With brands and businesses seeing more opportunities in the online space, they are rushing to find ways to capitalize on it. This means everyone is working to build a social media marketing strategy. The truth is, social media can be one of your most profitable marketing methods. Social media marketing is basically taking traditional marketing practices and using social media platforms as the avenue to deliver them. We recently did a deep dive on all things SMM, which you can read up on here. Beyond using social media for fun, it can also be used to build brand awareness, boost sales and connect with your audience. However if you’re looking to venture into social media marketing or trying to figure out your current strategy it can be a little confusing.
Today’s social media landscape looks very different than it did 10 years ago. There are so many social media platforms in existence, many in which the forms of content overlap. This can make it extremely difficult to determine what social media platforms are best for not only your business but your overall industry. Not every platform will work to your advantage. It’s crucial to understand that to ensure you’re focusing your efforts in the right places.
Before we dive into the best social media platforms based on industries, let’s take a look at the top 3 reasons why you should be using social media if you aren’t already.
Why Use Social Media Marketing?
Build Brand Awareness
Just like with traditional marketing, using social media is a great way to build brand awareness. Today’s generation is less focused on radio and TV. And with everyone having a smartphone in their hand, reaching them online is your best bet. Not only that, but most people research brands and businesses to see their social media presence. So it’s important to be active on social media so you can build an online brand.
Connect With Your Customers
If you’re just looking to build brand awareness and make a few sales you’re missing the point. At the end of the day social media is all about connecting with people. So using social media platforms to connect with your customers should be your priority. It allows you to have a direct line of communication with your target audience. Not only does this help you better understand your customer and gain feedback but you can also get inspiration for new services or products.
Boost Your Sales
Of course the most obvious reason to include social media in your marketing strategy is to boost sales. The above two advantages are factors that can help you increase sales both online and in store. Social media gives you the opportunity to share promotions, new launches and product knowledge directly to your consumers. Asides from that certain social media platforms like Facebook allow you to sell products directly from their platform, giving you even more advantages when it comes to sales.
The Best Social Media Platforms Based On Your Industry
Facebook is one of the social media platforms that regardless of industry you should consider investing time in. With close to 3 billion daily users it’s pretty safe to say it’s a guarantee that your target audience is using it. It’s also one of the first places majority of people turn to when they are researching a business, be it for reviews or to see where they are located.
Having a Facebook Page is also a great option when you’re first starting your business and might not have a website right away. You can share everything from your location and contact details to the types of services or products you offer. For businesses that work on appointments or offer services, you can have clients book directly on Facebook rather than having to contact you. This is great option for people running small businesses who might not have a receptionist to help manage bookings. You can also create a Facebook Shop that allows you to sell your products on Facebook and Instagram.
In addition to all the business information you can add to your Facebook Page, you can also create advertisements to promote your business, page and website on Facebook. This helps you reach an audience that is wider than just those who choose to like your page. Think of it as traditional media buys on TV or in print, but made for the digital age. Your advertisements will show up on people’s feeds with a call to action based on your goals for that particular campaign.
Instagram is the place for marketing on social media because of the wide range of features and content types it offers. You can stick to the classic photos and videos, but if you want to maximize your efforts you should also branch out. Instagram offers Stories, IGTV and Reels platforms which basically incorporate YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok into one platform. So if you’re looking for a social media strategy that is easy to manage and stick to, you should definitively consider Instagram.
Similar to Facebook, Instagram has a huge base with over 1 billion daily users. Pretty much everyone these days as an Instagram account, and probably one for their pets too. It’s a great marketing channel for businesses who rely on visual content as a way of advertising. Anyone in the beauty, art, culinary, fashion and travel industries should especially be using Instagram for marketing. But it’s truly a social media platform that works for everyone. So long as you have visual content to promote your business.
As we mentioned above, Instagram also has features for businesses including Shoppable Posts to help maximize your sales on social media.
You might not think of LinkedIn as one of the social media platforms for marketing. But the platform has come a long way from what started as a job posting and resumé site. Today, LinkedIn is a networking site for the professional world. It’s where industry experts come to exchange ideas, practices and build their personal brands. But it’s also a place for businesses to build their employment brand and attract talent to their team. While we think everyone should be on LinkedIn from a professional branding aspect, not every business benefits from marketing with it.
You should definitively be somewhat active on LinkedIn, be it updating your business information or your own personal profile. Because remember at it’s core, LinkedIn is essential a digital resumé and job site. For businesses of all sizes it’s also a great place to find and recruit talent, even having tools that can support you in the process.
On the other hand, there are some businesses that should definitively be considering LinkedIn as apart of their strategy. Companies in the B2B space, also known as business-to-business. These are businesses who sell their products or services to other businesses. In retail this can be a wholesaler, a window cleaner or a fixtures manufacturer. In the corporate world this might be a recruiting agency or auditing firm. LinkedIn is a great place to discover and network with decision makers at all levels of business.
Depending on what industry you’re in, Pinterest is one of the best platforms for social media marketing, especially for small businesses. They have a user base of close to half a billion people daily. And many of these are people looking for inspiration for things like recipes, home decor, fitness, and beauty. This means there is a big opportunity to market your brand to an audience that is actively looking to be influenced. It’s what makes Pinterest different than other social media platforms where the focus is engagement.
Another great benefit to using Pinterest is that it’s a much more affordable and profitable platforms when it comes to paid advertising. This is great news for businesses that are just starting out or who might have smaller budgets. The only downside is success with Pinterest comes at a cost. Those who benefit from Pinterest are the ones who take time to create quality and consistent content so you can be publishing frequently.
Business that would benefit from using Pinterest are in industries that include style, food, beauty, fitness, travel and design.
YouTube is the go-to platforms for those with a marketing strategy that includes videos, especially in longer formats. What started out as a social network for sharing cat videos has evolved into a hub for information. Second to Google, YouTube is the go-to search engine for those looking for resources. This makes it a great option for those in industries that involve educating or informing your customers.
Depending on your business, a big part of marketing strategies might be educating your customer. This is may involve creating tutorial, product knowledge or informational content. Businesses in industries like beauty for example might want to create tutorial videos on how to use their products. A hot sauce brand might want to showcase recipes that include their products. Or a personal trainer for example might want to share samples of their workouts or nutritional advice with video content. Even a law firm for example can benefit from YouTube by sharing educational videos on different legal topics by breaking it down into simpler terms.
YouTube is one of those platforms similar to Facebook where businesses from a wide range of industries can benefit from it. It’s important to note however that YouTube content does involve some effort and skill especially if you’re looking to create top quality videos. If you are looking to create shorter videos, say under 5 minutes you might want to consider using Facebook or Instagram instead.