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Speakin’ My Language: Social Media Platform Guide

Ryan Parlee

By Ryan Parlee

Every marketer knows you need to be relevant in social media to compete. Each platform can help to get your product or service out in front of the massive audience of potential online customers. But that’s the problem. The audience is soooo massive; your message could end up buried at the bottom of the wrong person’s feed if you don’t pinpoint the right networks. Or, just as bad, you could end up spreading your resources too thin.

At a basic level, all of the networks are free to use and are great avenues to get your word out especially when you combine the paid advertising options most provide. With just a few cash bucks, you should be able to find the exact customers you’re looking for. Here’s a quick look at some of the pros of the three social media networks that we utilize. We’ll address the cons in an upcoming blog.

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TWITTER

  • Unique – No confusing algorithm like Facebook so your followers will see your tweets… IF they are on when you post. (The average online lifespan of a tweet is 18 minutes.)
  • Efficient – Once you get the hang of the 140 character limit, it’s quite easy (and addicting) to tweet frequently, keeping your brand on your follower’s minds.
  • Trackable – From views by the hour to the number of retweets, the analytics are easy to understand.
  • Automated –  If you don’t have the time to tweet multiple times a day, the folks at Twitter make it easy to share your stuff without you having to sit at the keyboard. Other platforms do have this function; we just think that Twitter’s is the most intuitive, making it easy to extend the reach of your company.
  • Big Reach – Killer content gets retweeted. The more retweets you get, the bigger the social snowball effect can become.
  • Cost – Like Facebook, Twitter is free at the basic level.  Paying for promoted tweets or Twitter for Business are also very budget-friendly.

LINKEDIN

  • Big in B2B – Perhaps the king of the B2B social networks… creating a business page and, even, a group specific to your content is super easy to do.
  • Credible content – Company news, new products/services and industry insights are the top 3 bits of content, with industry insights leading the way.
  • Thought leading – Exchange ideas and position yourself as an expert in the field by creating posts and asking and answering industry skewed questions. LinkedIn’s Pulse feature serves as a pretty powerful opinion swap shop.
  • Recruiting –  The search function allows you to find people seeking a new job with the skill set you are looking for.
  • Research – Know the skinny on a company and its employees before you approach them and attempt a sale or partnership.

FACEBOOK

  • Simple – A simple to set up, easy to understand platform.
  • Affordable – Free to start, with post boosting available for as little as five dollars!
  • Relational –  Easy to build relationships can only enhance sales.
  • Promotional – Brand ambassadors and promoters can tag you in posts, review products/services and unintentionally be a great recruiter.
  • Measurable – Easy to find page insights enable you to view your likes, views, clicks and shares – numbers that can help you determine what content to continue to create.
  • Specific – FB’s ad targeting is super specific, allowing you to make the most out of your cash to conversion rates. The ease of this tool allows business to create multiple marketing campaigns in just a few clicks.

That’s a pretty basic breakdown, and there’s so much more to learn, including how to plan, the frequency of posts and what style you should post in. Along with all of that research, we also suggest asking yourself these questions before you make the decision on which social media platform(s) to engage in (courtesy of super blogger, Tim Grahl.)

  • Does it make sense for me? Is it something I can easily fit into my life?  Do I have time to do it?  After doing some research and observation, do I “get” how it works?
  • Does it make sense for my content? Can I adequately use it for my content or the content I’m sharing?  Do I feel more comfortable producing audio or video instead of written?
  • Do potential fans spend time there? Many authors have an extremely small niche and tracking those people down on Twitter may be too hard.  Your time may be better spent focusing on Facebook groups or large online forums.  Make sure people using the platform are in your tribe’s demographic!

With this social media platform guide and a good understanding of each social media network, you should be able to determine which would work best for you and your content. And, you don’t need us to tell you that there are more options than the three that we have noted above. Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Google+ and a host of others have audiences and options that could work wonders for your brand. Just be certain to make sure you’re posting to the right audience because that audience is huge and just keeps on getting bigger!

Find out how Flying Hippo and inbound marketing can rock your brand!

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