Social Media, part two.
Welcome back to part two of social media marketing (you can find part one here). In this blog, I will talk about Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. I did promise in the last blog I would talk about upcoming social media platforms. However, after doing more research, I realised a better angle would be future trends for existing platforms, so you are aware of what’s coming.
The very first tweet was by Twitter creator, Jack Dorsey, on March 21, 2006. His profound Tweet? “Just setting up my twttr”. Since that day, Twitter has grown to more than 330 million monthly active users. Twitter was the first platform to make celebrities attainable for the average person. Over 22% of users are in the age bracket of 25 to 34. So Twitter became the platform of choice for businesses wanting to interact with their target audience.
The use of hashtag was initially exclusive to Twitter; this helped consumers curate content to see what they wanted to see and allowed businesses to target specific audiences. The hashtag is still around on Twitter and is still relevant to all users. Always research relevant hashtags for your post. See what is trending, and work out how you can jump on that giant hashtag bandwagon.
Twitter limits posts to 140 characters. Believe it, or not this is great and ideally suited to our busy lifestyle, small, bite-size pieces of content is all most people are willing to read. Thus a short tweet, followed by a link (make sure you use a URL shortener), could be all you need to gain more followers and increase your sales.
Best use – Keep it short and snappy, if you have written a blog, find a small part of the blog that you believe sums it up, and post it. Make sure it is exciting and will make people want to read more. Then add the hashtags, you will only have limited characters left, so, like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, choose wisely. Another way is to take a photo of something you do, say you make cakes. Take a picture of the cake you made, and post it, give a brief description of what cake it is, and a link to your website, then create some hashtags, the obvious ones being #cake #cakemaker #haveyourcakeandeatittoo. Look up other cake related hashtags to drive it home.
If you are over 30, I can forgive you for not knowing about Pinterest.
Launched in 2010, Pinterest has a monthly active user count of 200 Million people. Despite that many users, Pinterest is ignored by a majority of businesses regardless of the fact Pinterest has a better ROI than Facebook. If you are unfamiliar with Pinterest, let me give you a quick explanation. Imagine a giant pinboard, whenever you see something you like, you could grab it and stick it on that pinboard. Not only that but you can manage these “pins” into separate boards, so if you love puppies, you could create a board called puppies, and “pin” all puppies on to this board, please note, no puppies were injured during this post. That is Pinterest in a nutshell, only digital, so you don’t have to carry around this heavy ass board with thousands of puppies stuck to it.
You may be asking yourself, how a giant, magical, puppy board helps your business. Here is how;
- Drives traffic; If you are active on Pinterest as a business, you can pin, and repin content; this helps you become visible and encourages visitors to your site.
- Builds Relationships; Pinterest boasts a highly engaged user base. This allows you to build relationships and interact with potential customers. By asking questions and sharing information, you will make a loyal customer base. Remember, people buy off people they like.
- Search Engine Optimisation; At the end of the day, it is always about SEO. Pinterest is a site often indexed by search engines. This provides you with the opportunity to achieve SEO. For best results use unique images, target keywords in filenames, and pin descriptions.
- Reinforces Brand; Allows you to personalise your brand. Use gorgeous images to create a display of what your company is about and show off your best assets. It is an exceptional tool for letting the personalities behind the brand shine through.
Best use – Pinterest takes some work. Its primary focus is art, so try and add fantastic pictures and link them to your site. Did you write a blog? Use a captivating image, and post it on Pinterest, then connect it to your blog. Engage with users, learn from them as they learn from you. It is harder than throwing up a picture or some Facebook ad, but the payoff is worth it.
LinkedIn is one of the few social media companies aimed at the professional market. Established on May 5th, 2003, LinkedIn has grown to a monthly average user base of 106 Million people. With most people on LinkedIn eager to network, it can be quite easy to connect with potential clients, leveraging LinkedIn groups, and getting your staff to join the company LinkedIn profile page will also help boost your standing.
As with all social media sites, having an active page linked to your business and website will increase your SEO, which in turn means more visitors and more potential customers. I am not a huge fan of LinkedIn, I do have an AK Writing page on it, but it is the one format I find I am the least motivated to update. It is still something you should try if you try it and you don’t like it, it hasn’t cost you anything, and you would have learnt some valuable skills.
Best use – Networking, create a business page that is clear and concise.
Join groups that relate to your business or industry. Utilise Showcase pages to give people a firm idea of what your company does.
That is it for the most useful platforms for businesses, below is a list of upcoming trends for social media that you should be across.
- Videos – Video content, including live streaming, will continue to increase in popularity. As a business owner, if you are not comfortable in front of the camera, it is time to get comfortable. Practice making short, engaging videos, focus on a critical feature, product, or service, and leave them wanting to know more.
- Mobile ready Content – This is easy if you are using social media, but make sure your website is mobile ready as well. Remember the plan is, people see your content on social media, click a link and are taken to your web page, if your website isn’t designed for mobiles, the end user will become frustrated and leave.
- Brand Interaction – 2018 will see more of an expectation for businesses to interact with consumers. Consumers will begin to expect fast, helpful responses, as well as meaningful interactions. Make sure you can maintain the expectation or hire someone to handle it for you (*cough* I can help *cough*).
- Augmented Reality – We have already seen the rise of AR with Pokemon Go, larger brands have started moving towards this, Loreal created an app where people could try different styles through their phone camera before they purchased the makeup. AR may be a little costly at the moment, give it time, and you will see more people invest and prices go down.
Here we are at the end of my blog on social media marketing if you would like to know more, or you are curious to see how I can help your business grow, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org