how to reach your audience online

Today’s business owners know being present on social media is important, but being on every platform is very time (and resource) consuming. In fact, since most businesses have specific and defined target markets, they only need to really focus on one or two social channels. With this in mind, let’s take a look the big social media platforms to determine which ones are right for you.

Facebook

Facebook is by far the most popular social network. Although it is losing some traction with younger audiences, it continues to be important because of the sheer volume of people connected, and it’s also the most frequently-used platform. For these reasons, Facebook is the one social channel that every business should be on, regardless of industy or niche.

It’s also the perfect place to build a community and build your brand. Just keep in mind that Facebook uses algorithms to determine who sees your posts, so your message will not reach all your followers (unless you purchase ads). Still, reports of “the death of organic reach” are both premature and highly sensationalized.

Twitter

Users are more comfortable following brands on Twitter than on any other platform, so this is the place to keep your audience up-to-date on offers, discounts, contests and industry news. It’s perfect for B2C businesses, and is a phenomenal touch point for both marketing research and customer service.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter timelines follow a chronological order (no fancy algorithms involved), so if your follower is online when you post, they’re more likely to see your message. However, it is a busy place, and new tweets are always coming in, so tweet as often as you can (while taking care to make your content useful, as opposed to self-serving). Finally, make sure your sales, marketing, and pubic relations teams use it to discover and build relationships with prospects, leads, and media outlets.

Instagram

If your business lends itself to visuals, you have a great opportunity to reach Instagram’s large, highly-engaged user base. If you own a restaurant, or work in the fashion, design, architecture, or travel industries, you need to get an active Instagram account, and start posting amazing pictures!

Keep Instagram’s users in mind, as well. Instagrammers tend to be young and mobile-connected, making the platform perfect for targeting urban Millennials. However, this also means your images must be top-notch. Want to target this demographic, but don’t work in a “hip” industry? No problem — just look at General Electric (and its 185,000 followers) to see how you can build a big following, regardless of industry.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. Creating a LinkedIn profile is important for all businesses (to make their presence known in their industry, and to recruit team members), but B2B businesses should particularly focus their energy here, as it gives you access to department heads, executives, and other decision makers.

LinkedIn’s users skew older, more educated, and richer – basically, people with sucessful careers – so it offers a distinct and attractive audience to target. Plus, although users tend to not access it daily, users are highly engaged and spend a lot of time on it when they do log on.

Pinterest

Like Instagram, Pinterest is a visual platform that’s great for fashion and design businesses, but it has some powerful features that Instagram lacks, like the ability to link directly to a specific product. So if you have an e-commerce site, you need to be on Pinterest.

It’s easy — take beautiful photos of your products and pin them with links to buy them back on your site. This way, users can see something they like one second and buy it the next. To make things easier fo rthem, include all relevant information on your pins, such as measurements, specs and prices.

Get the Most From Social Media

These four platforms are just scratching the surface, so be sure to subscribe to Contentools’ blog for more tips on using social media to connect with your audience.

 

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