17 Aug Creating Badass Social Channels For Your Business
Once you’ve got your website up and running for your newly named-and-registered business, you’ll need to get your social channels on air.
But here’s the thing: You don’t need to have all of them.
Part of budgeting your time and sanity is going to be figuring out which social media channel is best for your type of business. It’ll be different if your main audience is other professionals in your field (B2B) than if your main audience is consumers (B2C). It’ll be different if the people interested in your product are Starbucks-drinking millennial women or scotch-drinking Silent Generation men (in the latter case, you might want to rethink using social media at all).
All of the following channels have tools available for businesses and advertisers. In some cases, you’ll decide it’s worth it to invest in those tools and promote your posts; in other cases, heck, you’ll build a good following and can just run the channel like you’d run your own. Just please, for the love of Pete, don’t post #hotdogsorlegs pictures. Unless, you know, you’re starting a hot dog truck.
Finally, whichever channels you choose, you’ll want to be reasonably consistent. None of this tweet-once-every-seven-months nonsense. So consider that as you make your decisions. There are some awesome scheduling services for certain channels (like Planoly for Instagram), but for something like Snapchat, you can’t really plan ahead. It’s all about being in-the-moment.
If there’s anything visually appealing about your business, you should probably have an Instagram account. Get inspiration from popular accounts, both in and out of your field. Then take some sample photos and edit them consistently to figure out what you want your aesthetic to be. Use your voice in your captions. And once you’re comfortable with the photos and captions you’re posting, consider if you want to add in stories to connect with your audience on an even more personal level.
Key for: Artists, creators, designers, travelers, photographers
Once the exclusive territory of college students, now the dominion of viral video sharing and mommy photo albums, Facebook has unique value as a backup website and the most ubiquitous social channel. It provides an easy way to let people get in touch with you, find your hours or website, leave reviews, and see what’s important to you. It’s also a great place to share the content you’re creating for your website.
Key for: Service industry members, businesses with a physical product
Twitter is an incredibly powerful platform for real-time interactions and customer service. A word of caution: Twitter probably has the most thoughtful-yet-vocal user base (besides Reddit). So stay in tune with what’s happening on Twitter, be aware of the context of whatever is going on in the world, and don’t tweet about what you don’t know. But don’t let that scare you away. All social media requires some care and a thick skin, and the reward of the personal loyalty you can gain by engaging with your audience is worth it.
Key for: Brands that have something to say, consumer brands
The most important social network for B2B marketing, LinkedIn has a deep understanding of how businesses and word-of-mouth works. It also offers great small-business resources to help you get started. When you have educational or thought-provoking, industry-specific content to share, LinkedIn is a great place to do so.
Key for: Businesses that need to connect with others in the industry
One of the best features of Google+ is its Communities, which allows you to create or participate in interest groups for people to connect with you, your content and one another. Google+ also features Pinterest-type Collections (Pinterest isn’t on this list of social channels, but it’s another one you can consider if you’re positioning yourself as a tastemaker in your field). One of your goals will be to be featured in others’ Collections — it’s basically like getting media placement.
Brands that do Google+ well:
Key for: Brands that want to exchange ideas and cultivate communities
One of the biggest benefits of Snapchat is its young demographic. You do have the option to create ads and leverage events through Snapchat’s geo-related features, but you’ll also want to develop a strategy if you’re going to use the instant, raw storytelling functionality of this platform. Because the main way to follow people via Snapchat is not through sharing but through searching a particular user’s name, you’ll want to advertise your Snapchat outside of the app, such as on your website, when you’re first getting started.
Key for: Businesses with a young target audience