According to a late 2015 survey by Marketing Land, some 76% of American Internet users use social media. That equates to roughly two-thirds of all Americans, regardless of Internet usage. The figures have almost certainly risen in the intervening years.
If your business hasn’t yet invested in a robust social media presence, now is the time to do so. The contours of your strategy will depend on many different factors, including your industry and audience. That said, these five are among the properties most likely to serve your firm well.
Facebook is the world’s most popular social media platform, with 1.37 billion active daily users as of mid-2017. Regardless of your niche or audience, your company can benefit from a free Facebook business page.
If nothing else, Facebook is an effective visibility enhancer. It requires relatively little effort to update your page with basic company information and contacts. Facebook pages generally appear on the first search engine results pages, especially for smaller companies. Firms that wish to further broaden their Facebook visibility can post status updates, longform articles, or visual content to their profiles. Paid Facebook ad campaigns offer an additional boost, often at a reasonable cost.
- Google Plus
Google Plus is an often-overlooked social site that’s great for small business owners looking for a straightforward, user-friendly medium. This profile, featuring Miami-based entrepreneur George Otte, is an example of Google Plus’s quiet promise: Within seconds of reaching the page, visitors get a clear sense of Otte’s background, business activities, personal interests, and strengths as a leader.
Twitter is a popular micro-blogging site that’s great for businesses looking to connect with customers in real time, post live or time-delayed videos, and share short snippets of content posted in full elsewhere. The medium is remarkably diverse, so there’s no correct or incorrect way to use it.
One example of an effective Twitter handle comes thanks to Expedia, the popular travel-booking website. It effortlessly blends timely or seasonal content with plugs for its booking services and breaking notifications about discount opportunities.
LinkedIn is the most businesslike of these social media properties. Since these properties perform different functions with minimal overlap, it’s important for business owners to have personal and company pages on the site. Use your personal page to network with industry peers, high-value prospects, and adjacent businesses (such as suppliers). Use your company page to raise your firm’s visibility and publish thought leadership content.
Some social media purists argue that Medium isn’t really a social media site. While reasonable people can certainly disagree about the designation, the social aspects of Medium are difficult to overlook. Business owners who wish to forge deep, lasting connections with their customers and prospects would do well to embrace this fast-growing social blogging site.
Use Medium to post original, high-value content that positions your company (and its executive team, including you) as a thought leader in your industry or niche. Don’t be afraid to take unpopular or controversial stands, as long as you’re willing to engage with those who respectfully disagree. This sort of engagement is a great way to build a lasting Medium following — and improve your brand’s overall visibility.
Diversify Your Social Media Presence
These aren’t the only five social media sites worth your company’s time. If you haven’t already done so, conduct a competitive analysis of your industry’s social media landscape to determine which properties attract the most interest from your competitors and customers. Use your findings to prioritize your social media investments and create a diverse portfolio of active, well-maintained social properties.