For me, it’s LinkedIn, followed by Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Choosing the right channel for your business is critical – it’s like buying a property, it’s all about location. You want to be in the neighbourhood that suits you, that’s filled with people you want to see regularly. It should be full of opportunity with the right neighbours so that your value goes up…
I love LinkedIn because of all the opportunities to network. I write a long-form article regularly on the Pulse platform, I scan the updates daily and I often pop into the many groups to see what issues people are discussing. The private message function is a great way to start a dialogue away from email where, let’s face it, conversations often get lost.
Twitter is my personal favourite of all the social media. It’s the fast lane – the quickest way to get updates, the most succinct and up-to-date information and the communist utopia of communication. Everyone can chat to everyone – whether they answer is a different matter! It’s the easiest of all the networks to search, making it the most valuable in terms of research and monitoring. I also love the hashtags – for live news, for research, for finding others at the event you’re attending, for TV programmes and for some of the best humour ever. #thingsthatleaveBritainreeling is one of my favourites.
Facebook is the matriarch. It’s been around a long time but it’s constantly introducing new technology like Facebook Live and marketplace. It is ubiquitous online with links such as Facebook comments on blogs and Facebook logins on shopping websites – you just can’t ignore it. For certain demographics, it beats other social media for cut through and its analytics capabilities make it an extremely useful business tool. I always publish my videos directly onto Facebook as the autoplay function catches lots of eyes and boosts your stats.
YouTube is everyone’s favourite waste of time, but when you’ve finished laughing at the dancing dogs you realise it’s the world’s biggest educator. “How to…” is the most common start of any search and once you’ve drilled that down with some clever search term research you can put yourself in front of millions by making a video. I find making video blogs really good fun, I get a good reaction from my existing network and I spend a lot of time promoting it online to extend its reach. Many a career has been launched with a successful YouTube channel (Justin Bieber being the best example) so ignore it at your peril!
Instagram is addictive. People love looking at pictures, but the process of editing them with filters, captioning them, tagging people, choosing the right hashtags and getting a conversation going is even more rewarding in my opinion. Now you can also post short videos and create stories too – all of which are great ways for companies with visually appealing products to promote themselves. I have heard dozens of stories of connections being made on Instagram which have led to lucrative business deals, so if your company lends itself to visual media, Instagram is a serious contender in the social media space.
Pinterest, Snapchat and Google+ all have great applications depending on your demographic and product or service – as do hundreds of other social media channels. The key is having a strategy. This will not only ensure a return on the investment of your time, but will keep you on track when you feel the temptation to play around or fall down various rabbit holes. Social media is like fire – it’s a good servant but a mad master.
Get in touch with Impact Online.
We can devise your strategy, do your competitor research, train your staff and even manage your channels.
Phone: 07740 336991
I’m working on my dovecote for carrier pigeons too…