By Lama Alem
Thinking of expanding your horizons, social media might be the answer.
Familiarize yourself with the various social media platforms. Understanding their function and uses is the first step to finding the most suitable platform.
TIP: You do not need an account on every social media platform.
Keep in mind WHY you want to use social media; to promote, to get feedback, etc., and pick the platform that best serves your objectives.
TIP: Some platforms require more time and effort than others.
Schedule when and what you post. Organization creates a bigger picture of the brand and helps you stay consistent.
TIP: Stay on top of your game.
Before sharing posts, check your spelling and grammar. For visual posts: Remember quality over quantity. Lastly, ask yourself: Does it serve its purpose and fit with your brand image?
TIP: Trial and error is key; that’s how you learn what works and what doesn’t.
Giving followers an inside look, behind-the-scenes footage and special promotions makes them feel special. Choose the optimum posting time depending on your audience.
TIP: People love images, so use them! Infographics and short videos depict your ideas in minimal time.
Social media allows direct interaction with customers; ask for feedback without overpromoting yourself; focus on conversation and visibility, not sales. Take the constructive criticism, and ignore the “hate.”
TIP: Facebook and Twitter offer customer-centered polls.
Many social media platforms offer statistics and profile activity analysis. This comes in handy with your marketing strategy development. Discover your popular posts, peak response times, average customer age, etc.
TIP: Use these statistics to evaluate your own performance too.
Why Social Media?
Reach a wider number of customers.
Gather customer feedback.
Be accessible to customers and media outlets.
A Rundown on the Main Platforms
Facebook is versatile with the types of posts you can have. Considered low-maintenance; it is suitable for most businesses.
Twitter is quick and easy. It is the best for user interaction and providing consistent and instant customer service.
Instagram is visually oriented, and consequently is popular within the fashion, photography and food industry. Hashtags are pivotal for attracting followers.
Pinterest is a visually oriented bulletin board and generally attracts the same industries as Instagram.
Tumblr is versatile with its post types, but caters to a younger audience; around half of its users are under 25 years old.
LinkedIn is a platform that caters for professionals looking to network.