A beginners guide to Social Media, part 2

A beginners guide to Social Media, part 2

Leading on from last week’s post, here are three more social media platforms that we’d recommend for your business!

Should you use them and, if so, what for? Read on to find out!

Instagram:

Instagram gives your business a great platform to promote your products
Need to show off your holiday or new car? Instagram might be the platform for you

Attracting over 800 million monthly users, the mobile image sharing that is Instagram has an impressive base. In fact, in excess of 500 million users login per DAY on the site with 80% of them following a business, can you afford to ignore Instagram?

As with many social media platforms, Instagram benefits businesses who are looking to attract business-to-consumer interactions.

Users primarily access their account directly from a smart phone to upload images or videos to their profile for sharing and comment. This leads the platform to be mostly suited to companies supplying or selling specific product to clients, rather than services. Although, travel companies and those similar do find great success on Instagram.

Many businesses find success on Instagram by forming strategic partnerships with key, influential members of the Instagram community. Sponsoring them to user, feature or promote a specific product to the Influencer’s followers.

In order to develop and maintain a follower base, most businesses post 1 – 2 per day, every day.

Pros:
Great for featuring products
Free to setup
Large user base

Cons:
You’ll need to post daily
Gaining real traction may mean partnering with an Influencer on the site, can be costly
Time will need to be spent taking good quality images or video to gain interaction

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is the ideal b2b platform
Like to do your business networking online? LinkedIn is the place for you

The defacto business social media platform; LinkedIn was designed to be the place to share your business, ideas and company. Since it’s creation in 2003, the platform has grown to over 467 million monthly users as of Q3 2016.

Being aimed at business users, LinkedIn is suited more to business-to-business interactions. Though, business-to-consumer still goes on as a business user is just a consumer with a suit on!

LinkedIn is primarily aiming to provide a networking service for business users. It does this by providing a platform for connecting within an industry, looking for potential customers and also sharing content created for the site. This means that successful users create compelling content to attract users and maintain the quality of their engaging content over time. Recommending and interacting with other users is key to success.

Posting to LinkedIn can be done too much, with engagement dropping off if you post more than five times per week, so sticking to around twice per week is seen as ideal.

Pros:
Perfect if you’re looking to work with other businesses
Ideal for services, products or both
Free to sign-up
Less is more, daily posting is not advised

Cons:
Quality is king, so you need to be able to produce high quality content
Not the best for targeting consumers
To make the most of the site, you’ll need to invest time in interacting with others

YouTube:

Not just for funny videos, many businesses use YouTube to reach their customers
Not just for funny videos! Perfect for some businesses too

Dedicated to video, YouTube see over 300 hours of video uploaded to the site ever minute by it’s 1.3 billion users! The demographics of the site are 60% under the age of 44 and over 60% male.

Unlike the other platforms, YouTube does pay content developers for ads placed on their site. Whilst this sounds great, you need to be receiving over a certain number of views per month and be producing suitable content.

Of course, the big issue for many, is that the site is video based. So, your business needs to have a product or service which lends itself to video. And then there’s the small detail of making the videos themselves.

Whilst the potential of YouTube is huge, it probably needs the most planning before starting as the investment to create a successful channel can be substantial.

Pros:
Huge user-base
Fantastic platform for business to consumer
Ideal platform for how to videos and product demos
Potential for revenue for ads placed on the content you make

Cons:
Everything is video
Seeing return on investment can take some time
Set-up costs are not insignificant

So, there you have it, our brief introduction to some of the biggest social media platforms about. As with any business decision, we’d recommend doing your research and investigating which is most suitable for your business and your objectives.

As ever, if you think we’ve missed any we’d love to know and ad a part three to this series. And, of course, if want more information on any of the above, let us know in the comments or drop us a line!

One of the founding members of The Ninja Collective, Simon is a current creative partner in the team. Specialising in all things to do with writing, blogging and social media, you'll usually find him behind his keyboard. When away from the screen, favourite distractions include reading, listening to music and walking his two dogs, Pepper and Doerak, in the fresh air.

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