It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through August. We already see our retail neighbours on Robson Street changing their windows to the fall collections and their back-to-school promos and marketing campaigns are starting to roll out, too. We thought it would be a good time to “go back to school” and refresh some important fundamentals of social media marketing for business.
See, (almost) 9 years ago, when Cucumber was born, there was no such thing as social media for business. Facebook was still in the early stages of development and was primarily focused on gaining users vs making money. The narrative about social media marketing was pretty much about convincing businesses, that they needed to be on social media. Thankfully, we don’t need to do the convincing anymore. However, there are still some common mistakes businesses make when it comes to social media marketing.
So if you are wondering which social media platform you should choose for marketing your B-to-C business, here’s a quick checklist:
Honestly, pretty much any B-to-C business can benefit from being on Facebook. With over 2.01 billion monthly active Facebook users (as of June 2017) worldwide, there are enough people in their database to connect with your exact demographic. Facebook is the most advanced social media platform, offering the most robust reporting to marketers and advertisers, which is an invaluable asset when it comes to measuring your marketing efforts. Facebook offers the most diverse content delivery methods, too – from video, to photo, to text, etc. And even if you have a limited marketing budget and want to increase your brand’s reach and visibility, Facebook is a good start for your business.
Now, we are getting more specific. This is a highly-visual platform. Think twice (about your business goals and general expectations from Instagram) before hiring a marketing agency to manage this platform for you. It’s extremely easy to waste time on pretty-pictures, forgetting your main business goals.
Who should use Instagram?
As a rule of thumb, if your business is product-based or in some way offers a visual perspective on your work, Instagram could be a great way to share what you do with the world.
Things to keep in mind, if you want to grow your connections on Instagram:
- you have to be consistent and post fresh content every day (yes, every day)
- use proper hashtags, to make sure your content gets found
- your photos must be unique, offering an insight into what you do (e.g. behind the scenes, product highlights, etc)
- if your photos are not unique, they must be of high quality. Invest in a good camera or hire a photographer who can help you with your visuals
Twitter is a good tool to use as customer service or sales support. People can quickly find you and ask questions. Twitter is also a great PR tool – as in Press Release. Using local hashtags, when posting news about your business will give you visibility in local communities. Use Twitter to connect with people at a conference or at a business event.
Twitter is widely-used by media companies, politicians, authors, and actors. While it’s a valuable tool to get news out there, it could be a huge time-waster for a B-to-C business. You’d want to have an account created and checked on regularly, but your marketing strategy for this tool will be less active than the previous ones.
Similar to Instagram, this is a highly visual platform, often used for reference or inspirational purposes. This platform will work well for interior designers, furniture manufacturers, or bloggers who offer DIY tips. It could be a good way to generate links to your website (good for SEO) when you share your content there. But the time you’d need to put into it in proportion to the results you get could be less than optimal, so be super conscious on your effort put into it.
Not much to say here. Sadly for Google, this platform didn’t get much love from its users. It’s a good platform to use for search engine optimization, but that’s all I can say here, really.
Does your business require customer education or does it have a longer sales cycle where you need to gain your customers’ trust via sharing and showing your expertise? If so, YouTube will be great for your business. If you already do Facebook Live videos or Instagram Live videos, you can recycle your content and post it on YouTube as well for greater visibility online.
That’s it for today’s class, kids! Got social media questions of your own? Give us a shout, or stop by our marketing agency in Vancouver, we always have chocolate.