businesses and professionals can share scholarly articles and grow their network of resources in a career-oriented mentality. Consider it like a massive networking event filled with experts all over the world, in every industry you could imagine.
Best for: Sharing DIYs, recipes, blogs
Do you have a small company that’s focused on consumer goods and services? Share creative content and promote your brand by using Pinterest. Attract your audience with eye-catching visual content that they can “pin” to their profile, saving it for later while also sharing with their networks as well. This is a great way to get traffic to your website by writing a blog post with a “pin-able” visual component and a compelling title, such as “Our Favorite Holiday Party Outfits” or “5 Easy Quinoa Recipes” to entice clicks.
Social media can be intimidating, but the hardest part is just getting started! Once you build your fan base across the channels that serve your business needs, you’ll find that engaging with consumers is both fun and rewarding. Still have questions? Reach out to Hark for a consultation and find out how you can start reaching more people through social media.
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