Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and Instagram are some of the leading social media platforms in the world. But where should your brand be? As a small business you have limited time and money and it is best to put them towards a social media strategy which will increase brand awareness and create conversions. So how do you do this?
First you need to answer three important questions:
Who is your audience?
It is critical to clearly define your audience and who you would like to engage with as not everybody uses every platform. It is also useful to remember that just because you like a specific platform and want to develop your presence on that platform your audience may not be engaged on that platform.
What is the purpose of your social media engagement?
Do you know why you want to advertise on social media? It is not enough that you want to be on digital because that is where your competition is but it is important to know if you want to grow your customer base, create another channel for customer feedback, improve customer experience and improve customer loyalty, update your customer about new products or business initiatives, increase traffic to your website or do informal market research. Depending on the purpose will depend on which social media platform you use.
What resources do you have available?
We know that every platform reaches different people in different ways whether it be through photographs or video but do you have the skill set or access to the skill set to produce content which will complement your brand. It is important to choose a social media platform which will not use up all your time and money resources to create content.
Now that we have the answers to these questions which platform should you use. There are a wide variety of platforms but we will focus on the most popular social media platforms.
Globally Facebook has over 2 billion active users who can be reached through this platform. In South Africa, there are 18 million active Facebook users. These users are evenly distributed through males and females and the age group of users is from 18 – 50. This means there is a diverse array of people on Facebook. People also use Facebook to build relationships and maintain relationships with their friends. Facebook is good for building a dedicated following who would like to keep up to date about what is happening in your business. It is not necessarily great for expanding your brand. You can learn more about using Facebook for your business here.
This is the second most popular platform in South Africa. A study shows that 63% of people who watch a brand or creator video on YouTube take action. People are also very keen to watch a new video by a creator with 40% watching the video within 24 hours of it being released. YouTube is great for brands who need to show how their product can be used. Most people who use YouTube search for how-to videos. This platform is great for creating brand awareness especially in the service industry. The main drawback for YouTube is the resources needed to create quality video. If you think YouTube is the way for your brand, then they have an academy which guides you on how to use YouTube for your brand.
In South Africa, over 3 million people use Instagram. This platform does appeal to the younger generation aged between 18 – 30. This platform is image dense and you need to make sure your images stand out from the crowd. It is great for building relationships with customers through excellent conversations. If you are in retail, beauty, food or art than Instagram is the platform for you. You can learn more about Instagram here.
If your business has a customer service section, then Twitter is a must. Many brands use Twitter as another channel for customers to voice their opinions. Twitter is great for dealing quickly with customers, sharing updates and company news, and learning about news in your industry. Twitter users are generally between the ages of 18 – 30. You can also create a branded hashtag which your customers can use to ask for help with your product or service. You can learn more about Twitter here.
Is your business involved with B2B sales? Then LinkedIn will be your go-to social media platform. This platform is good if you trying to grow your business. On this network you can join groups and network with other retailers, connect with other business owners, and share business-related content about your industry. A good tip is to use the about section to explain exactly what your business does and use good keywords so that you can rank for them. You can learn more about LinkedIn here.
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