Social Media Marketing: (Part 2) Where do I even begin?

Feature Image_Blog_2 Author: Bradley Petyak


As we discussed in our previous blog, Social Media Marketing is a virtual must-have for small businesses to advertise their presence, build trust with consumers, and build up their brand.[1] In an age where we are given hundreds of choices for how to connect on the world wide web, how are business owners supposed to keep up with the ever-evolving Digital Age of Marketing and Public Relations? Thanks to the efforts of our graciously empathetic 'technolords', the task of identifying which Social Media sites you should focus on and creating a Social Media page for your business is NOT as hard as it seems. Anyone can make a successful Social Media platform for their business, whether it be for a company specializing in creating Interface Software for Healthcare Distributors, or for a company specializing in Custom T-shirts and Sweaters for Cats.

Within this blog, we will tell you the Top 10 Social Media outlets for businesses in the United States, the demographics and appeal of the Top 5, and, finally and most importantly, we’ll explain the process of creating a page for your business on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. By the end of reading this, hopefully you, too, will feel confident in your ability to market your business online.

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What are the most popular Social Media Marketing platforms?


Anyone who experienced the long forgotten Dark Age of MySpace is well aware that the popularity of any given Social Media site is subject to change over time. It’s impossible to say where the market will be in the next year, let alone the next decade, but for the purposes of planning for the moment, the following sites currently hold high places in user popularity and importance for small businesses’ presences.[3]



Facebook

Practically everyone uses it. 

Facebook is used by ¾ of American internet users, and with its targeted advertising based on user input data, you can ensure that people who frequently “like” content related to your business will see advertisements for your company.


Google Plus

Have the search results work for you.

As Google Plus is supported by Google, the number one search engine in the world, the Search Engine Optimization of the site makes it more than worthwhile. Search Engine Optimization means that when people look up your company or are looking for business related to your company in your area, there’s a good chance that your page will be in the top results.


Yelp

Five Star ratings can work wonders.

Yelp is a frequently used tool consumers and businesses use to evaluate the quality of work a company provides. With this in mind, you can’t directly control reviews, but you CAN keep on the up and up of public relations and provide enough resources on your Yelp so that consumers and businesses can get as accurate and appealing picture of your company as possible.


Instagram

A picture is worth a thousand words.

As the old cliche states above, pictures of your product or service at work can say volumes more about your business than simple text, and appealing pictures and videos through Instagram can create a fantastic reputation: while Yelp and Google Plus make sure your business can come up quickly in search engines, Instagram helps provide the kinds of pictures you would want be associated with your business.


Twitter

Brevity is the soul of wit.

While not as popular as Facebook, Twitter is still used by nearly half of all Millennials, and the site contains many of the same targeted advertisements as Facebook. In addition, dialogue with consumers and other businesses is extremely simple and effective.


YouTube

Be part of the future of video broadcasting.

While unconventional in nature, YouTube is a great way to make people interested in your videos. While placing advertisements at the beginning of targeted videos comes at a cost, uploading videos is completely free, and with adults between 18 and 34 watching YouTube far more often than cable television,[3] YouTube is well worth the investment.


Pinterest

A modern product magazine that everyone gets to see.

Pinterest is the YouTube of image social media-- you can target your image to users, and while targeting and advertising has a cost, creating content is free. The site reaches a quarter of all American users, with women outnumbering men on the site 4 to 1.[3]


LinkedIn

Straighten your digital tie.

LinkedIn is easily the most popular and respected social media website for business to business work. While many of these programs primarily target consumers, LinkedIn is geared primarily towards professional endeavors in gaining new employees and networking between companies. While your public presence shoots to the forefront of local consciousness with the other media, why not take some time to make sure you look just as good behind the scenes?


Meetup

Find your business mates.

Meetup is a relatively new social media website where you can organize meetings between your company and other businesses in the same field in your area. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use the site to organize events at your business to encourage consumers to see what you have to offer.


Vine

Six seconds could give you several new consumers.

Owned by Twitter, Vine is another relatively new social media service that utilizes six-second video clips to communicate between users. As this service is used by 25% of all American teenagers and it increases in traffic over the weekend,[3] Vine is definitely a social media service to keep an eye on.


Who are these Social Media platforms reaching?

The statistics to the right from January of 2016 demonstrate that roughly 60% of people in the United States use Social Media. Extrapolating from this, simply by using Social Media to begin with, you are reaching a gigantic portion of the market. Continuing on from this finding, we can zoom in on some of those Social Media sites to isolate who is using them and thus find which of the outlets you should focus on using as a promotional tool based on who it is your business is trying to sell to. 20160226_USA Digital Statistics


Who is Facebook reaching?

Facebook is by far the most popular social media website in the United States: as the graphic shows, the site is used by a majority of all age groups over 18, and it boasts a hefty 87% of all adults between the ages of 18 and 29 as users.
Image_Facebook Stats

Who is Google+ reaching?

Google has made it difficult to quantify how many users Google+ has, but a vast majority of its users are in the United States.
Image_Google Stats


Who is Yelp reaching? 

Yelp boasts over 142 million users and over 100 million reviews, most of which are in the ballpark of 4-5 stars.[3] The majority of users are women with college degrees, with an average age of about 44.
Image_Yelp (1) Sats


Who is Instagram reaching? 

Instagram can’t boast Facebook’s gargantuan numbers of the population as a whole, but Instagram does boast having 53% of all adults between the ages of 18 and 29 as users.
Image_Instagram Stats


Who is Twitter reaching? 

Twitter holds about 37% of people between 18-29 as users, and over 50% of users check the site every day.[3]
Image_Twitter Stats


How does creating a page work for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter?

Image_Stock (1)The User-Level Structure (or, in layman’s terms, the process through which you interact with something) is relatively similar for Facebook and LinkedIn. In both cases, you register an account to your individual name, which, for the sake of argument, we’ll assume to be Sonny Jim.

After registering your account through your e-mail address and confirming a password, you will have time to create a Sonny Jim profile (which should include, at the very least, a picture). After finishing your Sonny Jim page, you are then able to create the page for your company, which may or may not be called “Cuddly Clothes for Kitties.” On Facebook and LinkedIn, your Sonny Jim page will effectively be the administrator of this company page: you have the power to edit the page as you wish, but it is a separate page from your individual profile. Your employees can be listed by agreeing to sign onto the website individually, create their own profiles, and either register themselves as working there with your consent, or you can invite them to be listed there with their consent. From there, you post your content as you will on your company’s page.

Twitter, on the other hand, is a far more simple yet limited interface: you create an account and confirm your e-mail and password, as you did before, but you are not making a Sonny Jim profile-- instead, you are directly responsible for making sure that your business, which may or may not be related to adorable feline articles of clothing, is on the profile in question. You are directly controlling the page and posting content through that, which means that while you don’t have sections directly related to employees/members as with LinkedIn and Facebook, you’re free to directly manage what content you wish to show to consumers and other businesses about your company. Feel free to make a Sonny Jim Twitter profile for yourself, though.


Where can I search for further help?


Here are a few resources you can use to help you make your page!

Conclusion

Different Social Media sites satiate various needs companies hold:
  • Facebook and Twitter help create a social presence
  • Yelp increase local reputation
  • Google+ makes your company more visible through search engines
  • Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Vine help make your company look more entertaining and appealing
  • LinkedIn and MeetUp help you look more professional in business to business interactions.
With so many users in the United States on all of these websites and the relatively negligible amount of time needed to create a profile and manage a company’s presence online, it only makes sense to give social media a priority for your business. If you’re savvy enough to be reading this newsletter, you already have all the computer skills you could conceivably need to make your own profile on any and all of these sites today.

Image_Stock (2)So, with this in mind, prepare some witty quips, produce some appealing pictures, film some quick humorous advertisements, and write up the most flattering summary of your business you can think of, and soon, your company can expect a whole lot more customers, respect, and (if all goes especially well) internet memes about how good your marketing department must be.
Kitten Sweaters, as always, are optional.

 

Questions?

Contact Us by email at alliaudrey@idesigncollaborative.com.


  [1] http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-media-purchase-decisions/495780
[2] http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/
[3] https://www.inboundboulder.com/blog/top-10-social-media-websites-for-small-businesses
[4] http://wearesocial.com/uk/special-reports/digital-in-2016
[5] http://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/#google+
[6] https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-social-media
[7] https://www.yelpblog.com/2013/06/nielsen-4-out-of-5-yelp-users-visit-the-site-when-preparing-to-spend-money-at-a-local-business