Social Media Platforms

What Are They? How Can They Help My Business?

Social Media is NOT a One-Sized-Fits-All

Different Platforms => Different Industries => Different Purpose => Different Strategy

 

One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to social media is that it’s varied.  Not only is each social platform different with regard to functionality, but they each have a different PURPOSE.  Therefore, people use each platform very differently.

This means that you should not be posting the exact same content to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., nor should you be posting at the same schedule or frequency!

Your social strategy for each platform must be different, in order to seamlessly insert yourself into your customers’s “social life” and how they are using the platform.

That’s why at PoP Digital Media, we pride ourselves at taking an individual approach to each of our clients when it comes to social media.

We can help you select the right social platform(s) to reach your audience, and craft a strategy to help you be successful.

Popular Social Media Platforms

Below we’ve listed out some of the most popular social media platforms that people use around the world.  We’ve broken each down into 3 tabbed categories, offering you some basic insight into each tool:  What it is, how it works, and what it can do for a business.

 

Learn about each platform below:

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. As a result, more and more businesses are marketing on Facebook to engage with their current and future customers.

Not only does Facebook enable businesses to go where their customers are, but it facilitates two-way conversations and increases awareness by incorporating their brand messaging within social content that customers are actively viewing and engaging with daily.

In short, Facebook allows brands to insert themselves into the everyday lives of their target market.

The goal of Facebook for businesses is to help engage with customers in a non-intrusive way, which fosters their movement through the buying cycle: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. It’s not about hard selling, it is about building a relationship over time which can lead to a purchase or becoming a brand advocate in the future (loyal & word of mouth to others).

Everyone talks about “Likes” on Facebook. While “Likes” are not the most important metric, it is important when you are starting out. The more people who “Like” your page and your content, the more people will see it. Growth can be exponential, but it’s not easy to achieve.

Over time, your focus shouldn’t be on “Likes” alone, but rather engagement. Engagement is the much better metric of interest. Engaging with your customers or future customers on Facebook is the best way to build customer desire and encourage them to act (making a sale).

At the end of the day, it’s all about sales for a business…not “Likes.” A solid Facebook strategy should focus on moving customers through the buying cycle in a way that feels less like selling, and more like a social interaction.

Human beings are social creatures. By inserting your brand into customer’s “social lives” you have an opportunity to build a special relationship with them while promoting your businesses.

The key to success on Facebook is being social with your customers, or future customers. It’s about becoming a part of their “social lives” by putting interesting content out in front of them that will capture their attention and encourage them to engage with it (like, share, comment, etc.). You want to build a relationship with them over time so that they not only become a customer, but also a brand advocate within their social network (that’s an ultimate goal)

Twitter

Twitter is a social networking tool that allows you to publish short messages or “tweets.” Twitter has one of the biggest reaches of any other social media tools, and it’s one of the fastest ways to distribute news and other information. Twitter also makes it easy to connect with people and communicate in a two-way dialogue, rather than just a one-way communication.

Anyone can create an account and send out “tweets” and engage with other twitter accounts. When you login, you will see your Twitter feed, which displays tweets from the people you choose to follow. Likewise, your tweets will show up in your followers’ feeds as well.

Based upon algorithms, your Twitter feed will also display relevant tweets from people you don’t follow – which helps you find new information and connect with new people. You can also filter your Twitter feed at anytime, to see certain topics or people.

Communicating and connecting with large audiences easily is the main value of Twitter for business.  From customers (current, past, prospective), to just networking in the industry — Twitter enables you to talk to almost anyone!

There are many ways businesses can use Twitter, but let’s look at a hotel as an example.  Hotels use Twitter to reinforce their brand messaging, enhance their online exposure, and communicate directly with past, present, and future hotel guests. Twitter gives them the biggest reach and easiest, fastest way to communicate with large groups of people, including customers.

A successful hotel brand on Twitter will not only send out links to press releases, but they will communicate directly with hotel guests and even travelers staying in the area. They may offer advice, promotions, or services, as well as just building general goodwill within the community.

Hashtags are also very important on Twitter, because they are a way to categorize and search posts, as well as track trending topics.  Hotels would want to use their own hashtags to track engagement with their brand, track specific campaigns, and even when sending out promos!  They may also seek trending topics and join the conversation, as long as they are aligned with the brand.

Twitter is the PERFECT example of how social media has changed the game of marketing — from one-way to two-way communication. It’s not about talking at your customers… it’s about having a conversation with them.

Pinterest

Pinterest is an online pinboard that helps you bookmark things you like online, so you can find them later. Imagine the old “corkboard” at home, but now you can have many of them, you never run out of space, and you can see your friend’s boards to repin and share with others. Plus, you always have access to your board – wherever you are, as long as you have internet access.

Unlike other bookmarking sites, like Digg and StumbleUpon, content shared on Pinterest is driven entirely by visuals. In fact, you can’t share something on Pinterest unless an image is involved. All images Pinned must link back to some kind of source website.

The goal of Pinterest is to make it easy for you to access websites, photos, and things you have found online at a later date. But the social aspect of Pinterest (being able to follow people, boards, and repin from others) is the key to growing a business through Pinterest.

Like every other social media site, Pinterest has its own terminology:

 

  • When you share something on Pinterest, each bookmark is called a pin.
  • When you share someone else’s pin on Pinterest, it’s called a repin.
  • To stay organized, you group pins together by topic onto various boards or pinboards in your profile. You can have as many boards as you want.

Pinterest is a great way to grow traffic directly to your website and / or blog by slowly building a relationship with people through common interests. Sharing photos, tips, inspiration, information, etc. can help you gain a following as well as exposing your business to large audiences.

The power of social media can help your reach grow exponentially on Pinterest – especially when other people start liking and sharing your content on Pinterest. First, gain a following on your own boards, and then branch out by getting access to group boards which grows your reach even faster!

Pinterest not only helps with your overall SEO goals (more people sharing and pinning your content is a factor in Google’s rankings), but Pinterest itself is becoming its own search engine!

Unlike other social media platforms, content has a much longer shelf-life & users actively search the tool to find relevant Pins. So the more your content is Pinned, the more people will find it!

** Lastly as of 2016, research shows that Pinterest users tend to spend MORE money online, and more of them are buying directly through Pinterest than any other social media platform.  This is a VERY important social platform for businesses who sell direct to consumers!

Instagram

Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos instantly, from a Smartphone. In fact, with 400 million monthly active users around the world, Instagram has actually become the most popular of all social media for sharing photos (and now videos)!

Consisting of profiles and newsfeeds (like Facebook and Twitter), people can follow each other and post visuals to their profile, which will show up in the feeds of people who follow them. Then users can engage with each other and what they see.

Similar to Facebook or Twitter, everyone who creates an account has a profile and a news feed. When you post a photo or video on Instagram, it will be displayed on your profile.

Instagram is all about visual sharing. Ideally, the concept of “insta” meant that posts are in realtime, to share what you are doing and what is happening in the moment. However, you can also post after-the-fact with special software (and many businesses do).

Every user has a profile where they can share visuals. Each profile also has a “Followers” and “Following” count, representing how many people they follow and how many other users are follow them. These connections allow you to interact with others, and so they can interact with you.

Your followers will see what you post in their newsfeed, and likewise, you’ll see posts from other users who you choose to follow. Interacting on posts is fun and easy. You can double tap any post to “like” it or add a comment at the bottom.

If you want to find more friends or interesting accounts to follow, use the search tab (marked by the magnifying glass icon) to browse through tailored posts recommended to you. You can also use the search bar at the top to look for specific users or hashtags.

Instagram “stories” is a new feature that allows people to post a series of photos / videos, and even do a bit of customization with text in order to tell a story.  Technically, it is a bit of a rip-off from the popular SnapChat; however, no one can deny that it is a valuable feature that’s really taking off!

People are visual, we like pictures! So Instagram is a great way to leverage social media and people’s love for photos to help grow your reach as a brand, make connections with other key brands, and build your online reputation.  But Instagram is more than just photos, it can do short videos too!

Videos and real time live feeds are becoming increasingly popular for social media users, and brands.  Instagram Stories is new feature that is becoming very popular, with functionality allows people a window into your world and let you tell real-time stories (multiple videos) and create more engagement.

Instagram and the new Instagram Stories functionality is becoming increasingly valuable for businesses who want to build their brand and engage with their customers.

Google+

Google+ is a social networking service from Google. Google+ originally launched as a competitor to Facebook, but it never really seemed to take off. However, Google+ has recently relaunched and differentiates itself by allowing more transparency in who you share with and how you interact. It also has the benefit of integrating all Google services, and can even help improve you with your Google search engine rankings.

Chances are that if you have a Gmail e-mail account you will then have a Google+ social media account, even if you don’t know it. Nearly 350 million people have google email accounts and just as many are active on Google+.

Google+ is known for its ability to reach targeted niche users through something they call Communities & Collections. If you are looking to save your social media time by going after a targeted niche community, then Google+ may be a powerful social media platform for you to use.

Google+ presents an opportunity to connect with a community of customers and fans that other social media may not reach. Google+ users are also quite loyal to Google+ and they use it unlike other social media because they tend to have more of a focus or niche they are searching within. Unlike other networks, Google+ has significant impact on SEO and search traffic.

Many local businesses, such as hotels, use Google+ Pages that are now managed through Google My Business, a platform that makes it easy for customers to find and connect with your company. Google My Business uses Search, Maps, Reviews, and Google+ to make your brand more visible in local search results on Google.

As for people trying to locate your business on Google, Google+ and the Business Listings significantly help people searching on mobile devices because it includes your contact information, and maps.

Google+ is the PERFECT example of how social media has changed the game of digital marketing, SEO, and Mobile Search. Lastly, Google rewards those using Google+.

LinkedIn

The world’s largest professional social network, with more than 433 million members from 200 countries around the world. While other social media platforms may be more geared to leisure, LinkedIn is predominantly a professional platform.

On a personal level, people will create profiles that are similar to their professional resumes; listing their skills, education, and work experience.  From there, people can connect to other professionals through the network, and even document recommendations and endorsements for others.  Thereby taking your professional connections in the real-world, and putting them online.

Businesses can also create pages on LinkedIn, similar to what you would create on other social platforms.  Not only can employees link to your business officially through their profile, but other professionals may choose to follow your business and interact with you.

Being one of the biggest professional social media platforms, LinkedIn gives businesses an unprecedented ability to link to other businesses, professionals, and to share news and product / services information.

While LinkedIn initially served a recruiting and HR function, businesses now have an incredible ability to use this platform for marketing and PR purposes.  Businesses can post content and articles on LinkedIn, and followers can read them, comment and share.

LinkedIn has also proven to be an amazing tool for B2B selling in particular, given the ability to easily connect with professionals and follow companies.

Want Help With Your Social Media Management?

We offer social media management on a per-platform basis, and our monthly pricing is per-platform.  This is because social media is not a one-sized-fits all formula.  Each social platform has it’s own strategy, and it may be different depending on the business and industry.

Based upon our consultation with you about your business and goals, as well as analyzing you industry and the competition, we will put together a recommended social strategy for you — including the platforms that we feel will best suit your business.

From there, we will recommend service levels to support each platform, balance it all to fit within your budget.

 

Packages Start at $300