Want to start a blog? One of the first things you should figure out, after what kind of content you want to create, is where your audience is most active. As a new business, you want to devote your limited time and resources to the social media outlets that will be most beneficial. Exercising the proper due diligence upfront will save you hours of frustration, and will keep you from maintaining otherwise useless social media profiles.
It’s hard to find people that don’t have a Facebook profile nowadays, and it’s no wonder why. Facebook is the largest social network on the web, with nearly two billion users! That’s worldwide, so regardless of your chosen industry, Facebook could be a great place to start. You don’t have to put your personal life on blast to get started, Facebook has a nifty page feature, which allows you to create a Facebook page separate from your personal profile, just for your business!
Facebook has another great benefit. Facebook Analytics will help you select a target audience. More than that, it will choose the most active times for your audience, and can be used to schedule posts during those times.
You can also create events, make advertisements, and share relevant content from other sources! Your audience can “check-in” to your business, or leave comments and reviews to help you learn how to make their experiences better in the future. So, use it all to your advantage!
Twitter is another platform you can use for almost any business type – learning to limit yourself to 140 characters or less could take some adjustment. Once you conquer that pesky limitation, you’ll find Twitter to be useful in legitimizing and boosting your business’ reach. With over 313 million active monthly users, 82% of which use the mobile app, the sky is the limit!
You can post text, images, videos, and polls easily through Twitter. You can even use the direct message feature to message audience members who had a question, or a customer service inquiry. Twitter also has a live tweeting feature, which allows your audience to see and react to your updates in real time.
Twitter also has a few marketing tools you can use to improve your reach, like Twitter Amplify and promoted tweets. You can also verify your account, or accounts, so that nobody else can legitimately make a mock-up account to debase your brand. Think of it as a security measure, a way to make sure your audience knows that you’re, well, you!
Owned by Facebook, Instagram has more than 700 million active users, and is a visual social platform. Given how Instagram functions, and that it’s such a visual app, not all businesses will flourish through its use. But if you’re a budding photographer and want to start a business, or if you want to blog about your travels, it can be a perfect fit. Otherwise, it’s safest to use it just as a brand-building tool if you’ve already got a decent following.
Something to note about Instagram is that its website, as in the actual site you can pull up on your computer, is comparably limited in its functionality. If you’re comfortable doing most of your business from your phone, this won’t be a problem for you at all.
Are you launching a female-focused blog or company? Pinterest is the way to go. 45% of the women online are using Pinterest, and that’s no percentage to ignore! In addition, 36% of 18-29 year olds use Pinterest, along with 34% of 30-49 year olds. These numbers are great if your brand is intended for women aged 18 to 49. Think crafting or recipe blogs, sites about family or photography, wedding ideas, etc. If you can take or create gorgeous pictures of it, it belongs on Pinterest.
Pinterest, if you haven’t guessed, is a visually-oriented platform like Instagram. In terms of posting frequency, it can be as high- or low-maintenance as you like, and in that way it’s similar to Facebook. There is the added element of keeping your boards organized and search-friendly, and that in itself can be incredibly time-consuming. There are social media scheduling tools that can help you tackle and conquer these hurdles.
You can also make use of the Rich Pins, which are special pins that make the platform seem more straightforward. These pins include extra information for your audience to click through. There are six types of Rich Pins.
- Place pins overlay your pin on a map.
- Article pins are there so your audience can see the article headline, image, author, and description.
- Product pins make shopping through Pinterest a LOT easier, as they show where the item can be purchased and the current selling price.
- Recipe pins will show an ingredients list, cooking time, and serving information.
- Movie pins can show not only ratings of a movie, but also details like release date, director, and main stars.
- App Pins, which simply allows you to share and download apps directly from Pinterest.
If Pinterest is where you think most of your follower base will come from, there are definitely plenty of ways to utilize the app and website!
Want or need to grow your business through networking and referrals? Think you could benefit from a mentorship? LinkedIn is the place for you. With over 65 million business professionals from around the world, and about half of those members having decision-making authority for their companies, there is no better place on the web to network for business purposes. This is especially true for finance and business bloggers, as well as entrepreneurs.
You can take a passive approach to your marketing, which is as simple as making a profile and keeping it updated, building connections over time. You will get the attention of potential clients or customers, as well as possible partners and influencers. Most of this kind of marketing leads to or involves word-of-mouth testimonials for your business, which will give you positive rapport.
You can also go with a more proactive approach to your marketing; the more actively involved you are in your business’ growth, the more effective and quick the results will be. So along with the basic steps of passively promoting yourself and your brand, you’ll want to post status updates and participate in groups. You’ll also want to send messages and invitations to hose in your network groups.
More than that, even with the free account creation, you can pay for advertising if you’ve got some spare funds just for social media, and can upgrade your account. Upgrading your LinkedIn account to “career,” “business,” “sales,” or “hiring will give you extra benefits and contact options.
A majority of Snapchat users in the United States are under the age of 24 and consume more than thirty minutes of content from the popular mobile app a day. With more than 150 million users, any business that hopes to target millennial audiences will find Snapchat to be the perfect media outlet. It’s great for creating unique video content from your business, conducting interviews, and releasing behind-the-scenes footage of what makes your company tick.
While the app still boasts its disappearing content (stories disappear after 24 hours), Snapchat has expanded to allow chat, messaging, image storage, events and more. But because the posts are so fleeting, there’s a lot less pressure to create super-polished content. Alternatively, you can utilize Snap ad space, sponsored geofilters, and sponsored lenses to push your brand!
Once you have your audience, you can easily create interactive content for them with this totally free marketing opportunity.
With all of these free, advertiser-friendly options at your disposal, you can give your business the boost it needs to get off the ground and start earning you money! To start, just pick one or two platforms. This will keep you from going crazy, and help you reach your target audience. Later, when the ball gets rolling, you can experiment with other platforms to expand your reach even farther.