Every now and then, the importance of social media slams back into our lives, like an omen! Omen, that it is this one platform of social media that can help your businesses to grow, and nothing else can do this! We all tend to know how extremely relevant social media has become in today’s fast-paced environment.
So, once you finally decide to invest in social media, the bigger picture entails one major question: “which sites do you put your money in?” or maybe you can invest in more than one site. But which ones? It is quite evident that social media marketing is the cheapest form of marketing and the return on investment provided is also seeing an upward trend, over a decade now.
Statista ranks the following most popular social media sites in the United States by the number of mobile active users (as of September 2019, in millions):
|1. Facebook: 169.8 users|
|2. Instagram: 121.2 users|
|3. Facebook Messenger: 106.4|
|4. Twitter: 81.5 users|
|5. Pinterest: 66.9 users|
|6. Snapchat: 46.0 users|
|7. WhatsApp: 25.6 users|
|8. YouTube: 23.4 users|
Before we dive into our list of Top 7 Social Media Sites for Business and each social media platform one by one, we must provide some basic information, the foundation of information that applies across the board.
Social Media for B2B marketing:
Social media marketing has been prominent for B2C marketers over the years now. However, B2B companies have been on board and are struggling to get that edge with marketing too.
The principals are mostly the same when talking about marketing for B2C and B2B companies. However, the strategies may vary slightly for both. All too often we find B2B companies struggling to market themselves. Unlike B2C marketers who normally strengthen themselves with their brand image.
But, 55% of B2B buyers search for brand information on social media, so it is time for B2B businesses to recognize what they are potentially missing out on.
A few helpful tips for B2B marketing on social media include:
- Use a persuasive tone that has a conversational and progressive approach rather than a forceful one.
- Invest in social media analytics like Twitter and LinkedIn Analytics.
- Engage with your audience. This is the only thing that sets your profile aside from a run-on commercial. Your engagement rate is the most important aspect when it comes to evaluating your success on social media.
- Do not restrict your social media efforts to just LinkedIn.
- User-generated content gives you a clear-cut advantage. If you are not getting any, start sending out free gift boxes, etc. to get the ball rolling.
Most B2B companies focus their attention on marketing through LinkedIn since it indeed is a very essential element for B2B marketers. LinkedIn was developed specifically for that purpose. So, yes, of course, you as a B2B marketer, you would want to continue your efforts on LinkedIn. However, too many B2B companies feel as if they only need to be on LinkedIn. Stop looking at social media sites as strictly a way to generate leads. But, as a B2B company, your social media marketing goal should be about branding, not to generate leads alone.
Suiting social media platform with your business:
The most common mistakes that marketers make is spending on either the wrong content for the platform or choosing the wrong social media platform altogether. Social media is fickle and changes often, so it is an easy mistake to make. Creating and maintaining an effective social media strategy takes time and consistent effort.
The first step is analyzing which social media site is the most popular. This allows you to maximize your reach. However, this is not always the case since Facebook engagement may be high for one business, but another business may perform well by using Instagram’s picture outlook. So weighing quantity with the quality of your business is the key.
So, you will want to cast a wide net for brand awareness and then, hone in on the social media sites that work best for your business.
Top 7 Social Media sites for your business:
1. Facebook Business Page:
Having a personal profile on Facebook is clearly not the same as having a Facebook business page. The Facebook business page is ideal when you are running your company and want to market your brand. With a monthly active customer base of 1.4 billion users, the demographics of Facebook suit any business type. Facebook tops our list of Top 7 Social Media Sites for business.
Images on Facebook tend to get the most comments, likes and shares. This means that images typically get the most attention when marketing on Facebook. When thinking of creating a new post on Facebook, always prioritize pictures. You may want to add intriguing questions that would also grow your audience.
It is not like you have the option of running a business and still operating it with a personal profile because if you do, you may risk shutting down. Marketing demands you to have a business page when you are running a business. Facebook allows you to create a page for free, then join other businesses and then go about getting your promotions and updates done, free of charge.
Facebook is one of the easiest platforms to start off with. All of the content flows seamlessly from your business page to your personal page–text posts, videos, images, Facebook lives, and stories.
Advertising through Facebook:
Facebook allows you to use their feature of Facebook ads to be able to market your brand. You can fine-tune your advertising campaign, using Facebook marketing strategies. This can be accompanied by:
- Setting budgets for ads
- Comparing data by running simultaneous ads
- Targeting the audience based on demographics
- Measure results.
When seen from an overall view, Facebook advertising and promotion seems to be an easy task to do. It costs nothing to start a business page on Facebook, the real challenge lies in attracting an audience, that too in a much cost-effective manner. Facebook also helps advertisers by offering creative suggestions.
Businesses that are new to the digital media marketing thing, it is recommended that they should hire the services of a digital marketing company like WorthIT Solutions that specialize in creating, managing and designing promotions for different social media sites. This will save you extra money and wasteful spending.
Twitter is known for its fast-paced delivery of news, sports, entertainment, and of course, politics and it is at number 2 in our list of Top 7 Social Media Sites for Business. Your company should have a significant presence with the help of Twitter. Your content on Twitter is limited to 140 characters only where you can post images, videos, texts and links. Like Facebook, you are recommended to stay away from the ‘hard sale’ and just engage your followers, post helpful information, ask questions and get feedback.
By far, Twitter is most prominent with Google ranking. Just link a tweet to your blog and let it work wonders. A characteristic unique to Twitter is the character limit for tweets. We can see how this is essential, as the key to Twitter is its strong emphasis on real-time information.
Use of customer service through Twitter:
Twitter users who use twitter very frequently are likely to tweet about their purchases and according to Twitter, 85% of its users think businesses should provide customer support on the platform. Many businesses use Twitter as a medium to manage tweets, conversations and to service requests made by customers. This is because newer tweets are pushed down by earlier ones.
Twitter incorporates a special customer service feature that allows you to quickly respond to your customers’ needs. This helps you manage your brand’s online reputation, enables you to encourage consumer loyalty and maintains healthy relationships on the platform.
Advertising through Twitter:
Twitter offers paid advertisment like other social media sites for business. A promoted tweet is the most common and popular form of paid advertising on Twitter. How does this work? It is actually pretty simple. You can pay Twitter to display tweets that you post to people who are not following you already. You can think of these as the native ads on Google, except for Twitter, because they blend right in with the other tweets, except for the “promoted” label at the bottom. So, they work like regular tweets, meaning they can be liked and retweeted.
You can also opt to promote your account, instead of a single tweet. This puts your account into the “Who to Follow” suggestions and search results. You can also promote your business as a “trend”. Twitter topics that bear most interaction are called the “Trending Topics” on Twitter. These appear on your timeline, and on top of the app that you use. This way your company or brand’s hashtag ranks on top of the list.
3. LinkedIn – Company Pages:
Another great social media site for business is LinkedIn and it is at number 3 in our list of Top 7 Social Media Sites for Business. LinkedIn company pages allow employers to connect with the employees and vice versa so that they can showcase what products and services they entail. You can get an edge by interacting with a completely new and different audience.
LinkedIn now allows you to display product videos on your page and has a feature of “rotating banners” which further helps to promote your products and services. There have been many exciting updates to the company page feature of the site.
The most interesting feature of LinkedIn is the ability of your current and past clients to send in recommendations. It is indeed a great way to acquire testimonials and those can be shared everywhere, freely.
According to a survey, “LinkedIn has really struggled to make that transition from the professional individual to the professional company and how each uses their service. We have found that for professional based businesses, like attorneys and doctors there is a greater impact than for service companies like plumbers and electricians.”
On the fourth number in our list of Top 7 Social Media Sites for Business is YouTube which is the second-largest search engine in the world. Hence, YouTube has space for everyone, be it a technician or a Tv Channel. You can create informational videos and entertain people without having any prior experience in video making or editing.
You can do this on your own too, which means the cost of hiring a professional media company can be tackled well too.
You can use something like Animoto to create great videos from images and text or use something like Snagit (for Windows PCs or Macs) to capture video from your laptop while you surf the web, give a presentation and more.
Like other social media sites for business, it is recommended to stay away from hard-selling again. Your main focus should be on how you can satisfy your existing customers while also targeting potential ones. Once you provide them with something valuable and free, they will remember you when the time is right for them to invest their hard-earned money, in your business.
While videos can rank in search results, the days of making that quick Animoto video and it doing well is kind of behind us. Much like Google’s search engine, YouTube videos should be high quality and informative. That’s not saying you have to have a major movie studio produce it, just be sure that the content is there and is high quality.
Using a set ad format, Instagram also provides a platform for your business to tell stories visually and has managed to get position 5 in our list of Top 7 Social Media Sites for business. There are around 800 million active users on Instagram, how then, can you let your business shine amidst the crowd? The answer is Instagram advertising.
Since Facebook owns Instagram, it is always advised to connect both of your accounts, especially when running a business page.
This can enhance your following and can increase your target audience.
Talking of top of the funnel tasks, advertising on Instagram is a way to generate leads, grow exposure for your brand and recognize your newly started business as an entity. Most businesses tend to disregard “top of the funnel” advertising, but you should know how it works for the success of your business.
Influencing through Instagram:
Popular celebrity figures on social media are known as “Influencers”. They attract their audience according to the content they come up with.
Businesses can promote products by paying influencers to post or speak about the product. Obviously, this is not an option for every industry, and we advise you to consider this with caution.
This is where the line blurs a little. The audience is most likely to completely trust these influential figures blindly. Hence, businesses use them as a way to get their products and services promoted. This is normally a double-edged sword.
To learn in detail about Instagram Marketing you can read our blog: “How to use Instagram for marketing“.
6. Facebook Messenger:
Before 2011, Messenger used to work as a messaging feature on Facebook. However, Facebook then thought of turning the tables by letting Messenger standalone as an application itself and has allowed its features to expand ever since. Facebook messenger has made its place at number 6 in our list of Top 7 Social Media Sites for Business.
What are the features that Messenger provides?
Like Instagram, Facebook Messenger integrates well with its parent, Facebook. Facebook users actually prefer the mobile application because of its added features.
According to Facebook, over one billion people use Messenger, daily. So, how can your business use this top social media site for your business?
Facebook Messenger allows customer support:
No cost incurred, Messenger allows you to share messages instantly with one another. Live chats are enabled on the site and can be backed up through customer service support.
You can link to your Facebook Messenger from your Facebook business page or website and then, immediately communicate your customers, using text messaging, essentially.
According to a survey, youngsters are mostly interested in using messenger for video conferencing and live chats. So, for businesses targeted to millennials, Facebook Messenger is a must. This provides a way to minimize any negative banter, that if ignored, would certainly be posted publicly.
Sharing content through Messenger:
The most commonly used approach is using emails to deliver content. As an alternative to emails, Messenger could prove to be high up in the hierarchy of competition. Are you hosting an event for your business? You can always use Facebook Messenger as a way to send, people who have signed up, a reminder.
You see that Messenger allows you to push content to a wide range of subscribers. It also allows followers to pull in information for themselves.
Many businesses have started using chatbots to help their followers find information from their websites. We will admit that creating a chatbot that allows users to search content is a little more complicated than simply searching for your desired content, but with the proper tools and skill-set, it can be done. This provides a great, completely non-intrusive way to deliver the content that the customer wants to see.
In our list of the best social media sites for business, WhatsApp is a new addition and at the moment stands at the seventh place in our list of Top 7 Social Media Sites for business. In most parts of the world, it is the leader for marketing and has successfully established as a brand name, for over 1.5 billion monthly active users. Seriously, that magnitude of market penetration cannot be ignored.
But, keeping everything aside, how can WhatsApp be used for marketing your business? In simpler terms, WhatsApp at the moment is an unexplored frontier so there are equal risks and rewards linked to it.
WhatsApp has versions for iPhone, Android, Windows and Nokia S40. For 56% of the world, it has become an alternative to SMS or text messaging.
Unlike public networks, like Facebook, etc, WhatsApp is considered to be a private channel and yet has an incredible engagement rate. According to a WhatsApp survey, within 3 seconds of being received, normally 89% of messages are opened.
WhatsApp has introduced its new feature named “WhatsApp Business” which allows chats to be encrypted and employers to connect with their users and employees. Online products are sold through WhatsApp chats as well.