So you’ve got your website up and running. You have some customers helping you make a profit. You have your site listing climbing in search engines results.
Now you’re looking for ways to expand your reach. What’s your next step?
If you run a business, you have likely heard that you ‘need to be on social media.’ But maybe you wonder whether this can have an impact on your success. Does social media activity transmute to money in the bank for your business?
Let’s explore some of the best ways businesses can interest and engagement through social media platforms.
The biggest player in online social media is Facebook. Launched in February 2004 for college students, Facebook has come a long way. Now with an estimated 2 billion active users, it is ranked as the number 3 website in the entire world (only behind Google and Youtube).
Free traffic on Facebook is more of a challenge to get today, as the platform is highly geared towards the paid advertisers. However, if you create posts that are of value and interest to your audience, it can still be effective.
Paid traffic may be one of the ways to grow your reach, even with a small $5 – $10 per day campaign. The benefit of Facebook is that you can target location, age, gender, interest, profession, etc. You have a massive pool of engaged users who are visiting every day and are accustomed to seeing ads on the platform. You can also use images within the advertising, which attracts a great deal of attention.
Now owned by Microsoft, LinkedIn is often touted as ‘Facebook for business’ as it focuses on the professional aspect of people’s lives. With over 500 Million users, it has similar functionality to Facebook, in that users can have a profile (basically an online resume) and businesses can have a page.
LinkedIn also has additional paid features, such as promoted posts, and Premium accounts which allow users to connect with people directly through private email.
Created in 2010 as a photo-sharing site, Instagram is often ignored by businesses because it seems to be focused on lifestyle. Since it’s acquisition by Facebook, Instagram has worked hard to be taken seriously as a business promotion platform. With sponsored posts, and paid partnerships now a regular part of every users’ Instagram feed, we can see how Instagram is starting to create a source of valuable attention for businesses and brands.
In the current social media climate, posts on Instagram tend to gain more visibility due to the high level of engagement from the users on the platform. Also contributing to this is the fact that the site is mobile user-oriented, and most people are attached to their phone almost 24-hours a day.
As Instagram continues to evolve, it will be worth watching as a promotional platform to grow your market reach.
Perhaps due to the steep learning curve, it seems that Twitter has become the most misunderstood social media platform. Founded around 2004, Twitter has an estimated 330 million users worldwide today. Celebrities, politicians, musicians, and brands all use the platform to share their ‘tweets’ with the world. Focused initially on short messages, Twitter has now expanded to a 280 character limit, video, gif and image sharing.
The main benefit of Twitter to business owners may be the ease of sharability. If you provide something of interest and value, you will find that other users will retweet your posts.
Alongside this, you can easily connect with other people with whom you might want to do business. You can follow, like, comment and retweet their content. This builds engagement and relationships.
Twitter also has an advertising platform that allows promoted tweets, which can help get your business in front of the users you’d like to know what you can do for them.
If your products are visually appealing, then Pinterest may be a platform you can use to expand your customer reach. The website initially started as a virtual pinboard for users but has expanded to create a lot of attention for brands.
Users can follow both brands and individuals; and can also ‘re-pin’ items. Companies in fashion, design, photography or visual art can gain a significant following if they are consistent in the posts.
Another benefit of Pinterest is the click-through aspect. Most users who enjoy the images will likely click on the link to view at the source (i.e., the product website). This brings customers much closer to a sale very quickly.
Quora may be a little left-field of the most well-known social sites, but it has enormous value to offer in the expert field. Founded in 2009, it now boasts almost 200 million active users each month. Users can ask specific questions, and experts (professional and personal) can post answers that help.
As a business owner, this can be a great way to grow your visibility, particularly if your answers get shared and liked by other Quora users. The ability to post ads between Quora posts is another way to engage with potential customers focused on a particular topic.
While everyone will have a different answer, it’s clear that the attention value of social media is high. If you can find ways to get your business, products, and services in front of more eyeballs, that’s a good thing.
Social Media marketing can be a massive time-drain if done without a clear plan. A planned strategy will go a long way to gaining your business more attention. The consistency of your activity on your chosen platforms can drive potential customers to your website. It all comes down to how much time or money you are willing to invest to see a result.