By Merriam-Webster definition, social media channels are “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos)” That being said, how many social media sites do you think there are? 5? 10? 20? I’ll give you a minute to think on it. Because the answer may surprise you.
As of now, in June of 2020, there are over 200 social media sites - and this number doesn’t even include dating sites. So while you may think of a handful like Facebook and Twitter, there are many more you may not even know about. I’m going to rank my 5 favorites of the mainstream social media channels, explain each relative to marketing, and tell you why. And I think my #1 may come as a shock!
Twitter is a favorite of many. And it’s definitely one of my top social media sites. The only reason it’s lower on the list in my top 6 is because it can be a little cluttered in its conversational ways. Since it’s standard to post to Twitter up to 20 times a day, multiplying that times your followers can mean a massive timeline of catching up to do. If you have a full-time job and can only check it once or twice a day, that can mean thousands of missed posts.
That being said, it tends to be my least favorite for marketing for these same reasons.
Pinterest is the perfect place for ideas. And ideas are something that people search for constantly, myself included. Whether it be new recipes, home decor inspiration, vacation ideas or new products and services - Pinterest is a great place to find it. Each post contains a photo (or multiple photos), a headline, body text, and a link. Which, if you ask me, is everything you need for a good marketing post.
Pinterest also provides basic analytics so you can see how many people have viewed and saved your pin. This is really helpful, because you’re essentially getting a sneak peek of what it is people are searching for and what they’re keeping for later. This is great information to have in marketing!
Instagram has some pros and cons. A major pro is that it’s based around pictures. You know the old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. When people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. (Brain Rules) This is great news for marketers.
The con? You can’t use links. But you can send people to your link in your bio, and sites like campsite.bio allow you to make an Instagram landing page so you can put all your links on a single page for your bio.
Instagram is most popular among women under 30. You may be thinking, “well, my business isn’t targeting women”. But remember. Women call the shots in 70-80% of buying decisions. They are certainly not a target to be ignored.
I bet you’re surprised this isn’t my number 1. After all, it actually IS the number 1 used social media channel. With over 2.6 billion monthly active users worldwide, it’s the most popular social media network on the planet.
Facebook is great for marketing your business, and it’s definitely up there as one of the most important places to maintain proper exposure. Having a business page on Facebook is very important, especially one that consistently posts updates and engages users. Another plus to Facebook is the targeted advertising options. Being able to display your post to people that meet certain criteria, like location, gender or even people who have made certain searches - all great features of using Facebook for marketing.
1. Google My Business
So why didn’t I put Facebook at #1? Because while marketing on Facebook is major, and highly recommended, Google My Business is one that’s often overlooked - mainly because it hasn’t always been considered social media. So while users on Facebook are actually there socializing with their friends, and you hope you get a piece of their attention - Google My Business is them actually looking for you. They went to Google to find something. And if you were relevant, they landed on you. The users are more ready, willing and able to make a purchase.
Google My Business allows you to tweak the information Google has about your business. You can edit your hours, phone number, address, etc. But the part many don’t know about is the features of being able to add posts and photos as well. So when someone searches for you, they come up with all the information they could need.
You can also reply to your Google reviewers (which is best practice in marketing), post coupons and specials, and right now there’s even a “Covid-19 update” feature that allows you to let the public know the status of your business.
While not every business should utilize every platform, it’s important to know which ones are right for you based on your target audience. We’d be happy to provide a free marketing consultation to assess your business so you can learn what could work best for you.