You Can Listen to This Article Here
Essential Social Media Platforms for Business
How many social media accounts does your business have?
Actually, not so fast. We’re talking active accounts here; accounts that you or an authorized representative post to on a regular basis. At least once per week, let’s call it.
Two? Three, perhaps? Four, if you’re really diligent?
If your business is already taking full advantage of the sheer diversity of social media marketing vectors out there, that’s great. Keep doing what you’re doing.
Statistically speaking, it’s probably not — especially if it’s on the smaller side, cursed with limited staff and capital resources.
Decision-makers serious about getting the most out of their social media presence needn’t target every platform under the sun, merely those catering to their target audiences.
These four should definitely be on the shortlist, though; here’s how to get the most out of each.
Facebook is the Western world’s most popular social media platform. Its breadth and reach doesn’t mean it’s forgiving, though — there’s plenty you’ll want to avoid doing here.
As far as what you should be doing on Facebook, consider:
- Adding lots of colors and pop to your timeline, a la this popular beverage manufacturer
- Asking a daily or weekly question of your followers
- Answering fans’ questions and concerns promptly
- Avoiding public disagreements with fans — any complaint too touchy or complex to resolve in a quick post warrants a private follow-up
Twitter’s character limit is its greatest strength; less truly is more here. To get the most out of Twitter, be sure to:
- Post about what you know, not whatever fancy strikes you at any given moment
- Share at least one visual-first (i.e., a candid picture or original meme) tweet per day
- Follow the 4-1-1 rule, sharing or promoting at least five pieces of third-party content for every self-promotional post you make
Speaking of pictures, it’s hard to get more visual than Instagram. Remember to:
- Avoid posting trivial or off-brand pics to your “Story”
- Don’t use filters for the sake of filters
- Use Instagram’s built-in editing and writing tools to manipulate your posts, but don’t go overboard
Pinterest is another visual-first medium that can accommodate a surprising amount of information. Use your account to:
- Take your audiences “behind the scenes” of an iterative design process
- Share off-the-wall ideas to use or enjoy your products
- Provide visual hooks for outbound links to long-form content marketing
Find Your Niche
Social media isn’t rocket science, but it does require common sense.
For starters, if you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to review basic best practices for corporate social media and ensure you’re adhering to (at least) their spirit.
Social audiences have long memories; it only takes one serious misstep to tarnish a corporate reputation beyond near-term repair.
Perhaps more importantly, in the long run: you’ll want to find a fertile social niche that plays to your company’s strengths and establishes or reinforces its public-facing brand.
If that means eschewing some of the social media platforms on this list, so be it. In this context, you needn’t take “essential” to mean “mandatory.”