One of Bold Hive's biggest commitments is to fresh and innovative solutions to business needs. And when it comes to social media, one thing we know is that your business doesn't have to be everywhere in order to develop a fresh and innovative social media strategy.
In fact - and especially if you only have limited resources and/or time to commit to social media - you likely only need to be where it's right for your business and brand to be. To explain, you don't want to invest in a specific social media platform if you're not committed to it, and you certainly don't want to invest in one if it's not a good fit for your brand. Otherwise, you risk getting no return: or worse yet, you could damage your brand.
In that regard, if you are looking to maximize the ROI on your social media investment, what is right for you and your brand?
Though Facebook hasn't been the social media platform with the biggest buzz in recent years, this shouldn't detract from the fact that it's still a social media juggernaut. In fact, according to a Pew Internet study on social media use, 66% of Internet users in the United States use Facebook. What's more, these users skew toward an adult demographic.
Thus, the vast majority of businesses will want a Facebook presence. It's an especially apt platform for:
- flexing your graphic design and/or photography muscles (particularly in the form of unique shareable images)
- conducting giveaways (especially if you require users to like, comment, or share in order to participate in the giveaway)
- engaging in conversations with new and loyal followers alike (and these conversations can be most engaging when you ensure that you aren't just filling your Facebook page with direct marketing images and statements)
At first glance, it might not seem as if 140-character updates can do all that much for your brand.
But if your brand targets a younger demographic, then you might want to think again. According to that same Pew Internet study, 27% of young adults ages 18-29 use Twitter. (To compare, the closest demographic behind them are adults ages 30-49, with 15% self-reporting as Twitter users.)
But besides targeting your customers' demographics, Twitter is also useful for:
- paying attention to relevant conversations (including those from competitors, market influencers, and brand loyalists alike)
- promoting a brand event (especially when you can make use of a hashtag that can help you track tweets about the event)
- engaging with your followers (particularly when you are able to share quick responses to their inquiries or concerns)
Instagram is another great place to be if you are looking to create share-able images that generate excitement for your brand. You snap a picture with your phone, add one of Instagram's available filters to the image, and then share it with your followers in a matter of seconds.
Instagram is especially worth considering as a social media platform if you are:
- willing to share images of your business's creative process (especially if your customers are excited by the prospect of seeing what goes on “behind the scenes”)
- branding yourself alongside your company's products (particularly if you and/or someone else are the “faces” of your company)
- wanting an easy way to share news about market events or travels (and then you can think of Instagram as the online event- or travel-journal for your brand)
YouTube isn't only about adorable cats and viral dance crazes. Increasingly, it's also a place where businesses can share unique content and—if they're creating high-quality content—generate a whole host of subscribers.
In that respect, YouTube is the right place for your business if you are:
- creating high-quality video content (and this doesn't mean that you need to shoot it in HD—it just means that it needs to be unique, useful, and really something that YOU would want to watch)
- looking for a non-static approach to social media (especially if you have a visually dynamic business and/or product)
- willing to update your videos regularly (because unless you create the next big viral video, it's not worth pouring company resources into online videos if you only have the time and resources to create one video)
Tumblr is a micro-blogging site that is perfect for niche blogs and/or brands looking to focus on one aspect of their business in a social blogging platform.
Tumblr might be a good fit for you if you are:
- hoping to focus on one facet of your business in a blog (especially since tumblr accounts tend to generate most social buzz when the account has a narrow focus)
- looking to create short blog posts (including posts as short as a caption-less image or a short quote!)
- wanting to expand your image-sharing beyond quick posts on Facebook, Instagram, or other image-sharing sites (because you can say a whole paragraph or more about the picture on tumblr)
LinkedIn should suit you and your business well if you are:
- looking to recruit new employees online (especially since you can make use of their online recruiting tools)
- wanting to keep track of relevant business news (including news shared by the professional groups that LinkedIn allows you to create and/or join)
- hoping to engage with like-minded leaders in your field (both by following their status updates and by “making connections” with relevant business leaders)
Pinterest is a virtual “pin board” where users can “pin” anything and everything that they find interesting. (Think of it like a highly organized and categorized online kitchen corkboard.) It's also no secret that Pinterest appeals mostly to a female audience, with 19% of female Internet users (as opposed to 5% of male Internet users) describing themselves as Pinterest users.
You might consider starting a brand presence on Pinterest if your company is:
- targeting a largely female demographic (and even if you sell products geared mostly for men, remember that there are plenty of Pinterest boards devoted to gift-giving for men)
- promoting products that are image-oriented (especially since each “pin” is accompanied by a relevant image)
- generating high-quality images, how-to's, or other buzzworthy content on your website (particularly since visually stimulating pins can both create excitement for your product and increase traffic for your website)
At Bold Hive, we can help you determine what sort of social media presence makes the most sense for you and your brand and that optimizes the ROI on your social media efforts. You don't have to be everywhere, but you also don't want to miss out on an opportunity to grow your brand and your business with a strong social media strategy.