Every single business nowadays have at least one social media account. Most business have at least several of the major players; Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (LinkedIn mostly for Business to Business companies). There are countless other social media platforms that your business could capitalize on, such as Yelp, Pinterest, etc but those are more niche markets so I’ll just cover the big three.
Why be on social media?
Before I dive into the specifics, you might be wondering why should you even be on social media. “I give colonoscopies for a living! Why should I have a twitter page!? ‘You wouldn’t believe what I found inside someone today, #blessed’” Maybe I’m being a little dramatic but I shared your same reserves.
The simple answer is: interaction! There is no better platform for direct interaction, regardless of size, than social media platforms. Only on Twitter can you have a conversation with General Electric or Pizza Hut. It is paramount for any business to have excellent customer service, and social media is the perfect vehicle to help get it right the first time, or to fix it. Plus, those interactions are logged forever, demonstrating your transparency and commitment to superior customer service.
Another great reason for using social media is directing traffic into your sales funnel. If you don’t know what the sales funnel is, we’ll go over that in the next blog post! But for a simple explanation, the sales funnel is a process of which a new customer goes through the buying process with your company. You can use social media to drive traffic to your website after learning about the warm and fuzzy side of your company from social media.
Let’s start talking about each of the big three social medias. I’ll break down who is using them, what they are best used for, posting schedules, and general best practices.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what Facebook is. I’d bet $50 you have or have had a Facebook page. Why? Because there are over 1.79 billion ACTIVE Facebook users. These 1.79 billion users are all young people, right? Think again!
That is one of the unique qualities about Facebook. 84% of Baby boomers are on Facebook. Compare that to the mere 11% on Instagram. As the original adopters of Facebook grow older, and the growing amount of our aging population joining Facebook; you get a large variety of demographics on Facebook.
Facebook is great for two things: advertising and visibility. Facebook is perfect for creating an efficient sales funnel. But like I said we’ll talk about the funnel later. About the latter, visibility, companies can take on a local and friendly personality.
What makes Facebook better than Google, in terms of visibility, is that customers can read reviews, find directions, see pictures, learn what other people are saying to you, what you are saying to your customers, all in real time and in the same place.
In general, posting on Facebook should be about 1 or 2 times a day. There are plenty of figures on time of day. For example, engagement is highest at 1pm to 3pm on Sundays, so if your goal is to drive traffic to your website then post then. You want to strike a balance between annoying and informative. You don’t want followers to unsubscribe.
Twitter is extremely popular with the younger generations. 35% of Twitter users are ages 18-29 years old. With the younger generations comes demand for quick interactions. What makes Twitter so amazing is the instant direct communication between brands and consumers.
A great example is when a passenger on a Jet Blue flight tweeted that his TV didn’t work at his seat. After tweeting, just 23 minutes later, Jet Blue responded back directly, apologizing, and giving him a credit for his flight and troubles. Immediately after he tweeted thanking Jet Blue and how wonderful they are. Examples like this are perfect demonstrations of the power of Twitter. Not only did they resolve a customer service issue immediately, they gave themselves amazing review, and national attention.
Twitter is designed around constant communication, so brands can get away with posting far more often, because of how quickly feeds are cycled through. The optimum week times are afternoons until early evening, which statistically promise higher retweets and click throughs.
A huge factor in successful Twitter usage is has tags. Hash tags are basically keywords, like in website search engine optimization, bring people together into conversations. On Twitter if you search #advertising, you’ll see a large feed of people using the same hashtags in conversations. As a marketer, you can use these trends to make your brand a part of the conversation, or launch your own hashtag directed at your target market.
If you are a business professional and you don’t have a LinkedIn, get one. LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for companies in the business to business world. On that note, LinkedIn is business to business focused however a consumer direct company can benefit as well.
First, a great tool LinkedIn offers is for attracting talent to your company. The benefits of screening employees through LinkedIn instead of the traditional resume include:
- Access to personality
- See how that person interacts with others on their account.
- Their circles
- See who that person interacts with professionally
- Look-up job experience
- More than likely their experience has their own LinkedIn accounts you can check out and verify information.
You can learn all of this without even contacting the prospect!
Second, LinkedIn will make you visible to other B2B companies like suppliers and sales people. A study by HubSpot found that LinkedIn averaged conversion rates of 2.74% compared to .77% on Facebook and .69% on Twitter. A good rule of thumb for LinkedIn for posting is very like Facebook. It is best to balance informative vs annoying. Post 1 to 2 times per day, and following the same general time of day guidelines as well.
There is no excuse for your company not having a social media presence. Regardless of industry, B2B vs B2C, or target market; your company should be online.