Social Media Marketing: A Wealth of Opportunity for your Business
In the last ten to fifteen years, social media has changed the way businesses market forever. If you want to keep up with your competition, your business needs a strong social media presence now more than ever.
For small businesses and start-ups, knowing where to start with social media can be intimidating. Here at Twenti, we specialise in helping SMEs optimise their online presence, bringing everything from website design to social media expertise together in one place.
Social media marketing can cover everything from paid advertising to content marketing, so it’s important to know where to begin. No matter what else ends up in your digital strategy, social media should be an integral part of it: although it may not reap as many obvious benefits as SEO improvements, social media is a vital ingredient in building up brand reputation and opening up a new world of lead generation. It may take a little work, but there are real business benefits to be found on social media with a little time and effort.
We’ve compiled a quick guide to setting up your social media strategy by focusing on which platforms you should use, what content you should be putting up on them and when you should be posting. To help you cover as many bases as possible, we’ve chosen the top five social media platforms by audience size: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Facebook is the largest and most popular social media platform of our day, so where better to start? With a global audience of 2.32 billion active monthly users, Facebook is commonly used as a research tool for people deciding whether or not to trust a company. As one of the easiest platforms to go viral on with high-quality content, Facebook adverts provide some of the highest return-on-investment rates out there when it comes to social media marketing. In order to help you set up a strong presence on Facebook, here are our key takeaways for the platform:
Facebook’s biggest audience group falls within the bracket of 24-34 year olds, a solid middle ground between platforms which cater to younger audiences and those used by older professionals. As such, you should keep your content light, breezy and fairly informal – as if you were talking to a millennial in person!
When posting on Facebook, it’s vital to avoid lengthy posts. Content with 100-250 characters, or even shorter posts of 60-80 characters, have the highest and most reliable engagement rates. With an emphasis on informal, fun content rather than strict professionality, Facebook is a great platform for business news and updates posted in simple and interactive formats.
Facebook Live videos have even higher rates of engagement, so if you feel confident behind the camera, you should definitely give it a try.
General recommendations: videos and (short!) curated content.
Post Times and Frequency
Ideally, you should be posting on Facebook between 2 to 5 times a week. This helps you stay at the top of people’s feeds without overwhelming them and turning them off your brand. When it comes to specific timings, 12pm, 3pm and 7pm are often recommended as the best times of day to post. Since each time roughly aligns with the breaks people take during a work day, it makes a lot of sense to target the times when most people are online and active. Weekdays see more reliable engagement rates than weekends, whilst evenings and early mornings see the least engagement.
Instagram is a great platform for social media marketing largely because it centres around one of the most engaging forms of content: images. With the introduction of Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, the platform was used by over 50% of businesses at least once within 2018. Instagram is a great place to start you social media campaign because it offers some of the highest rates of shares and likes, averaging a 4.21% engagement rate for brands and businesses. To help you get started, here are our key takeaways for Instagram:
Instagram’s biggest demographic is made up of 18-29 year olds, an audience significantly younger than that of Facebook. In order to keep up with this age group, your content needs to be sharp and snappy, always keeping them on their toes. Although they offer some of the best brand loyalty and engagement rates, its also easy to lose their interest, so keep the content coming!
Instagram is obviously a very visual platform, so making sure your videos and images are the best quality possible is the best place to start. The overall aesthetic and consistency of an Instagram page is key to a brand’s presence online, so establishing a standard colour palette, filter settings and caption layout is vital. When it comes to content, quotations, product photos, influencer images and Instagram Stories have the highest potential for return-on-investment results.
General recommendations: high-resolution (and branded!) photos, motivational quotations and Instagram Stories.
Post Times and Frequency
On average, businesses post 27 images a month on Instagram, largely because there has been no recorded decrease in engagement when brands increase their posting rate. However, general industry recommendations say that once a day is a great pace to set, although you should avoid doing this seven days a week. On Instagram, consistency is more important than frequency; with the new algorithm in place, content is more likely to show up on your follower’s feeds if you consistently update them in a predictable manner.
Following Instagram, YouTube also hosts one of the most interactive and engaging forms of content available to your business. Video tutorials, announcements and behind-the-scenes tours are a great way to humanise your brand and increase your online visibility. Our general tips would be to make sure you have search-friendly titles and catchy thumbnails on your videos to make sure people want to click on your content each and every time! For more specific takeaways, our recommendations are:
YouTube’s biggest demographic falls under 18 to 34 year olds, an age group which is larger than most. This means that YouTube is a very flexible platform as it appeals to a wide audience of varying expertise.
Obviously, videos are the best kind of content to upload to YouTube, but for business accounts informative tutorials and ‘how-tos’ perform particularly well. By making the title user-friendly and concise, businesses see high engagement rates on videos which help the viewer solve a problem. By creating a detailed video guide explaining the ins-and-outs of your service or product, you can easily provide great customer service with relatively little effort. Not only does this make your audience think better of you, but it also stops you from troubleshooting any issues with customers in more lengthy and costly ways!
General recommendations: short but engaging videos and tutorials. Videos also do better if they’re kept relatively short, ideally between 5 to 20 minutes long.
Post Times and Frequency
When starting a YouTube account, its always a good idea to get some content up on your profile quickly so that viewers know you are an active and authoritative account. Once you’ve established an audience, however, consistency is very important. You should aim to upload between 2 to 3 videos a week and establish a consistent schedule so that you audience knows when to check back with your account. Thursdays and Fridays between 12pm and 3pm see the best engagement rates, whilst you should avoid uploading on Mondays and Tuesdays as much as possible. A great way to let your audience know what to expect is to quickly specify at the end of the video or in its description when they can next expect an upload from you or what your general upload schedule looks like.
LinkedIn is probably not the first platform you think of when it comes to social media marketing, but it provides a unique opportunity for your business to post high-quality content for a professional, business-focused audience. Unlike Instagram, Facebook or YouTube, a strong LinkedIn profile makes your business look authoritative and established, so make sure your brand makes the most of that! As a platform, LinkedIn is very different from the other social medias in this article; rather than producing interesting or entertaining content, your LinkedIn should only be populated by professional updates, qualifications and articles. When it comes to posting content on LinkedIn, these are our key takeaways:
LinkedIn offers a huge network of professional as well as personal connections, and their biggest demographic is 30 to 64 year olds. As such, your content should be tailored to fit this audience with less colloquial and flashy content. Brand authority is more important on LinkedIn than any other social media platform; almost half of LinkedIn users have decision-making authority for their companies, so putting your best foot forward is vital to making a good impression.
Content on LinkedIn can be a lot more long-form than posts on Facebook or YouTube because the majority of your audience will be searching for business-focused and informative posts. Company news, updates and achievements all make for great content on LinkedIn, and you can also branch out into professional content such as webinars and industry news. If your business is also running an online blog, this can fit perfectly with LinkedIn; by repurposing your best-performing blog content, you can efficiently increase your overall online presence.
General reccomendations: curated blog content and longer articles on company or industry news.
Post Times and Frequency
The best performing posts on LinkedIn are usually published on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, midway through the week. The engagement rates for individual posts drops significantly for accounts who publish more than five times a week, so the optimal update frequency lies between 2 to four times weekly.
Twitter is perhaps the most informal platform for your social media presence, so it makes for a great place to try out new strategies and approaches to digital marketing. Twitter has a huge audience of very active users, so its often the social platform that businesses see most direct engagement on. If you’re setting up a Twitter account, you should keep in mind that customers will often use the platform to ask questions, note complaints and interact with your brand overall.
Twitter’s biggest demographic is 18 to 29 year olds so, much like Instagram, your content should be engaging and fairly informal in tone. This audience doesn’t mind if business accounts Tweet a lot fairly frequently, so don’t be afraid to keep the updates coming. That being said, do avoid tweeting excessively in a short period of time. Many businesses tend to overuse their Twitter platform if they’re trying to take advantage of a new trend or viral hashtag, something which audiences see right through. Try to get the balance right by tweeting no more than two or three times a day on average.
Short-form updates, shout-outs, announcements and customer engagement is some of the best content to put up on Twitter. As a platform, Twitter is often used to link all your social media accounts together, so make sure to include your other pages in your Twitter bio. By keeping your content short and efficient, your business should aim to have quick responses and consistent activity on Twitter.
General reccomendations: short-form informative content and responses to customer engagement.
Post Times and Frequency
There’s almost no correlation between the amount an account Tweets and the engagement they receive, so make sure to use Twitter as often as it is necessary. Anytime there’s a meaningful update, announcement or query, Twitter should be your first stop. When it comes to specific timings, Fridays between 9 and 10 am seem to do best, whilst Sunday mornings receive much lower rates of engagement.
Where does Twenti come in?
Social media is a brilliant place to start optimising your business’s relationship with its audience, but establishing yourself online involves many more factors. Not only does social media provide a great means for engaging customers both new and old, but it also allows you to promote new products or services on highly trafficked platforms.
Starting and maintaining your business’s social media pages can be a confusing and lengthy task, so Twenti makes the whole process simple: by bringing together all the tools and expertise your business needs, you can save time and fuel real business growth.
Social media has many uses: engaging with customers, selling products, and of course promoting your brand. Within the last few years, social media has taken off as a central influence in consumer’s buying habits – and it’s time to leverage this.
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