I had a discussion this morning with the management team of a growing business. The topic was how to move the business into the 21st century, when the topic of social media came up. They’re not satisfied with their social media presence but aren’t confident what to do. Are you happy with your businesses social media footprint? What social media networks should your business use? Here’s the advice I offered.
Theirs is an unusual situation, as far as developing a social media game plan, because they have both B2C (Business to Customer) and B2B (Business to Business), divisions. The first question to consider when developing a social media strategy is where is your target audience? What social networks does your customer frequent, and then the next question is what are they searching for? What content do they desire and how can you deliver the content to them. These questions need to be answered before the question of what social media networks should your business use can be ascertained.
The company told me their commercial division (B2B) concentrated more on LinkedIn while their residential (B2C) used Facebook as their primary social network. I told them I believed they were on the right track.
What Social Media Networks Should Your Business Use?
Launched in 2004 Facebook reached 1.8 billion users in June of 2017. So, it might be that whoever your target audience is they’re on Facebook. However, if you ask the second question, what content are they searching for you might find Facebook better suited to B2C or NFP (Not for Profit). Facebook is more of social site than LinkedIn. Even business people who are on Facebook aren’t always searching for business content. For example, my time on Facebook is spent with family, friends, and personal interests, how about you? If you’re a B2B and only use one social network Facebook probably shouldn’t be your top choice, second or third – absolutely. However, if you’re a B2C Facebook, should be in your top three if not number one.
Though LinkedIn works for B2C, it’s perfect for B2B. Founded in 2002 LinkedIn has 106 million users and most of them present their professional side. Unlike Facebook it’s the place to share business content because that’s what LinkedIn users search for; people on LinkedIn want to make business connections not view photos of your last vacation.
YouTube was launched in 2005 and now has 1.5 billion users. Yes, you heard that correctly 1.5 billion with a capital B. Whether your business is a B2B, B2C, or NFP I’d recommend YouTube be one of your top three networks unless, of course your business is video production then it’s first. People want video. They search for tutorials, behind the scenes, and product testimonials – so give it to them. If you’re a B2B, you might want to use LinkedIn first, and then maybe Facebook but certainly YouTube, B2C and most NFP’s Facebook first and then You Tube, but … not always. It depends on your target audience and where they can be found.
Next is “The” Twitter. It’s fast-paced; the average tweet lasts less than twenty minutes before it fades into the sun pushed down by new tweets in a never-ending stream of content. The effective business use of Twitter takes more time than most other major networks. However, for B2C or B2B it can be worth it. Twitter is the place to keep up with your world. You can keep track of your industry, spy on your competitors, and learn the problems your target audience faces. Like I said, Twitter takes time, but can be worth it.
Except when …
Your product can be marketed and sold on Pinterest. Launched in 2010 with more than 200 million users it’s the perfect place to market products to consumers. If your product is being searched for on Pinterest, it might be your best bet even over Facebook.
If people love photos of your work, or take selfies at your place of business, or follow your marketing escapades – then Instagram and/or Snapchat might be where your audience can be found. Instagram was launched in 2010, and currently claims 800 Million users; Snapchat came into life in 2011 and has nearly 180 million followers. Neither Instagram nor Snapchat seems to be the ideal network for B2B, but either could be the primary network for a B2C that finds its audience there. Should Your B2B Use Instagram?
“Should B2B’s budget resources for Snapchat? I don’t know if there’s a clear-cut answer. It depends on industry, business, and audience. Should a growing tech company that markets software to businesses fighting to bring in young recruits use Snapchat? Yes, I’d think they could use Snapchat to help recruit. How about a vehicle graphics company marketing to business fleets? No, TKO isn’t ready to jump on the Snapchat bandwagon.” — Snapchat B2B Marketing is there a Place for It?
And Then There’s Google Plus
Should your business be on Google plus? Probably, because well … it’s Google. You know, search ranking and all that stuff. However, I wouldn’t recommend spending a lot of time there. Post your new content when it’s published, like and share customers and friends posts, and then spend time on the networks where your audience can be reached. Is Goggle+ a Plus or Bust?
So, What Social Media Networks Should Your Business Use?
Good question. It depends on whether your business is B2B or B2C, as well as where your target audience is to be found. It may be best for your company to concentrate on one network or if you have the resources, multiple social media sites. For a B2C, Facebook might be your best bet except when it isn’t because your customer is on Pinterest, Instagram, or Snapchat. And You Tube could be a part of almost any businesses social media game plan. So, are you confused? Don’t be. Know your audience, find the networks they frequent, and learn what they’re searching for.
If you liked this post you might also enjoy this, Social Media Marketing Best Practices for 2018