10 Social Media Channels Your Business Should Be Using
If your organization isn’t using social media effectively, you’re at a competitive disadvantage
Social • Innovation
With all the lovable cat photos, relatable Evil Kermit meme images, and catchy auto-tuned versions of, well, pretty much everything, going around, it’s no surprise that social media use has skyrocketed exponentially in the last few years. As of 2016, roughly three billion people were using social media regularly, worldwide. With two-thirds of the planet’s human population scrolling down newsfeeds and double-tapping photos online, it’s no wonder so many of today’s businesses are using social media to reach their audiences.
Beyond raising your brand’s awareness, building customer loyalty, and creating rich customer experiences, participation on social networks can give your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) ranking a real boost. By combining high-quality, useful content with social media marketing and SEO best practices, you can help drive increased traffic to your site, and spike your sales leads conversion rate.
But which social networks should your company use to engage with people, promote your products and services, and share your team’s knowledge? A strong social media presence is critical nowadays for any organization in any industry, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Like in all facets of business, you need to consider what it is you’re trying to achieve by using social tools. In other words, you need a forward-looking plan.
In random order, here are 10 social marketing tools that you should consider as part of your social engagement strategy:
Twitter is your great way to insert your business’ voice into hot news and trending topics, as well as have direct conversations with your customers. It’s become a vital real-time customer service channel (an estimated 67% of consumers use social tools like Twitter to communicate with companies to resolve problems or ask questions), and an excellent way to cross-promote your other marketing initiatives, share knowledge related to your industry, and keep your brand top of mind during all the world’s crazy happenings.
It’s the most popular, cross-generational social network in the English-speaking world, with an estimated 1.65 billion people logging in each month. Facebook has evolved from a place for college students to connect to an international news aggregator that rivals Google, a live video streaming and instant messaging platform, and an important advertising channel. It’s also transforming into an online marketplace where users can buy goods and services from companies through Facebook’s instant messaging feature.
Commun.it is a Twitter and Facebook management tool that helps brands segment their followers and the people they follow into different categories such as influencers, customers, competitors, and media. It provides social intelligence by ranking which of your followers on either network engage with your company the most and makes recommendations for others whom you may wish to follow. Among other features, Commun.it also provides Twitter and Facebook-related analysis and reports on your weekly and monthly social marketing initiatives.
A powerful platform for individuals and companies to connect, share knowledge, recruit talent, and for brand building. As opposed to Facebook, which aims to be all things to all people, LinkedIn is considered to be the working professional’s social network. For business-to-business (B2B) companies especially, LinkedIn should be your No. 1 social tool to generate new leads, and track the effectiveness and conversion rates of your advertising campaigns on the site. As a publishing platform for original content (any registered user can post a blog on LinkedIn), it’s a compelling thought leadership network that can juice your content marketing and public relations strategies.
In the age of the smartphone, visual marketing can accomplish a lot. Instagram allows you to share photos and short videos that can attract the interest of today’s consumer. And as the warm and fuzzy feel-good social channel, Instagram is a great place to show off your brand’s personality and have pleasant interactions within your community. This tool spurs creativity and gives you the opportunity to share images of the things you’re working on, the places you visit and the customers you serve, as well as lighthearted moments captured around the office.
Google bought YouTube in 2006, and since then, the video-sharing network has managed to become the second-most visited social network on the Internet. It’s estimated the time people spend watching videos on YouTube grows by about 60% annually. Moreover, the site is accessed by more 18 to 49-year-olds than any cable TV network in the U.S. You can use YouTube to post short videos about your products and services, use it for storytelling, provide user tutorials for your products, and livestream events. Interestingly, a report by AYTM Market Research found of social media users who watch live video streams, 89% have tuned into content from companies at least once.
A fast-growing visual messaging app and network, Snapchat is presently the preferred social tool of the coveted 18 to 34-year-old demographic. It’s an excellent real-time social channel to market events and product launches using photos or live video, give your followers a behind-the-scenes peek at projects you’re working on, and to just cut loose and have fun with social (think funky branded filters, or an exciting Snapchat Takeover with relevant social influencers!)
A photo and video-sharing network that has the potential to be among the best social e-commerce tools, Pinterest’s goal is to connect people using visuals through their lifestyles. Users can either upload images from their computers, or “pin” images they find online using a bookmarklet. Also noteworthy, most Pinterest users are women (80%) who mostly reside outside of the U.S.
Vancouver, B.C.-based Hootsuite is social media management and measurement platform you can use to monitor all of your social channels simultaneously. It’s an affordable, intuitive browser-based dashboard that lets you post messages on almost any social network, respond to your customer’s inquiries, conduct competitive intelligence and more.
In the words of management consultant and educator Peter Drucker, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” SocialClout provides in-depth analytics and actionable insights on your social channels, and it suggests improvements in your engagement efforts, marketing campaigns, and SEO keywords.
Do you need social media marketing assistance or training? Talk to us. We have the experience and expertise to help your organization get comfortable using social tools, and how to use them to grow your business.