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Marisa Sanfilippo

Businesses: Determining Which Social Media Channels to Use

Marisa Sanfilippo
Businesses: Determining Which Social Media Channels to Use

Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn…the list goes on. “Which social media channel should I use for my business?” This is a question I often get asked, especially on webinars I present. You know your business needs to be on social media and you may already have a few channels set up, but you’re not getting results. Should you be on a different channel? My answer always is – that depends.

Each business is unique and what may be right for the person-down-the-street’s business may not be right for yours. To determine which channels to utilize, you need to understand the culture of each and how they each work (assuming you already have a strong understanding of your customers and targets).

Facebook

Originally launched targeting college students, Facebook has quickly become the largest social media site, having 1.39 billion monthly active users as of December 31, 2014 (Facebook Newsroom). While that college generation has been shifting toward other social media channels, reports have found that the majority of Facebook users (as of last year) still remain in the under 30 age group.

In addition to offering the ability to reach such a large audience, the thing I find most beneficial for marketers when it comes to Facebook is the ability to target users. Between targeting them by the most obvious — age — followed by location and behaviors, just to name a few, Facebook Advertising and Organic Post Targeting are the answers to getting your messages seen by the right people.

Facebook advertising targeting example Facebook organic post targeting example

More times than not, I recommend Facebook.

YouTube

People are naturally visual. We don’t always want to be bombarded with text, text and more text. We want to be entertained by engaging photos and videos. Every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube videos, generating billions of views (YouTube Press, March 2015). And the user amount? More than 1 billion! Any business could benefit from YouTube. Showing the people behind your brand helps humanize it and connects your brand with customers on a whole new level.

3 Ways Businesses Could Benefit from YouTube

  • Demonstrations. Show your customers how to use your products.
  • Tips and advice. Showcase your expertise by providing practical and helpful tips.
  • Deeper looks into your business. Are you an interior designer? Give your audience a look into your product shopping adventures. Did Joe from accounting just celebrate his 10th anniversary with your company? Create a short video of Joe blowing out candles with other staff.

Pinterest

This online pin board variety of social media is also very visual and relies heavily on images. If you can make your business fun, Pinterest is worth looking into. It’s one of the fastest growing social media channels and has more than 70 million users.

The majority of pinners are female between ages 25 and 35. As I’m writing this article, targeting locally is a challenge but perhaps that will all change once Pinterest Promoted Pins are launched. Pinterest is especially great for driving website traffic – just make sure when you upload a pin you link it back to your website.

Use Pinterest to get traffic to your website

Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging tool that limits 140 characters per message. I find it particularly beneficial for sharing news and relationship building. Since Twitter is like one big conversation, it’s easy to connect with other users. Just type any hashtags or keywords in Twitter Search to see for yourself.

If the following appeal to you, then Twitter may be one social media channel your business should be on. Twitter allows users to:

  • Connect with customers and people who you would like to do business with. Follow them. Monitor their conversations. Follow keywords and engage accordingly.
  • Get found by Google. Recently, Twitter struck a deal with Google to show Twitter posts in Google’s search results as soon as they are posted. This update is POWERFUL for brands as each post is a chance for getting found (make sure you are using strategic keywords in posts)!

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place where people go to do business. They are not (or should not) be there to post a photo of what they ate for dinner or rant about the horrible day they had. LinkedIn may be right for you if networking with others, building your credibility and acquiring new customers through the power of recommendations and shared profiles are things you desire.

These are just a popular few of many social media channels. At the end of the day, one of your main goals for using social media should be to connect with your customers on a more personal level. Before choosing a channel, consider what it offers in helping you achieve that. Know your customers and have clear goals and objectives, which should be part of your social media strategy. Need a little help? Shoot me a Tweet.

As Content and Social Media Marketing Director of Fortune Web Marketing (an Internet marketing agency based out of New Jersey) Marisa helps businesses large and small in a variety of industries get found and look and sound good online. When she’s not glued to her computer screen, she dabbles in photography and painting.

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