Your Easy Guide To The Most Popular Social Media Platforms & Their Benefits
Learn which platforms can bring you more business
Social media is one of the most amazing (free!) ways to spread news and information. It allows business owners to reach a vast number of people, build brand awareness and show the world what they offer. The benefits of social media are numerous and should be a priority for all small businesses.
According to Statista, there are more than 2.65 billion people across the world that uses social media networks. That is a huge number of people.
Here’s some of the top-ranking in social media networks and the competition is always tight:
- YouTube: Over 2 billion users (2019)
- FaceBook: Over 1.62 billion users reported by the network during 2019
- Reddit: Over 1.2 billion users (2019)
- Instagram: Over 1 billion users (2019)
- Twitter: Over 330 million users (2019)
- LinkedIn: Over 467 million users (2019)
- TikTok: 500 million active users worldwide (Datareportal, 2019)
Think of all the potential customers out there, scrolling on their phones, unaware that your business or service can solve a problem for them or make their lives infinitely better.
With the help of the internet and smart devices, you can get your message across countries and continents to reach your target audience and make more money.
Before we look at the most popular platforms in more detail, let’s look at the benefits of social media for your business.
The top benefits of social media for your small business
Here are just some of the advantages of social media for your business:
Using the benefits of social media marketing will help you to cut back on certain costs. It’s all about networking and advertising your brand. The best thing is that you can do this for little to no cost online.
With paid packages, you get more, but sometimes the free tools offer adequate help to cut back on the extra costs. As a new or small business owner, cash flow isn’t always available, so saving is a great perk!
Use free tools and websites
Free tools and websites are all part of the cost-saving factors of social media. So while the paid versions do offer more benefits, the free tools can get you around. Get your foot in the door and start using free online tools to help improve your business strategies.
Free tools include websites, keyword tools, analytics and so much more.
Increase your brand awareness
Another excellent benefit of using social media is the fact that you can reach your market. In this way, you can create better brand awareness without paying the hefty costs as seen with traditional advertising.
Use it to tell your audience about your brand and start getting them familiar with who you are and what your brand is about.
Connect with people
Social media can help you put a face with human emotion to your brand. As we’ve mentioned, it helps you to reach and engage with your audience. This engagement and familiarity will bring about the steady growth of trust.
People prefer brands that they can relate to and brands that are warm and welcoming. Most of all, people are looking for brands that can deliver what it promises and solve their problems.
Popular platforms explored
Facebook is so popular and powerful that it’s the first place you should start when it comes to social media. Most people have Facebook accounts for social and business networking. To have an account doesn’t cost anything and is a great way to connect with your audience.
Facebook is great to help you reach your audience and to promote your brand. You can also use the network to make announcements about specials and other info.
As a digital marketing agency, we specialise in helping clients design and implement paid Facebook (and Instagram) campaigns. We do funnel design, brand awareness campaigns, lead campaigns, conversion campaigns, social media posting and so much more.
If you’re currently spending money on paid ads and not seeing good results, click here to see if we would be a good fit to help you.
What’s the best tool to use on Facebook?
With Facebook, you can unleash the magic of marketing using the platform’s tools. Facebook provides exceptional tools and analytics for small businesses to get their brand noticed. One of the biggest benefits of social media in general and Facebook, in particular, is its algorithm and targeting. Use these to your advantage to grow your business.
Next up we have Facebook’s baby sister, Instagram. This is one of the leading social media networks and famous for its picture/visual theme. The platform allows users to tell a story through beautiful pictures.
Instagram Stories allows users to share more than photos. Instead, you can create real-time video content simply by recording directly to the feature using your smartphone. Instagram Stories might only last 24 hours, but they’re a great way to create engagement with your audience and add an element of fun and creativity. You can tag brands and other people, create polls, ask questions and so much more.
If you have >10K followers, you’ll get the coveted “swipe up” feature that allows you to add a clickable link directly to your IG Story. This is a powerful way to use Instagram to make sales and YES it works! We do content creation for some of our bigger clients, and when we add sales or opt-in links to their stories (remember this is FREE traffic), they smile all the way to the bank.
If you want to share valuable information, you can also post longer videos to Instagram TV or IGTV. For more on this, read this article here.
Just like other social networks, Instagram allows people in your network to see your posts, especially if you’re using appropriate hashtags that help you attract new viewers. In the same way, you’ll be able to see theirs. These will feature in the newsfeed. Some people find Instagram to be a lot easier to use than Facebook and you can decide what works best for your business.
- Post consistently, but don’t spam people. 3–5 IG posts a week is plenty.
- IG Stories can be created daily and added to throughout the day.
- Save special IG stories in your “highlights” tab to prevent them disappearing after 24 hrs.
- Connect with Instagram influencers
- Engage with people who comment on your posts
What’s the best feature to use on Instagram?
YouTube is one of the leading social media networks dedicated to video content. It used to be a place to find music videos but now the main appeal is vlogs, or video blogs. YouTube provides a TV-like appeal, only less expensive. It allows for more flexibility with viewing from any smart device connected to the internet.
You don’t need a YouTube account to use the service or the platform. All you have to do is go to the website and start streaming. Still, having a dedicated account will help you to increase your chances of generating money.
Popular YouTubers are raking in plenty of $$$ because their channel is doing so well. But, it isn’t as simple as that. Just like with every network, there are essential terms and conditions that govern use.
YouTube is an excellent way to keep your audience informed without the “read” factor. Just make sure that your videos are of excellent quality and that it is tagged properly. You will also need to edit your videos and add music so that it’s visually appealing to viewers.
- Customise your channel to make it unique (no one likes a copycat)
- Be careful of copyright content (esp. music rights)
- Be extra creative — there’s a lot of competition
- Professionally edit your videos
- Ensure that sound quality is excellent — invest in a decent camera and microphone
- Create eye-catching thumbnails
- Use keywords in your titles
- Write good descriptions
If you aren’t interested in creating content for YouTube, don’t forget that you can place paid adverts on other people’s videos. YouTube is an excellent way to get reach because funny, useful or emotionally touching videos are prone to going viral. This means that your advert can be seen by thousands, if not millions of people.
What’s the best tool to use on YouTube?
YouTube keyword search tool is a game-changer. You need to optimise your posts and a good keyword tool should be one of your number one picks. This will help to direct traffic to your channel.
The ever-popular Pinterest is a favourite among “picture enthusiasts”. Pinterest gives you the opportunity to create your own visual concepts and share them. It is a great space for promoting your brand.
Pinterest is an excellent platform for getting free traffic to your website. This is because when you pin your own pins (as opposed to just pinning other pins), you’re able to link back to your website and promote your services and products. Top-quality pictures and headlines are important because this will make your visuals stand out even more.
- Have a complete profile and upload a quality profile picture
- Create a few boards to get started
- If you don’t have much content of your own to pin, just pin other people’s pins
- Edit your boards by adding a description and selecting the category it fits into
- Pin pins that fit with your brand and overall message
- Create secret boards for pins that you wish to keep, but are unrelated to your business
What’s the best tool to use on Pinterest?
Pinterest has added the fun feature of video pins, so we see the platform evolving from just static images to more immersive videos.
We’ve also used their paid advertising services for some of our USA clients running paid campaigns. We can’t place paid ads for South African accounts (yet!) but this is a growing platform so watch this space.
You can recognise Twitter by the famous little bluebird icon in the logo. The network helps business owners to engage and tell their audience what’s new.
You can use it to reach more people, and engage with your readers. You can do this by building a Twitter audience. Consistency is important when building and engaging your audience on the Twitter network.
Influencers can help you to “boost” your business and brand awareness because they are already popular. Twitter thus helps to engage with influencers on the platform and other networks for that matter. Twitter also has a paid option for placing ads in front of your ideal audience.
- Tweet regularly
- Engage with your viewers
- Use Twitter ads to help market your brand
- Optimise your content with the correct hashtags
What’s the best feature to use on Instagram?
“#” Hashtags are great for “casual” SEO. Having probably been born on Instagram, the popular hashtag helps to promote your content to the right audience.
LinkedIn helps you to connect your business with other professionals and businesses. You can also use it to help promote your brand. The platform allows users to write and share posts as well as generate traffic to their website.
- Choose groups that relate to your business
- Engage in your groups
- Use video content to support your posts
- Create personal and engaging messages with your network
- Have a detailed description of your services
- Include testimonials from satisfied customers
What’s the best feature of Linkedin
Using LinkedIn plugins can help bolster your views and generate traffic to your website.
The takeaway on the benefits of social media and which platform is right for you
If you haven’t started using social media, start using it today! The benefits of social media far outweigh the time and effort it takes to get started.
Don’t get tripped up by vanity metrics though. The idea is to post on-brand content that helps you build an audience of people who know, like and trust you.
If your business isn’t live on social media, it makes it really difficult to reach an audience, let alone engage. Remember, you’re not limited to one social media platform, as many of these giants offer perks for small businesses too.
Since people trust the brands that they know, the more you’re online, the more people learn about your brand. With time, their familiarity can turn into loyalty and constant sales.
Use paid digital marketing along with free social media to your advantage and start growing your business on the next level.
Originally published at https://blog.bigdomino.co.za on January 20, 2020.