Which Social Media Channels Should You Use to Promote Your Business?

March 10th 2014 | Promote Your Site

Social networks are considered to be a powerful arena for online marketing. They provide a direct and targeted way to communicate with the relevant audience, and they require less spending than more traditional marketing techniques.

However, with the endless tasks involved in running and improving your business ops, dividing your time between all the available networks can become counterproductive.

Before you start spreading yourself too thin, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each social network and choose the most relevant ones for you. This comparative guide will help you decide which social media channels can work best for your business.

Which Social Media Channels Should You Use to Promote Your Business?

Facebook

What’s it about?

No need for introduction. Facebook is the number one network for people all over the world to connect and share content. Brands that are active on Facebook get to update their followers on exciting news, promote special deals and hold occasional online contests. They also create focused ad campaigns that target a carefully selected audience.

Facebook was designed to encourage people to interact. The “Like” and “Share” buttons are viewed more than 22 billion times a day, not only on the network itself but across millions of websites worldwide!

Who’s on board?

Only about 1.23 billion people! 945 million of which say that they access the world’s largest social network through their mobile devices. With 15.8% of all “internet-minutes” spent on Facebook, it’s clear that its users are on average more active than users of other social networks.

Sounds good. How do I get started?

The first thing is to create a Facebook Page for brands and companies. Using a personal Profile as a business presence is frowned upon, and Groups have limited functionality as marketing platforms.

After you established a great page, you need to come up with a posting plan that will best suit your target market: How many times per day should you post? Are there specific hours that yield better engagement? Does your audience react better to photos or text posts? Should you keep a formal tone or be more friendly and conversational? The answers to these questions are key to your Facebook success.

Inspiration: Wix on Facebook

Wix on Facebook

Twitter

What’s it about?

The strongest characteristic of Twitter as a social network lies in its 140-character tweet limit. The updates that are posted here are short and clear. While Twitter does offer visual content options, text-based posts are more dominant and often include links to external websites.

If you’re trying to reach a broad audience that’s receptive to marketing messages, Twitter might be the best bet for you. About 39% of the people who took one recent survey indicated that they’d rather hear from companies on Twitter than on any other social platform, beating out Facebook.

Who’s on board?

Twitter currently boasts around 650 million users worldwide, and their updates amount to 58 million new tweets per day. Twitter users are more likely to be active on their mobile device than on their PC, so think of it as a real “on the go” network.

Sounds good. How do I get started?

First you need to learn some Twitter jargon and conventions – Hashtags, Retweets, Mentions, Direct Messages. These are terms that will help you understand the engagement potential.

An important thing to take into account is that the average lifespan of a tweet is extremely short, so you need to be able to post quite frequently – without, of course, spamming your audience – to increase your business’ visibility.

One of the most valuable things that Twitter offers to business owners is the ability to search for keywords that are related to them and track people’s conversations. This gives you great insights into the way your audience interacts with similar businesses and allows you to improve the content of your tweets. Use a Twitter dashboard tool like HootSuite, TweetDeck or Commun.it to set up tracking for relevant search queries and follow up on them on a daily basis.

Inspiration: Wix on Twitter

Wix on Twitter

Google Plus

What’s it about?

Google has been throwing all of its weight on Google Plus, the search giant’s social network, in an effort to compete with Facebook. While it’s been a rocky start, things now seem to be picking up on Google Plus so don’t underestimate this platform.

Since Google is running the game, gaining traction on their social network also impacts search results, and this is an incredible incentive to be active here.

Who’s on board?

Google Plus has almost 550 million active monthly users. Statistics show that the userbase here is predominantly male and that profession-wise, the biggest segments are students, tech-oriented professionals and creatives like bloggers and photographers.

Sounds good. How do I get started?

Like Facebook, Google Plus differentiates between individuals and companies. As a brand, you will be best represented with a Company Page. Google’s involvement here requires that you think of the content that you upload in terms of Search Engine Optimization. Your posts and profile description need to include rich texts with relevant keywords.

Communities are very strong on Google Plus, so a key strategy for you would be to find active communities that are related to your business and interact with them in a clever fashion. The idea is to always offer value to people and understand that participation in communities is mostly about giving. Hard selling and spamming simply don’t work on social media.

Inspiration: Wix on Google+

Wix on Google+

LinkedIn

What’s it about?

LinkedIn rose to fame as a social platform for people in professional occupations, connecting businesses with potential partners and employees, but it also provides a hub for professional networking in many industries.

While retail and leisure businesses might fight it difficult to market themselves here, a wide variety of technology services, public management experts, self-employed creatives and consultants can actually benefit a lot from sustained activity on LinkedIn.

Who’s on board?

Because LinkedIn targets a professional user base, this network appeals to an older, well-educated and established audience. While it boasts an impressive number of users for a “niche” network (about 280 million!), about 75% of them spend 4 hours or less per week surfing the site.

Sounds good. How do I get started?

Your LinkedIn strategy depends mainly on whether you wish to promote yourself as a freelancer (in which case you should invest time in creating a powerful personal profile), or whether you want to market a business operation under a brand name (in which case you should also set up an official company page).

Here’s an updated and thorough guide to help you develop an effective marketing strategy for LinkedIn.

Inspiration: Wix on LinkedIn

Wix on LinkedIn

Pinterest

What’s it about?

A social network dedicated to the sharing and re-sharing of visual content, Pinterest is all about inspiration and ideas. From beautiful artworks, through stimulating recipes and all the way to DIY projects, Pinterest encourages users to appreciate aesthetics.

Many brands that have a strong visual appeal find Pinterest very useful for promoting their services and products. More than other social networks, Pinterest leads to spontaneous eCommerce shopping and is therefore of great value to online businesses.

Who’s on board?

Pinterest is an unusual network in the sense that from the 70 million users it currently has, a great chunk is made of female users. In fact, recent studies show that about a third of the women in the US are currently Pinterest users!

Another interesting tidbit about Pinners is that they are three times more likely to be active on their mobile device than on a PC.

Sounds good. How do I get started?

Pinterest allows images to speak for themselves, so the power lies in high-quality and frequently updated “pin boards” (the Pinterest equivalent to themed photo albums). Put some effort into creating alluring visual content – photography, illustrations, graphic works – anything that can help you represent your brand in a striking manner.

Inspiration: Wix on Pinterest 

Wix on Pinterest

Instagram

What’s it about?

More than any other social network, Instagram has become synonymous with “generation app”. This mobile-based network allows smartphone users to share their photos instantly with their contacts. It’s a visual representation of your daily life, spiked by image filters that make it look more beautiful.

Brands that use Instagram often draw major engagement by posting original and creative images. Check out a few examples of companies who do an excellent job promoting themselves on Instagram.

Who’s on board?

Instagram now has 150 million users, 70% of whom use the app on a daily basis. It’s a predominantly young network, with over 90% of users under the age of 35 (some of whom can be extremely agitating).

With Instagram now being a Facebook-owned gem, visibility of Instagram content is significantly increasing, making it even more appealing to companies and brands.

Sounds good. How do I get started?

Make sure you can keep up a steady posting pace. Do you have enough interesting visual content to maintain an active Instagram feed? If not, it’s time to get creative and get some!

To get a sense of what the Instagram community is interested in, check out the list of most popular hashtags. Integrating hashtags in your posts is an important way to attract new followers, but you’d want to use them cleverly. Hop on to the Wix Instagram page and check out some of our photos for inspirational hashtag use.

Inspiration: Wix on Instagram

Wix on Instagram