Choosing the right social media platform for your business can be a little daunting. There’s so many to choose from and they’re all reaching huge audiences. Many people have started on one platform, migrated to others and then still not been sure where there efforts are best made.
In this video I cover the pros and cons of four of the major social media platforms and which platforms suit which businesses.
If you didn’t see my previous video which was part one to Gabrielle’s question then check that out too. It’s called Which Social Media Platform Should I Use? In that video I cover the remaining three major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Until next time!
Read the Transcript
Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business
Gabrielle from Doha wants to know which social media platform is right for her business.
In today’s Ask the Coach video I share the pros and cons of some of the major social media platforms. I’ll explain which platforms are right for which businesses and how to get started without going mad in the process.
In fact this is part two of my answer to Gabrielle’s question. If you didn’t get chance to see part one then you click here to get back and watch that first, or you can wait to the end I’ll give you the link then.
Hi. I’m Clive Maloney, founder and small business coach at Get Real About Business.
I know it can be terribly overwhelming when you’re using social media. It’s overwhelming for two main reasons:
It can be tough to work out what to post and how to get to grips with all the social media platforms out there. It can also be hard because if you’re not careful, social media can suck the time out of your day.
If you want to avoid all that, concentrate on mastering one social media platform at a time, limit the number of platforms you use and only use social media in planned times. Resist the urge to keep checking on what’s going on. Set yourself a schedule and keep to it.
In my last video I spoke about using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for your business. Today I’ll continue from where I left off and we’ll cover the pros and cons of using Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube.
Let’s dig in then. The first on the list is…
Instagram is experiencing fantastic growth in popularity right now. Between March and December last year it grew by 50% and now has over 300 million users, which is more than Twitter.
Instagram has become a hot space for brands due to its huge engagement rates. Studies showed Instagram’s engagement rate at 15 times that of Facebook just a few months ago and a little more recently 50 times that of Twitter.
According to Instagram themselves, Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Basically what you do is take a picture or upload an image, add a comment, and then chat with your friends and clients about it.
Instagram is designed to be used on your mobile phone. The trick to using Instagram for business is to get a good mix of fun images with pictures from your business.
You can connect your Facebook account to get connected with people quickly, use relevant popular hashtags to help people find your content, and you can tag people to get their attention.
Instagram has recently added the ability to upload video as well. It’s limited to 15 seconds, but beats Twitter’s paltry 6.5 second limit.
If you’re the kind of person who takes your mobile phone to the toilet (I know some of you do), you enjoy texting your friends and you take a lot of selfies, you’ll love Instagram.
Instagram is particularly good if your business is into lifestyle, food, fashion, personalities and luxury brands. Your primary audience for Instagram is women, teens and people under 30.
Non-profit and B2C companies will do particularly well.
If you’re ideal audience are not technically savvy, don’t spend a lot of time on their phones and spend most of their time in front of a computer, it might not be such a great fit.
Aim to post on Instagram at least once a day. It’s likely that the best time to target your posts will be to get to your audience’s eyes during their commutes, nights, and weekends.
The good news is that it’s still a pretty open space for marketers. In November, just a few months ago, only 28% of marketers were using Instagram. That space will fill up, but right now it’s pretty easy to get a good lead on your competition.
In many ways similar to Instagram, Pinterest is another major social media platform.
Similar to Instagram, women are the significant majority consisting of 81% of the population. The median age of Pinterest users is a little over 40.
Active Pinterest users tend to watch less TV and read fewer magazines. The interesting thing about this is that Pinterest users are less likely to be distracted by other media which could be handy if you want to get their attention.
The most pinned categories on Pinterest include Food and Drink, DIY & Crafts, Home Décor and Holiday & Events. That’s great news if your B2C company in the creative industries, food and travel.
Perhaps the major difference between Instagram and Pinterest is how they’re best used. Instagram is more about sharing authentic images, creating brand awareness and showcasing ‘behind the scenes’ look at what’s going on in your business, while Pinterest is used more for sharing visual content for products, how-to, e-books, SEO, website traffic and sales.
According to a study by Ahalogy, your optimum pins per day is between 10-15. Although Pinterest gives you 500 characters to accompany your pins, you want to use between 200 and 300 characters if you want more chance of your content being re-pinned.
Perhaps one downfall of Pinterest is the use of short links. Pinterest has a tendency to flag short links as spam. Instead you want to use your full website url when directing traffic.
Many people don’t realise but you can pin video and audio files as well as images so make use of that if you want to further raise engagement levels on your social media.
That’s 4 down, 2 to go. Next up is…
Probably the most quoted reason to consider using Google+ is that it’s owned by Google. That means that your content on Google+ is more likely to be found in search results. You can’t blame them really can you?
Google+ is great for brands already on other major social networks, B2B networking and bloggers. It tends to be more formal than Facebook but with a different feel to LinkedIn.
Men are more likely to use Google+ than women. In fact they make up 70% of its user base. Niches such as photographers and writers do particularly well but you still need to check out if you will reach enough people in your network to gain the attention you want.
Although there are large numbers of users registered on Google+ there are still only a small percentage using Google+ on a daily basis.
It’s important to know that hashtags have a major search value for google so be sure to include them, but be careful to keep them relevant. Link often to content on your own website and blog if you want to make best use of this increased search boost.
The average duration of a visit on Google+ is 3 minutes 40 seconds. Compare that to Facebook’s average time of 20 minutes and you can see the difference in engagement. Don’t let that put you off. The lower engagement on Google+ is more than made up with the increased ability your content has for being found in search results.
If you want to get the best out of Google+ keep your headlines less than 60 characters and post once or twice daily.
And finally we come to YouTube where you’re probably watching me right now. A lot of people don’t think of YouTube as a social media platform. They think of it more about where they can get funny, how-to and music videos.
YouTube is the second largest search engine and has been owned by Google since 2006. That means it’s great for getting your content found.
YouTube isn’t just about content. It’s also about community. People share their personal feelings on vlogs, they talk about what they’re passionate about, they share stories and information and they chat.
While a lot of people steer clear of YouTube, according to Cisco, video will account for 69% of consumer internet traffic by 2017. It gets the most engagement and is the most shared content on social media. Quite simply, video rocks!
More than a billion people use YouTube and every day 4 billion YouTube videos get played. That’s 6 billion hours of video watched every month!
Users are all ages and demographics. YouTube can be leveraged by just about any type of business that you can think of.
I know there’s a lot of fear around creating video. A lot of people are uncomfortable about seeing themselves on video, people worry about the expense and they often don’t know how to go about it.
But the truth is that none of these things need be a problem. If you don’t want to be filmed yourself there are other options. You can always create an animated video with tools like PowToon and GoAinmate.
Screen capture works well for creating videos. That’s where you record something happening on your computer. It could be a PowerPoint presentation or something you’re demonstrating such as how to use a piece of software.
And if you can bare to put yourself in the picture, it all gets better with practice. I’m still new to being in video myself but I’m finding that I get more and more confident each time.
If you don’t know where to start, YouTube has got you covered. Check out James Wedmore’s video on using YouTube. He takes you through all the basics and how to do it in a very manageable way. I’ve put the link in the description for you below.
You can start creating video with just your mobile phone so cost of equipment does not need to be an issue.
It’s about time that I wrapped things up. I’m sorry if I didn’t cover a social media platform that you’re interested in. If I go on any longer I’ll run the risk of putting you to sleep!
Let me know your thoughts on today’s video in the comment box below. If you’ve got a question, go ahead and pop that in as well. I promise to read your comments and get back to you.
You never know. I could be answering your question in a video like this.
Before you go clicking off to watch a video about an elephant in a tutu, please just do me a favour. Show me some love and click the subscribe button that you’ll see over there. Not only does that mean that you never need miss an episode, but it also means other people like you, who want to grow their business, get their message out there and get out of the overwhelm, well it means that they’ll find these videos too.
So go ahead and click that button. I’d really appreciate it.
I’ve been Clive Maloney. Until next time, here’s to your amazing success!
Sources & Useful Links
- DigitalInformationWorld.com (Demographics of Social Media Users on Instagram)
- DigitalInformationWorld.com (Twitter Marketing Facts and Stats You Should Know)