• Eloise Stewart

An Introduction to Social Media Platforms



You know you need to be on social media but you don’t REALLY know how the platforms differ.


or


You are easily overwhelmed by the newest social media platform.


Feel familiar? Keep reading.


We are going to break down 8 of the social media platforms that are the most widely used social networks by businesses and consumers.




8 Social Media Platforms for Business


Facebook. | Instagram | Pinterest | LinkedIn

YouTube | Twitter | Snapchat | TikTok


FACEBOOK


Facebook is not dead! Facebook is the largest platform with around two billion users a month. There are more than 65 million businesses with a Facebook Page created.


What is it great for?

Facebook’s advertising platform (how you create ads on Facebook and Instagram) is robust and complex, enabling you to customize who sees your ad, where they see it, and when they see it. The data you can gather from Facebook ads can be extremely helpful in understanding your target audience and your ROI.


What can I do with this platform? (a few ideas)

  • Post pictures, videos, and well-design graphics regularly

  • Post on Facebook Stories (similar to Instagram Stories)

  • Always include links and a Call to Action in your post comments (Ex: comment below, head to this link, share with others, etc.)

  • Ad photos in albums to organize your products, services, or events

  • ALWAYS respond to comments from your followers - engage with them!

  • Create an Ad in the Ads manager for a specific product and service

  • Consider creating a Facebook group (different from a FB business page)

  • Consider hosting a Facebook Live (live video that you can save and repurpose)


INSTAGRAM



Instagram started as a photo-sharing platform and was purchased by Facebook in 2012 so they follow some of the same functions and honor some of the same types of content. When you create an ad on Facebook, it will appear on Instagram. When you post on Instagram, you can automatically post on Facebook. Although Instagram has added many features and grown in recent years, quality photography and videography will always do better than text heavy graphics and low quality images.


What is it great for?

Instagram is great for businesses who offer services and products BUT those who offer products, can really benefit from the shopping features that Instagram offers. If you are targeting a younger audience, they are more likely to engage on Instagram over Facebook.

If you have a creative business, Instagram is a great platform to show your work.


What can I do with this platform? (a few ideas)

  • Hashtags are your friend on Instagram. You want to use hashtags for words or phrases that people would search for. Your post will appear in the search results if someone searches for “resume tips” if you had “#resumetips” in your caption or in a comment in your post. You can have up to 30 hashtags on each post.

  • Instagram does not allow clickable links in the captions (Facebook does). You have 1 URL in your Instagram bio. We recommend using sites like Linktr.ee to create a list of links. Learn more here.

  • Utilize IGTV - it is a newer feature that allows you to post videos that are longer than 60 seconds.

  • Be active on Instagram Stories because more people look at this content then scroll through posts on their feed. Draw attention to your posts, post videos, post behind-the-scenes shots, post polls or questions, post boomerang videos, etc. Be creative and know that it doesn’t have to look perfect. It will disappear in 24 hours!

  • You want to make sure people can see your IG stories for more than 24 hours, you can add them to Highlight Categories. You can have a Highlight category named “Sale” and you can add all of your sale items to that highlight. You can delete stories from the highlight when the item is no longer on sale.

  • If you have products to sell, research how to use Instagram shopping so followers can click on your post and easily buy from your post.

  • There are many apps that allow you to plan and schedule your posts for Instagram. We like Planoly and Later. When you post on Instagram, you can send your post to Facebook automatically! Just make sure your Facebook business page is connected to your Instagram in your settings.

PINTEREST



Pinterest is an incredible social media tool because it is also an image-based search engine.

You can search for anything and find examples, inspiration, products, and tutorials through a feed of “pins”. Instead of posts, we call them pins (like pinning a pin on a board).


What is it great for?

This platform is primarily used by females. This platform is not for all businesses and we don’t recommend it for all of our clients because (1) their target audience is not on Pinterest, (2) their efforts should be focused on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Youtube, and (3) they don’t have a blog that they can send people to from their pins.


Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube want you to stay on their platforms for as long as possible. Pinterest wants you to click on a link related to the pin and go to that external website. They want to be a trusted search engine that you keep returning to because you found what you were looking for. Therefore, you always want to have a link associated with your pin. This platform is perfect for bloggers and influencers.


What can I do with this platform? (a few ideas)

  • Two main terms for you to know - “boards” and “pins”. Think about a physical bulletin board in your office with pictures and articles pinned to it. Pinterest is a virtual and better organized version!

  • Predominantly you will find pins on décor, home improvement, food, art, fashion, wedding inspiration, and travel. But that does not mean you can create a pin that leads people to a blog post on how to prepare for a job interview or how to clean your workout clothes well.

  • Make sure you have organized boards. If you have content that is pinned to a board that is for your eyes only, make it private!

  • You can post photos, graphics, or videos. The caption for each pin is very important as it helps with the search engine aspect of the platform. Use words that people would be searching for.

  • If you sell physical products, this is a great place to share content and reach a large audience because it is not geographically bound.

  • If you are wanting to sell clothes or household products, it is best to show the products in use.



LINKEDIN


Personal Page | Business Page


LinkedIn is the largest professional network that connects professionals together and houses one of the leading job boards. LinkedIn has replaced the professional rolodex of business cards as you can connect with professionals across the globe and easily access their full professional bio.


What is great for?

Unfortunately, we have seen many businesses and professionals use LinkedIn incorrectly. Not all content shared on Instagram and Facebook should be shared to LinkedIn. If you want results and engagement on any platform, use it for its intended purpose. The content that is shared on this platform should be educational, career related, team focused, or job and opportunity related. Don’t post about a house that you are listing as a real estate agent on LinkedIn. Post that on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


What can I do with this platform? (a few ideas)

  • As with Facebook, you can have a personal LinkedIn and LinkedIn business page. I recommend having both. I have a personal page as a professional but we also have a business page where we share educational and career related content, we share about our team and achievements, we post about internships and jobs available.

  • When we had an position opening, we used LinkedIn to post our job posting and received 90 applicants in 2 weeks.

  • This platform is great for learning as it has online courses.

  • Use this platform to connect with professionals in all industries.

  • You don’t have to create all the content - Check the news feed frequently and comment on posts and articles. Share articles by others.

YOUTUBE



YouTube is a video sharing platform but it is also a powerful search engine as it is related to Google. Younger audiences are now using YouTube to learn and find information much like older generations would use Google.


What is great for?

This is great for businesses who share educational content or content that is best seen, not read. If your customers always ask you about a specific topic or how to do something, consider creating a video for it. YouTube can help you build a reputation for being an expert in your field.


What can I do with this platform? (a few ideas)

  • If you only share videos occasionally, it is still good to have a YouTube Channel because it can serve as a public library of all your content.

  • Consider adding “meet the team” videos, about videos, how-to videos, and promotional videos

  • You can house “unlisted” and public videos. Meaning you can house videos that are only for internal use or specific audiences.

  • Remember to organize your videos into playlists so people can easily see your different types of content.

  • Do research on YouTube SEO to better understand how words in your video or in your caption can help them appear more often to users that don’t already subscribe to your channel.


TWITTER



What is great for?

Twitter is the perfect platform if you share information that is concise and is best delivered in the moment. This platform will serve you well if you are active in engaging with other user’s tweets (tweets are posts). Not all of our clients have Twitter as it does not fit their personality, content, or ability to post frequently on the fly.


What can I do with this platform? (a few ideas)

  • Post tweets about breaking news or announcements

  • This platform is best used for easily digestible textual content like how-to articles, listicles and quotations.

  • The platform does allow you to post links and photos. If you plan on posting photos, it is important to make sure it displays your information in the right dimensions.

  • Utilize hashtags and links in your tweets to grow your audience and gain engagement.


SNAP CHAT



Snapchat is great for reaching younger generations like generation z and millennials with short form videos or photos. We do not use this platform for our current clients but know other businesses who do. This is mainly great for a brand that will be active often. This also allows for content to be shared that is more laid back and in real time, like Facebook and Instagram Stories. A new feature that has been added to Snapchat lately are Snapchat Shows. A business can invest ad money into running an add during these Snapchat Shows which allows for you to reach a certain target audience with no geographic bounds.


TIK TOK


Click the image to see how Auburn Candle Company made a viral video!


TikTok is the newest social media platform to become a hit, though it has been around for some time. This platform is perfect for reaching generation z by using short video content. The platform allows for a lot of special effects and music to be used to make your videos more captivating. This has become the world’s most downloaded app and has surpassed YouTube as the most used entertainment focused app. This is a way to make fun and humorous videos if that fits your brand.



We hope this has given you helpful information that makes you feel more confident about running your brand or business’s social media. If you are still feeling weary, don’t worry, we are here to help! We offer monthly consulting to help with your branding, creative strategy, and social media needs! Contact Us!


CONTACT ELOISE:

eloise@eloisedesignco.com  |  334.430.1686

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