Social Media offers businesses a rich, and sometimes confusing, selection of platforms to choose from. Some social platforms are considered “mandatory” and others have specific demographics that make them better suited to some businesses than others.
How do you know which platforms are right for you? At Engage121 we’ve been managing social media for businesses since 2008. Last year we developed a social media concierge service – Social Media Assistant – that knows how to optimize and manage a business’s social presence. Here’s where we start:
Across all platforms:
We ensure messaging, contact information, and photos are consistent across all platforms:
- Profile descriptions should be as close to identical as possible across all platforms. For Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ they can be. Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest all have a 160 character limit, which will constrain the description. Bottom line: we make sure your profile descriptions follow best practices to optimize your social branding.
- Contact information should be explicit – i.e., we make sure people don’t have to ask for your phone number, address or website. Since we’re putting all this energy into getting “found” on social we make it as easy as possible.
- Profile pictures should project a professional image. We choose a high-quality photo that visually represents your business. Logos work, but for many professionals such as realtors, doctors, attorneys, or CPAs, for example, a professionally created headshot is recommended. Profile pictures should be consistent across your social platforms, although size requirements differ.
We also establish a business page on each platform. For Facebook this is a requirement and only a business page has access to Insights analytics and advertising. It is also against Facebook’s Terms of Service to use a personal page with commercial intent. And, while only “required” for Facebook, this is a best practice across all platforms and one that we firmly believe in.
Next are platform-specific recommendations and considerations:
Facebook: As the platform with the greatest number of members (1.6 billion and growing) we focus here first. Facebook should have a place in every business’s social strategy.
We thoroughly complete the “About” section with location, website, and phone number. For many of our client’s businesses, we add store hours and, possibly, price range.
Next we focus on page controls in the settings section. There are many options in the left navigation bar for Settings, but some of the most important are found in the first section – General:
- Visitor Posts: There are 3 options here: letting anyone directly post to your page; requiring review before posting, or disable posting for everyone. As your social media concierge we always allow unlimited business inquiries on your page. And, we make sure you are alerted as soon as these come in.
- Page moderation/profanity filters: we work with our clients to identify any keywords to suppress. Profanity filter is always “on” for our clients.
- Similar page suggestions: If a business page permits this section on their page, then those suggested businesses will appear on your page and you will appear on theirs. For a brand new business page that is not in a locally, highly competitive industry, this can be a good way to increase your exposure. If you are in a highly competitive business then we turn this off so you’re not promoting competitive businesses on your page. We will always review the right strategy with you.
Click here for more details (you should know about many of these for your personal pages, too).
Instagram: With over 400 million monthly users, this mostly mobile visual social platform can be a very important one for businesses. This platform is considered mandatory for our clients who have visual businesses, like beauty salons, signs and marketing companies, and real estate.
- Username and bio sensitivities are addressed above, but one of the most often forgotten aspects of setting up a profile is to “enable notifications”. We’ll take care of this for you.
- For a new Instagram, you’re going to want to follow other people. We will work with you to identify and follow the influencers in your industry, engaging users and clients.
FYI Instagram is owned by Facebook and Facebook integrates advertising with them. More on how this means marketing goodness for you in Part 2 of this series.
Twitter: There are an estimated 320 million people that use Twitter with over 100 million of them daily users. We consider a presence on this platform to be mandatory. A recent, and important development: Twitter feeds are now being picked up by Google in Search Results – this is great for helping a business get found via search through the use of their social content.
Some considerations for setting up Twitter for maximum impact:
- @username: Also known as your Twitter handle, your username has a 15 character limit. We’ll work with you to choose a handle that is memorable and representative of your business.
- Website: We’ll make it easy for your Twitter followers to find your website by including a trackable link.
Click here to see how the world uses Twitter.
Google+: While claiming an estimated 300 million users, in 2016 only 4-6 million people were actively posting. So why establish a presence in this relatively small community?
When we create a Google Plus page, we create new business opportunities across all of Google’s products. From bringing your business closer to the top in Google searches to having a Google map with directions to your store appear when someone types in your brand name, these are not benefits you’ll want to miss out on.
LinkedIn: This is the biggest professional networking social media site at over 300 million users. As such, it is exceptional for networking, recruiting, personal branding and is a great second source for establishing a professional’s bona fides. Keep in mind, however, that nobody goes to LinkedIn to shop for anything.
To see an infographic with Top LinkedIn Facts and statistics please click here.
Pinterest: With over 100 million monthly users, this visual platform is used mostly by women – 85% at last measure. Pinterest users also skew younger – 65% are under the age of 34. The one thing they all have in common is a passion – for food, fashion, home improvement, beautiful images and travel – and Pinterest is the place they “meet” and share. We are expert at developing engaging Pinterest posts and Pins that attract new social community members.
Click here to see a fun – and useful – infographic of 19 Pinterest statistics you probably don’t know, but should!
Want to know the demographics of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Instagram? Click here to read Adweek’s latest findings.
Do you have any tips or comments you’d like to add? What’s your favorite social platform for your business?
Next week: Social Media 101 for Business – Part 2!