With the rapid evolution of social media, the vast majority of companies have utilized the unique opportunities presented by each of the various social media platforms to reach their marketing, sales and visibility goals. Some of these brands have been rewarded with great results in terms of return on investment (ROI), while others have struggled to do so.
As a company, it’s important to capitalize on the numerous social media opportunities apart from the usual suspects: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. There are many other media platforms that you should look into for maximizing business visibility. Different platforms function in different ways; for example, some perform better with text rich content while others are image based and perform better when visually appealing content is used.
If you are knowledgeable about SEO, backlinks, and how they help brand visibility on search engines, then you know to prioritize visibility across suitable social media platforms.
Let’s start with the most common platforms first:
- Facebook: Since 2004, Facebook has been at the top of the game and is currently used by almost all businesses to ensure visibility. At one time, Facebook was popular primarily with younger individuals, but that has now shifted – middle aged individuals from 30 to 50 years of age are now the most active users. If your business is focused on families, new parents, or individuals with disposable income, Facebook should be your go-to platform. However, it’s necessary to post compelling, high quality content. Facebook has a strict algorithm that prevents content with low engagement rate from being displayed organically. However, if you have the finances, you can also simply pay to boost your content.
- Twitter: Having recently extended the tweet limit from 140 to 280 characters, Twitter allows businesses to convey more information in a single tweet or start a thread to increase visibility. To use Twitter as a marketing tool for your brand, you must be articulate and witty, creating short yet compelling stories that engages your target audience through your business’s Twitter page. Due to the nature of Twitter’s continually refreshing content, it requires more frequent activity, and you’ll need to post content more regularly than you would on other social media platforms. If you are looking to drive sales, you should focus on using your Twitter profile to redirect people to your sales page. It would be beneficial to either be on standby or hire an intern to reply to enquiries about your business.
- Instagram: Purchased by Facebook in 2012, Instagram is an image driven social media platform. If your target audience is primarily below the age of 30 and your content includes compelling stories that can be told through images and short videos (usually not longer than 60 seconds), you should create an account on Instagram to boost business visibility. The best practice is to make your Instagram account a business page by linking it to your Facebook page, which will make posting of paid content and organic content much easier. When you’re using this platform, you don’t need to post as frequently as you do on Facebook and Twitter so as not to overwhelm your customers’ timelines. You can also make use of the Instagram Stories feature to post quick videos that will keep your followers engaged. These stories can be linked to external sites as well.
- Snapchat: Facebook tried and failed to purchase this social media company, then began to integrate similar features, in an effort to compete with Snapchat. As with Instagram, you should consider this platform if your target audience is below 30 years of age. Some people consider it more fun and entertaining than Instagram, so it’s easy to find creative ways to engage your audience’s attention. The best practice for this platform is to amass a large media following on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and then cross promote your media presence in combination with Snapchat.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn has now become much more than just an employment focused, business related company, though it is still considered as the best platform to go if you are looking to employ professionals. If your company is a B2B (Business to Business) type, then creating an active Linkedin account is an effective way to increase your business visibility.
These social media platforms help your business in a lot of other ways apart from increasing business awareness, some of which include market research, lead generation, relationship building, and customer service. There are also top alternatives for different social media types that help you determine whether or not you are reaching your desired audience and meeting your goals: for example, demographic monitoring, bounce rate, and many other indicators of business success on social media.
If you’re looking for more, there are still other social media applications you may want to try out, depending on your type of business:
- Musical.ly: This platform enables you to put together short duration videos for your business and it has many of the same features that Instagram offers. The Musical.ly app also allows users to synchronize video and audio together with professional quality results. It is a very useful tool if your business is unveiling a new product and you don’t want to spend so much on creating a standard commercial.
- Periscope: With over 2,000 reviews on the App Store and millions of users worldwide, this Twitter-owned social platform is most useful for streaming live events. Supported on many mobile devices, Periscope allows you to share live happenings; plus, users can watch videos that they have missed at any time.
- Pinterest: This is classified as a bookmarking and content curation social media platform which enables users to discover, save, share, and discuss new and trending visual content. Pinterest can be useful for driving brand awareness, website traffic and customer engagement.
- TripAdvisor: TripAdvisor is an extremely popular customer review media platform. Positive reviews can greatly increase brand awareness and bring in new customers. As with social platforms like Yelp and Zomato, customers use TripAdvisor to find reviews and share experience about brands, locations, products, and services, travel destinations, restaurants, and more. If handled well in answering enquiries and resolving customer issues, this can be the big step your business needs to get noticed.
- WordPress: A lot of people don’t consider this a social media platform, but WordPress can help Internet users gather all of the information they need on one page, unlike Instagram or Twitter, where they have to open several posts to find information about a business. On WordPress, the essential information about your business can be made available on one single page, which is called the landing page. If you decide to blog with WordPress, content marketing is a very effective way to engage with your audience, build a brand, and drive leads and sales. It is also a very useful tool for creating backlinks on other well-read blogs.
Worthy of mention: Blogger, Tumblr, Flipboard, Quora, Hype, Raftr, and Live.lr are other useful social media platforms to consider for increasing your business visibility.