UPDATED July 2023
We love social media, right? Right. And as a small business owner, you understand the importance of using social media to connect with customers and brand yourself. There are a variety of social media platforms that offer opportunities to reach new people. We're going to focus on the tried and true major platforms that you can harness the power of today. You’re likely familiar with these platforms, which gives you an edge. Here's how to effectively use social media for your business.
Effectively Use "Facebook" (or "Meta") for Business
Facebook: You can share external links and promote your website. You can share "feelings" and "activities" with your posts. You can join groups and interact with others. You can share lists and polls. You can add directions. Content that caters to these features should be shared on Facebook.
Effectively Use "Instagram" for Business
Instagram: We know Instagram is a photo (and video) heavy phone app. You can add filters to your posts. You can add locations to your posts and tag other users. Hashtags thrive on Instagram...or is it vice versa? You can follow hashtags and keep up with the conversation. You can encourage user engagement with Stories that include: asking questions, polls, gifs, and links. Capitalize on Instagram Reels for video marketing content with high sharability.
Instagram released a Twitter-esque feature called Threads which now brings text posts into the conversation - literally. Check this out: "Posts can be up to 500 characters long and include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes in length."
Effectively Use "Twitter" for Business
Twitter: You can retweet others. You can share bite-sized updates multiple times a day. You can tweet directly to other accounts and have a conversation or chime in on an existing conversation. This platform is a moment in time. Tweets can appear and disappear in a matter of seconds. You can share gifs directly on Twitter to further express your feelings. Tweeting about an update or news to share? I bet there's a gif to bring the point on home. Plus, they're just outright hilarious and so relevant.
Effectively Use "LinkedIn" for Business
LinkedIn: You can connect with other professionals and other businesses. You can also share external links. You can share documents and write articles (or blog posts) directly to LinkedIn as your post or update. You can build a network of similar professionals in your field of work or you can connect with potential clients of your services lean more B2B. You can join groups based on your interest and profession.
Effectively Use "Pinterest" for Business
Pinterest: This is your think tank and a burst of inspiration. This is your digital vision board that can become a reality through some DIY spunk. This platform allows you to organize your thoughts and aspects of your life, basically. Gather up recipes to tweak and share. Gather visuals for staging a home to use for your properties. Use boards to storyboard your ideas. Add notes to those pins to plan your actions.
Make planning boards "secret" for your eyes only. Install the Pinterest extension on your browser (like Chrome) to pin from around the web. Add friends, family or colleagues to a board to collaborate on a project. You can conduct a visual search of Pinterest via a single pin. You can find ideas on making presentations, business cards, productivity tips, promotion ideas and infographics galore!
Effectively Use "YouTube" for Business
YouTube: This is internet TV gold. This social networking platform's whole intent is video. Many businesses have gotten on board with video marketing. You can create and manage your very own video channel that viewers can tune into as often as they wish. With YouTube, the content you create and upload natively can be shared elsewhere online via the provided share options.
This platform allows for longer-form video. This means you can demonstrate how your product works or how your service benefits the user. This means others can literally see you in action. You can embed YouTube videos on your website and in email. These videos are already optimized for mobile use.
Effectively Use "Tumblr" for Business
Tumblr: This social media platform is a microblogging site that allows you to share a thought in various media ways. You can write a post. You can upload a video. You can upload images. You can share audio. You can recap dialogue or chat. You can share it in the form of a quote. You can share a direct link.
Though Tumblr is skewed towards the younger demographic, it's an efficient blog option for the minimalists among us. Tumblr allows you to share content from other users as well. You can also schedule posts. Piggybacking off scheduling posts for a set date and time, you can queue up posts. You can set a timeframe for when you want posts to post on autopilot. For example, set the time span between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. with hour intervals, and as you "queue" posts they'll publish accordingly.
You can "heart," "reblog," reply to and/or share posts - like the sharing capabilities on YouTube. Once you "like" (or heart) a post, similar suggestions immediately pop up for you to check out. Something I value very much in Tumblr is its intro to web design. You have the ability to customize your Tumblr blog, which could totally be your actual website.
Effectively Use "Reddit" for Business
Reddit: The power in this social platform lies in the community forum and link-sharing. There are forums and sub-forums for a host of topics and categories. Anyone on the internet can see posts made on Reddit – the site’s moniker is “the front page of the internet.” This kind of exposure has incredible potential for a business.
You represent your business, but you’ll want to navigate Reddit as a regular user or regular consumer. Because the popular content seen on Reddit forums is at the top of the page due to “upvotes.” Posts can be voted up or voted down by the members. Admittedly, Reddit is uncharted territory for lots of businesses and even marketers.
It’s a community of anonymous users brought together under common topics of interest. There's good potential, especially if your target audience is the end-customer or everyday consumer.
For example, there may be a forum dedicated to home improvement or first-time home buyers. Users often express concern or pose questions. If you’re a real estate agent, you have the knowledge to share and post to answer these kinds of questions. The more you give and answer, users will reach out to you as a resource.
Effectively Use "Meetup" for Business
Meetup: The social networking aspect of Meetup lies in the discussion section of groups. This allows you to talk with other group members and get a conversation going. Like the other social platforms, you can privately message other users as well. Whereas other social platforms have a “group” feature that enhances your experience as a user, Meetup IS that group.
The site’s based around gathering people in a location at a designated time. You know how some social sites are a little different than their app counterparts? The Meetup website and the app operate almost the same. You can start a group based on an interest and once it’s public, other people in the area can see it and join. The interesting thing about this platform is the whole point is to link up in person. Sure, you can chat and plan out meetings and activities on the site, but it’s a springboard for…well…meeting up!
You can leverage this platform to grow a following through weekly or monthly seminars or workshops, depending on your business. When you sign on to host a meetup group, you can start scheduling future meetups that other users can RSVP to.
Use your respective social media platform for its strengths and what it offers. This can define your social media marketing strategy, meaning use the native features of that social media platform. While there are features most social networks share, each one has a feature or two unique to it without the use of external apps or loopholes. Use that to your advantage!
Want to learn more about digital marketing and how best to use it alongside other marketing efforts? Connect with J. E. Hill Digital Marketing on social media.
J. E. Hill Digital Marketing specializes in content writing and website content management. Learn more about my services.