Twitter. Facebook and Snapchat. Oh my! Instagram. LinkedIn and Youtube. Oh me, oh my!
Most people think that they need to have accounts on all the social media streams to stay relevant and attract new clients. But each stream takes time and energy to manage, so this means that usually one or more of them will go dormant when business becomes too busy to keep them updated on a regular basis. And a little-used social media account looks bad. If potential customers finds your Twitter account only has a few tweets from last summer, they will wonder if you are still in operation.
For these reasons, it’s important to curate your online presence using the appropriate social media platform. So which social media platform(s) are right for your business? To answer this question, you will need to consider goals for using social media and who you want to reach on the internet.
In this two-part series, we will take a closer look at the top social media streams based on business goals.
Goal: Build community and brand loyalty
With their interactive streams, Facebook and Instagram are the best platforms for building a community of customers and, with that, brand loyalty. Through Instagram and Facebook, you can tell the stories behind your products, about your company, and hear feedback from customers quickly. While Instagram is necessarily image-based, Facebook posts with images garner much more attention than text-only posts. It is easy to link these two streams, posting your Instagram photos to Facebook, reaching both sets of audiences.
Pro-tip: Response times matter on Facebook. If a customer sends you a chat via messenger, be sure to reply as soon as you are able. If you know you won’t be on Facebook Messenger as often as you’d like to be, you can set up an automatic reply, suggesting they call or email you if the request is urgent.
Facebook by the Numbers
Instagram by the Numbers
Goal: Connect with Generation Z
Snapchat heightens the meaning of living in the moment. On this platform, each post is only available for a few hours. Thus, maintaining an account can be energy intensive as it requires posting 1-3 times a day to most effectively engage with your audience. However, if your goal is build up your street cred with youthful customers, there’s no better place than Snap. The majority of 18- to 24-year-olds (78%) use Snapchat and most of these users (71%) visit the platform multiple times per day.
Pro-tip: Think fun, creative content. Post pictures of your employees acting goofy behind the scenes or build up hype for new products by posting pics before the release date. On Snap, users want to feel up-close-and-personal with your business. With disappearing content, this is a great channel to let faithful fans in on “secrets.”
Snap by the Numbers
An Inactive Account?
If you experiment with a social media account but find you are unable to keep it active, what should you do? You have a few choices. If you think it is unlikely that you pick it up any time in the near future, you can delete it. Many believe it is better to delete an account than have an inactive, unused one.
However, if you know that you are just going to be on hiatus for a particularly busy season, you can devote one Sunday afternoon to scheduling posts for the next few months. Facebook allows you schedule events for the coming weeks, months and even years. You will want to curate the content so that it is relevant at that future date. Consider posting on holidays or about your products or services that are not apt to change.
(1) Pew Research
(3) Instagram Internal Data
(4) Tech Crunch