Okay, full disclosure, I do NOT use every social media platform for the brands I run. Basically, because I think it is unnecessary to consistently run a LinkedIn page if you’re a mom & pop store selling bars of soap to people in the tri-county area. However, there are multiple businesses that can utilize them all so I figured I would explain how you can use every social media platform for your business, no matter what it is.
Let’s start strong here. YEARS ago, people used to say, if you don’t have a website you may as well no exist. Clearly, this still holds true, but now we need to add Facebook into that story.
I mean, Facebook is slowly becoming a search engine, why wouldn’t you want to have a presence on this site? It is the largest social media platform by far not being on this site is like saying “I don’t want to be where my customers are.”
Before you start complaining, yes, it is becoming a pay to play site. You almost have to run ads now to at least get your page going but when Facebook takes over a search engine you’ll thank me later that I told you to make a page.
BarkBox does a pretty good job at running their Facebook page, check them out.
SHAMELESS PLUG! Like my Facebook page here.
Instagram is killing it right now, I’m guessing in the next 6-8 years SnapChat users will go the way of MySpace. I think SnapChat users will remain loyal but Instagram is going to get all of the new users.
Some people may be thinking “Oh, I have a B2B business, I don’t need an Instagram.” EH, wrong! Instagram is almost a completely visual platform, even I barely read the captions people put when I’m being lazy. However, having images of your business running in the background or even lifestyle shots of people using your products can humanize a brand so that customers can actually put a face to the brand.
Not only that, but with Instagram having Instagram Stories now the benefits are endless, you can go live, you can post as much as you want AND, my favorite part of Instagram Stories, everytime you post something your profile picture (which could be your brand logo) gets pushed to the front of their feed which means your logo can ALWAYS be in front of the user if you’re posting enough.
Target’s Instagram is very visual, they do a decent job, check them out.
SHAMELESS PLUG! Follow me on Instagram here.
Ah Twitter, even live streaming NFL games (Go Steelers!) didn’t help this platform grow. HOWEVER, I actually LOVE Twitter. Almost none of my friends have a Twitter account and people always ask me “Do people even use that?”.
Short answer, HELL YES THEY DO! I almost always require my brands to have a Twiter account but not for the typical reasons you may think. I like Twitter because it is very easy to quickly grow your following, but I like it even more because it has slowly become a customer service portal. Users would rather open Twitter and tweet at a brand then send an email or pick up the phone.
Let’s think about this, if you’re watching SportsCenter, what is the 1st thing you see next to the host’s name? Their Twitter handle!
[bctt tweet=”Having a Twitter account has become the staple of social media for business.” username=”@andrewmaff”]
Having a Twitter account that is run well is another great way you can humanize your brand so it doesn’t feel like you’re constantly trying to sell, sell sell. You can use this platform for customer service purposes. Plus spying on how your competitors are responding to customers doesn’t hurt either.
HubSpot does well with their Twitter account, check them out.
SHAMELESS PLUG! Follow me on Twitter here.
SnapChat always throws business for a loop. Actually, I get it, only a handful of the businesses I manage have a Snapchat account and here is why; it is VERY hard to grow your following ON SnapChat, you basically have to utilize other social media platforms to get customers to follow you on this platform.
HOWEVER, if you’re looking to really put a personality behind your brand, SnapChat is the way to go. It is a more fun platform where you can play around with what you’re posting by adding cool graphics that SnapChat has built in. This is a great platform to give an intern, tell them to run around the office and have fun with it.
Currently, SnapChat is the ONLY social media platform that is strictly mobile, you can’t do anything with it on a desktop.
Sour Path Kids is a great SnapChat account, check them out.
No shameless plug this time, sorry, I’m more of an Instagram Stories kind of guy (it’s basically the same thing).
I get this question a lot too, “Why do I need a LinkedIn page? I own a small pizza shop.” Although I understand why a brand would feel that way, LinkedIn is a place of business. Sometimes I feel like shouldn’t even sign in to my account without first putting on a tie. In fact, if you bring any kind of personal stuff into LinkedIn everyone on the platform gets VERY upset (I’ve seen some crazy stuff!).
Because LinkedIn is a place of business, there is a very certain type of clientele. HOWEVER, there is almost no brand out there that shouldn’t have a Linkedin page and at least be posting once a week. If you’re a pizza shop, like my example, obviously every needs to eat, but who knows? Maybe you’ll grab a catering job out of it for an office party. Plus it’s a great way to get in touch with potential new vendors, maybe you’re paying too much for napkins!
SHAMELESS PLUG! Connect with me on LinkedIn.
Pinterest, although is a social media platform, acts a little differently than the others in the fact that it is run more like a search engine. You have to use the right keywords when you’re pinning.
Although I don’t have a Pinterest account set-up for every brand I manage (mainly just because of manpower), it is actually very possible a reputable to have a Pinterest for any brand. Having a place where you essentially have a collection of knowledge is ideal.
A lot of B2C companies get it, they have a Pinterest, but a lot of B2B companies don’t, and they should. Even an insurance company could have a Pinterest where they multiple boards of information about taking care of your car or house or whatever they are insuring you for.
I really think Pinterest may be one of the most underrated platforms for a business to have a presence on.
No shameless plug here, sorry, I don’t have a Pinterest account, yet.
Ugh, okay, this platform is dead, I don’t care what anyone says. BUT I am still a firm believer that having an active Google+ page can actually help your Google SEO rankings so I make sure to always make a Google+ page for my brands and post on it once a week, I’ll just copy and paste something from Facebook or something like that but I truly don’t know anyone who is on this platform.
However, I know that almost every brand I have come across has a Google+ page and is somewhat active on it.
SHAMELESS PLUG! Here is my Google+ page, however, I don’t suggest following me.
Did you know YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine? Yeah, crazy right?
Video content is where digital marketing is headed and YouTube is going to be right there with it. Hell, there are young kids who make millions of dollars by posting videos on YouTube alone. YouTube is just like Facebook and your own website, it’s basically digital suicide if you don’t have an active account.
Posting videos of how your product works, videos of the workings of your company, webinars, vlogs, funny commercials, you name it, you can make a video for it. And of course, you can go live on YouTube now too, just like everything else it seems like.
This is a platform I would 100% not suggest skipping over.
SHAMELESS PLUG! Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.
“What the f**k is Quora?!”
I am a firm believe in influencer marketing, taking your business owner or one of your c-suites and labeling them as an expert in the industry. Then, as people get to know the person, they’ll want to work with the expert…which brings you business.
Quora is like Ask Jeeves on crack. People post questions and you can answer them. Yes, you can go right for the sale and give them a link to your company page or product but you’ll get shunned pretty fast. You need to build a reputation on this platform so people can begin to trust your responses.
The great thing about Quora, it’s a slow start, but once you really get up there you’ll see a TON of traffic driven to your website.
Some people may not call this a social media platform, but to me, if a bunch of people congregate to a website, talk to each other and help each other…well if it squawks like a chicken and looks like a chicken…it’s a chicken.
SHAMELESS PLUG! Follow me on Quora.
To be honest, Reddit scares the crap out of me. People are really mean on Reddit. However, if you use it correctly it can be a BIG tool for you.
This is another helper with influencer marketing. Building a reputation on Reddit and actually contributing to the discussions without trying to sell everyone is key. It is very much a platform that is helpful to branding, don’t expect to track an immediate ROI from Reddit, but just like Quora, over time it will drive an INSANE amount of traffic to your website.
SHAMELESS PLUG! Follow me on Reddit.
I don’t have a Tumblr, mainly because you’re on my blog right now. You see, Tumblr is a blogging platform, however, people can reblog and share your blog posts. I’m not a fan of it if you already have your own blog (which you should), but if you don’t have a blog for some reason I would suggest using this.
Digital marketing is all about real estate, whoever can take up the most space on the Internet wins every time.
So these are the main social media platforms, I know I’ll get bitched at by everyone that reads this about the fact that I didn’t go through EVERY social media platform like the title states.
I’m sure I missed some too. I didn’t talk about these because some I think are dead, some I think are dying, some are in other countries, and some I just plain don’t like.
Of course, I shouldn’t have to tell you twice, but please make sure EVERY social media platform you’re using is linked on your website.
If you use some of these or other social media platforms for your business, comment below and I’ll consider adding them to my list here, or I won’t I don’t know, it all depends on my mood at the time.