You wouldn’t try to sell a USDA Prime filet mignon to a vegetarian, right? It would be a waste of your efforts. Well, the same goes for choosing which social media platform is best for your business. Each platform has its own culture, and you only need to connect with the audience where your efforts will be appreciated.
Social media serves many purposes. For a business they include: building brand awareness, benchmarking against like companies, and most importantly, interacting with your audience. Social media is a powerful tool. If used to its full potential, your company will benefit from the influence.
Once you’ve understood social media capabilities, you must recognize which platform will best meet your needs. While there are countless sites out there, I am going to break down the demographics and personalities of the four media kings.
Facebook is by far the most personal and widely used social media platform. It is great for companies that are willing to be transparent and display themselves on a personal level. The profile page outlines your company’s personality to other businesses and consumers. This is a good platform for B2C companies, because every fan who has LIKED your page already has an interest in your company. But take note that Facebook is not for selling your products or services; it is for selling your brand and personality. This means creating engaging posts, a lot of interaction, and posting tons of pictures. Don’t spam your followers’ newsfeeds.
To be really successful at Facebook, you must be willing to dedicate time to your page every day. You’re attempting to build relationships here; and virtual relationships, like offline relationships, need a little TLC. This platform does not require the high frequency posting others do. However, it does require personalized interaction with your FB friends. You should post 2x a day or 5-10x a week.
Who is on Facebook? Facebook has more female users actively posting and interacting. The largest group of users is between the ages of 19 and 29, followed by the 30-to-49 age group.
Best time to post: Weekdays 1-4pm
Twitter is the blabbermouth of the media kings. It is best used for first stage contacts, breaking news, and blasting posts to mass audiences. You should build an audience who will be interested in your content—related businesses, associations in your field, trade publications, and journalists who specialize in your industry. This network is less about interaction and more about staying informed. Twitter has real-time posts with 140-character messages consistently streaming on your newsfeed.
Tweeting is a combination of science and art. You must understand the recipe for a good tweet—an attention-grabbing hook, hashtags, and tagging. Each tweet has less than a 1-hour lifespan. Therefore, you need to optimize your visibility and make your tweet worth opening before the reader refreshes their page and your post is hiding at the bottom of the screen. You must pull your reader into the meatier content, like a blog post or press release. You should post no more than 1x an hour, but at least 7x a day.
Who is on Twitter? Twitter users are a fairly even spread of men and women. The primary age group of users is between 18 and 29.
Best time to post: Monday – Thursday 1-3pm
LinkedIn, aka “The Suit,” is the best platform for B2B networking. This platform is the professional side of yourself—the person you are during an interview compared to who you are at the bar with friends.
LinkedIn is primarily known for their individual pages, the one place where you are expected to brag. In fact the more highly you talk about your capabilities and accomplishments, the more desirable you are to the professional world. There is so much more LinkedIn has to offer beyond the personal page. LinkedIn groups are bursting with networking opportunity. There are thousands of groups discussing your industry at this exact moment; you just need to get involved. Another great networking feature is seeing your mutual connections mapped out. Six degrees of separation is the theory that every person can be connected to any other individual worldwide via six people. Seeing those six connections means you have the entire world of contacts opened to your business. You should post on LinkedIn 1x a day and not on weekends.
Who is on LinkedIn? This is the only social network where the largest user demographic is between the ages of 50 to 64.
Best time to post: Tuesday – Thursday before/after business hours 7-9am or 5-6pm
Google+ has been flying under the radar for the past few years. It actually has the second most subscribers, behind Facebook, and is projected to surpass Facebook in 2016. Google+ is a combination of features used by Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. There is the page where a business can share brand-related content, a stream of real-time messages, groups called circles, sharing abilities, and chats.
Google+ is a good platform for companies with multiple types of consumers. You can categorize followers into circles. Say you have a press release only relevant to restaurants, you can send the post to that circle and avoid flooding the feeds of followers who are not interested. You can also participate in “Hangouts”, which are video chats with up to 10 people at once. The Google+ audience is technologically driven users who share plenty of material. Google+ supports Google applications. So, by embedding links and back linking to earlier material, you create a spider web of material guiding your audience through your brand. The more engaged you are with Google+, the higher up you will appear on Google Search. You should post 2x a day and not on weekends.
Who is on Google+? Google+ is primarily used by males who are between the ages of 25 and 34.
Best time to post: Weekdays 9-11am
Share your thoughts. How do you use social media to your advantage?