Thanks to technological advances that led to the increasing popularity of social media usage today, it has become easier for businesses of all sizes to get ahead of the game by simply creating a social media profile and throwing money at it.
Because of the massive increase in social media use, advertising and marketing has leveled up greatly. Strategies to target customers have become more precise, cheaper, and effective, which is why many startups today are growing faster than ever before.
Older businesses have to step up their game and learn what there is to know about social media, otherwise they will unfortunately be left behind in our new digital age.
To help you choose the best social media sites that best fits your business needs, I’ve created a short list of popular sites and their key features for marketing and advertising that will help you reach your business goals:
With over one billion users using today, it’s no wonder Facebook dominates as the second-most accessed website in the U.S. (Right behind Google). Equipped with great analytics, remarkable algorithms, and worldwide user targeting, Facebook is a must have for your business.
Advertising on Facebook has been deemed one of the most affordable ways, aside from Google, to reach a specific group of users.
Facebook offers a variety of ways to target your audience: Location, Demographics (age, gender and more), Interests (activities, hobbies and more), what they buy online & offline, and many other categories. With just a mere daily spend of $10, you can reach an audience of over one million users depending on your target audience and location.
Because there are so many users on Facebook, creating brand awareness through promotions and engaging with users online is simple and effective. Creating a webpage on Facebook is also very crucial for awareness and showcasing your brand personality to a larger audience.
Downside: Because there are so many users, that also means that there are just as many competitors using Facebook. One way Facebook was able to weed out the spammy, bad businesses from the good was by implementing the Relevance Score* system.
(*The Relevance Score is a one to ten scale that rates a post by how many negative and positive responses it received. The more negative, the lower relevance score, the higher positive responses, the greater relevance score. Check out this awesome article all about Relevance Score’s here.)
Overall, majority of businesses should sign up and create a Facebook Business account since this social media guru dominates as number one today.
Twitter is an online social networking service that lets users send and read short 140-character messages (soon to be 10k-characters) called “tweets”. This social media site is usually used for marketing, sharing information in real time, and connecting people with similar interests, such as the Miss Universe mishap:
Host Steve Harvey Announces Wrong Contestant as Miss Universe #Cringe
https://t.co/Zj0teKRz0F — @Reddit December 21, 2015
#Cringe worthy indeed.
Twitter also has an Advertising feature on its website. For just a few dollars a day, you can gain visibility through promoted tweets. Using the promotion feature on Twitter can be a great way to get a specific message about your products and services at the top of your potential customers’ Twitter feed.
Twitter is also an amazing way to gain followers/customers and grow your brand name through tweets and #hashtags.
Small businesses can also take advantage of the hashtag feature and market themselves to reach a larger audience and grow their brand. Some small businesses have taken advantage of this feature by jumping in on users conversations and hashtagging “#SmallBusiness and #Startup” to help them gain traction online.
Downside: Hate to break it to you, but Twitter Ads are not cheap or as effective as other popular social media sites. But if you happen to have the right spend, Twitter would be a great way to gain exposure, leads, and even sales.
Not particularly known for its amazing user interface, this social media news website is a great way to network with communities who show genuine interest on many different topics.
If you browse through their subforums, you can find topics covering interests from plumbing to crypto currency to even shitty advice.
Lets say you’re running a business that offers a certain service to your customers and you want to reach out to a large audience about a new service you plan on launching. By building trust within the community at locally dedicated sub reddit (sub forums), such as /r/LosAngeles, /r/OrangeCounty, or other interests that focus on your line of business, you can build your brand and expose your business to millions of users on popular sub reddits daily.
The currency of trust you’ll receive from users on the website for great posts, come in a form of Reddit karma points, also well known as ‘up votes’.
Downside: Unfortunately, gaining trust within the Reddit community can be pretty tough. Reddit users are not very fond of advertisers or spammers and some sub reddits have strict regulations where they will remove your posts if they look suspicious.
But in exchange for showing the communities that you can be trusted, you can significantly grow your brand on this massive news website.
Linkedin is amazing for Business to Business (B2B) due to the fact that majority of business owners are the most active on this social media site. Linkedin is an exceptionally effective tool for generating business leads, nurturing referral relationships online, and amazing for improving your ranking on search.
Many valuable brands, such as Google, have model profiles that include connections with current employees, partners, and many others. Networking and brand awareness on this social media site is key to a successful business.
Advertising on Linkedin is great for B2B, but will probably cost you a pretty penny. Linkedin provides great targeting options, including the ability to target by job title, employer, role, skills, and interests. The website’s advertising platform is very similar to what is offered by Facebook, but is more successful at targeting businesses.
Downside: Engagement on Linkedin ranges from non-existant to a handful and is not really worth investing if you’re looking for social engagement.
As one of the most popular offline group meeting sites, Meetup.com has helped members find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies.
Startups use this site to create free and/or paid events within their local community such as, Peoplespace OC Tech hub. Since many startups already exist on this website, this is great way for other small businesses and startups to network and attract a larger audience to their local events.
Downside: MeetUp is very limited in the number of groups they offer because they rely on users to create and organize their own groups. The meet ups are also constrained by distance and majority of participants have a tendency to stick to their local groups instead of traveling more than 25 miles to the town over.
With so many social media sites that offer simple and affordable ways to build your brand, it’s extremely important for businesses to jump online and create a personalized business profile. In doing so, it will help you grow your businesses and gain traction in a society that now lives and breaths in cyberspace.