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Which marketing channels are right for your business? Social media explored

Which marketing channels are right for your business? Social media explored
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Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

11 Jul 2017

A lot of people will tell you that you need to be on social media; what they’re telling you is true – in part.  Almost all businesses need to have a presence on social media, but only on the platforms that are right for them. There’s no point being on all platforms just for the sake of it; you need to find the specific channels where your target clients are hanging out.  Our marketing expert, Siobhan Stirling of Sharp Minds Communications, has pulled together a guide of all the platforms and whether they’re right for you.

Facebook

Being the most used social media platform, with one third of its users engaging with brands regularly, it’s no surprise that businesses far and wide swear by Facebook.  However, it is much better for B2C businesses.  Although a lot of companies are on Facebook, if you are a B2B organisation, you need to ask whether the person running your target client’s Facebook page is likely to be the decision maker, or a junior who would have no influence over commissioning your products or services.  But even if your target customers are on Facebook regularly, you need to note that it hasn’t got the highest engagement rates, compared to other platforms like Twitter and Instagram, but it does provide customers with an area to find out about your business and your products or services.

Twitter

You’ll find that most users on Twitter are looking for news stories, but it’s still a great place to grow brand awareness. This platform requires more time and energy, but it’s worth it in the long run. You can use Twitter to update people about your company, provide a customer service and answer potential customers’ queries. It’s highly interactive and focused mainly on engagement; following, retweeting and commenting on other people’s posts are the priority. You’ll find most businesses on here and it’s a great way to post content on industry news to show you’re in the know.

Instagram

Instagram is a whole different platform. It’s all focused on what you snap, so you’ll probably be skipping this one if your business doesn’t have many things to take pictures of. It’s more focused on B2C and provides an engaging way of interacting with your customers. Examples include restaurants posting new meal options or florists creating images that show off their new summer bouquets. It doesn’t take all the dedication in the world either; just take the occasional picture throughout your work day and post it in seconds.

Google+

This platform was set up by Google to try and be Facebook’s competition but failed miserably. Instead it’s now used by most businesses for its value to SEO (search engine optimisation); this is essentially the process that goes into bringing your content to the top of Google searches. The more posts you make on Google+, the more likely you’ll be nearer to the top of relevant search results – and if you have a Google + company page, it will appear on map results. It’s definitely worth being on here for the SEO alone; if you’re posting content on other platforms, do it on Google+ as well.

Pinterest

Pinterest has its own unique purpose and isn’t suitable for all businesses. The majority of Pinners use it for fashion, food, design, travel and DIY, with a large female base making up 75% of users. So if you’re in these particular industries, Pinterest is the one for you. However, you’ll probably want to stay away from it if you’re in a more B2B sector.

LinkedIn

Here’s where we get to the B2B side of the social media platforms. You can set up a company page here, which is essentially like a Facebook page but more aimed at businesses. It’s also very useful for SEO, so – like Google+ – if you’re posting on other sites, then it’s worth posting here as well. In terms of growing followers, your posts should be focused on industry news and a few guides that show your business is ahead of the game and knowledgeable about your sector.

Being on the right social media platforms is essential to deliver ROI. If you offer colourful products that will engage people, use Instagram and Pinterest.  If you’re consumer facing, Facebook is great.  Twitter will help you grow brand awareness and Google + is essential for SEO.  But if you’re more B2B and have a lot of professional insight, LinkedIn is the one for you.

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