Kaitlin was contemplating her options; so many platforms.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, the list goes on. Not to mention her own website and blog.
How could she possibly keep an active presence on all these platforms and still run her business. It just wasn’t possible.
After all, she was busy enough as it was and her business was profiting. How important could social media possibly be?
Not for the first time, Kaitlin closed her laptop and walked away from an inactive Facebook page, a partially completed LinkedIn profile, and decided she was better off without the hassle.
Where should a business begin? How many social media platforms are necessary? Is there an ideal number?
We recently shared an infographic here on your ideal length of post for these platforms.
But how are you to know whether you even want your business there? Is there such thing as too much social media presence?
I’m going to give you a quick reference guide of my favourite major players.
If you haven’t heard of Facebook… well you should probably just stop reading this article and skip right to giving me a call. Facebook is a social sharing site that boasts 1 BILLION users worldwide.
It is the largest opportunity for businesses to communicate with consumers in a non-intrusive way. Facebook users DO NOT want to be bombarded with sales posts and Facebook will punish pages who come across as overly salesy.
Did I mention 1 BILLION users? In my humble opinion, EVERY business, everywhere, needs to have an active Facebook presence.
The ideal times to post to Facebook are when your fans are active online which a quick peek at your page’s insights will tell you.
Stats make you cross-eyed? Then the best rule of thumb I have for you is to post Thursday and Friday evenings. If nothing else, you don’t want to miss that window on Facebook.
Instagram is Facebook’s cooler, younger brother. Instagram is a social media sharing site, where users share through pictures and (more recently) 15 second video clips.
Many brands are participating in Instagram making great use of #hashtags, and posting images that resonate with their consumers. Too cool for #hashtags? Don’t be silly. These things have MAJOR marketing potential.
At last count, Instagram had a cool 200 million active users. Instagram ranked second in my list because it’s just SO EASY.
Instagram’s sweet spot for posts are off typical work hours. It can be used to speak directly to your consumers or to other businesses.
Twitter is a micro-blogging social media site that limits your posts to 140 characters.
The majority of Twitter users are currently in the US but does have worldwide users and is growing in other countries.
There are approximately 5700 tweets every second. That’s a lot of twittering!
Twitter is great for businesses who want direct fast-actionable to their consumers. Lunchtime special? Tweet it. Need to pack an empty restaurant? Tweet, tweet, tweet.
Twitter has an impressive 241 million active users. Just be sure you’re delivering quality content and building relationships. Don’t tweet and then abandon the discussion.
The hot times to tweet are at noon, and 6pm.
LinkedIn is a business oriented social media networking site. It is used for business to business connections. Brands that are participating in LinkedIn are corporate brands and they are using the platform to give potential and current associates a place to network and connect.
Whether or not your business is active on LinkedIn is a judgement call but I would highly recommend that YOU as the entrepreneur you are, have an active and up to date profile. This does not mean copy and paste your resume to your profile. Play up LinkedIn’s personal SEO, jazz up your profile, and play to your strengths. Expand your network outside your current contact list and use it all to build your network.
There are 300 million active users on LinkedIn and 79% are over 35 years old.
The ideal time to post to LinkedIn is during commuting hours aka 7-8am, and 5-6pm.
Pinterest is a social media discovery site where users can pin and share posts they like. Pinterest is not universally useful for businesses.
There are currently 20 million active Pinterest users, 17% are male and 83% are female.
Saturday is the day to post, with the exception of 3pm Fridays for Fashion and Retail posts.
You know, the one that your mom said to be nice to because he was going to be the next Bill Gates (no? just me then?). It is a social network site built by Google that allows brands and users to build circles, which are akin to targeting your Facebook lists.
If that last sentence sounds all Greek to you – have no fear. Google+ may not be where you need to be anyways. There are fewer active brands on Google+ compared to the other social media platforms. However, the brands that are active are doing exceptionally well with a strong following.
There are 540 million active users with the most active demographic being 25-35 year olds.
The sweet spot for Google+ posts are Monday-Thursday, from 9-11am.
I can’t read your mind and decide which platforms you need to be on. I can tell you that most successful brands are active on at least 2-3 of these platforms. You want to be absolutely killing it with excellent content on these 2-3 platforms.
Three Rules to Rock Social Media
- Do not sell, sell, sell! Your consumers won’t like it and your social media presence with crash and burn before you can say “Buy one – get one!” If you must post sales content follow the 80/20 guideline (20 being the sales ratio)
- Do not post and abandon. Interact with your clients. Get them engaged in what you’re doing and what you’re posting. Use these opportunities to forge a relationship and rapport.
- Be real. Know what people like to know about? You. In the over-sharing world we live in we want to know who is behind the scenes. Don’t want to share every detail of your personal life? That’s okay. Just find a way to connect with your followers that is genuine and build on it.
Still don’t know where to start? Start with Facebook. I can think of 1 billion reasons why.
Contact us here if you need more hands on deck to manage your social media presence.
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Sources for stats: