A Quick and Dirty Guide to 6 Social Media Platforms

So you say you want to use social media, but you don’t know where to start and why.

Here’s a quick and dirty guide to the major platforms

#1: Facebook

What: Most people list Facebook as the number one, but that’s probably because it was there first, It’s straightforward and easy to use, as well as adjustable to any income. You can promote a post or create an ad relatively cheaply. Regardless, it’s a good place for regular updates about your brand.

How: Create a business page with attractive visuals, a few posts that give updates about the service or product you provide, and start by inviting your friends to “like” the page. From there, think about paid social options to expand your likes.

Why: Facebook can be especially good for local brands, brands looking to attract an older audience, and anyone interested in getting their foot in the door or paid social.

#2: Twitter

What: Twitter is the global water cooler, the place where your brand can chime in on whatever conversation your audience is already having, or start a conversation. For engagement, there’s no better place than Twitte. Paid social is an option on Twitter, and if you find the right Twitter community you can grow your following through regular and consistent content marketing. Organic social shouldn’t be a problem here.

How: Decide what your Twitter personality is going to be; funny? Informative? Conversational? Figure out your brand personality for engagement, and then consistently roll out a Twitter schedule. For example, every Tuesday to do a gratitude tweet, where you find a different reason you’re grateful for your followers. Set aside an hour each day to find tweets to engage with. Ask a question on Wednesdays and wait for answers. Be funny on Fridays and tweet about the weekend. And always always use #hashtags.

Why: Twitter is a must for brands looking to be really active on social with content marketing. It’s also becoming one of the first places people will look online to find your brand if they want to tag you in a compliment or a complaint, either of which you should be noting, anyway.

#3: Pinterest

What: If your brand is remotely visual, you should probably be on Pinterest. Pinterest is the heart of content marketing, and especially geared towards the fashion, cooking, and DIY industry. Paid pins is a good way to get started, or you can opt for simply making boards that feature your products.

How: If you’re unfamiliar with Pinterest, it’s one of those platforms you need to spend some time looking at how other brands use it. Come up with clever, brand-appropriate names for your boards, and showcase your products with tips on how to use them. Create inspiration boards, and re-pin pins from influencers you’d like to have in your community.

Why: If you want to attract a female demographic interested in aesthetics, DIT, design, fashion, fitness, lifestyle, or food, this is your platform. Think of it as a carefully curated scrapbook for your brand.

#4: Instagram

What: Instagram is where you showcase your best photos and video clips. There’s a real opportunity here to be creative with your photos, using filters and third party apps to make them pop, as well as captions or helpful tips to help your audience understand how to use them.

How: You can use Instagram for high-end photos or for a behind-the-scenes look at your company. Regardless, it’s a good place for storytelling. Use your captions wisely, and remember that a colorful, beautiful account is a followed account.

Why: Instagram is a great place to reach the demographic a bit older than millennials, and anyone visually inclined. Fitness brands, beauty brands, and lifestyle brands should all be on Instagram.

#5: YouTube

What: YouTube is the global TV channel. If you’re at all interested in creating video content, this is the place to go and its easy to use.

How: Concept videos as part of a series. What information do you have to offer in video format, and how can you roll that value out in a series of videos? YouTube is useful for personal brands in the form of vlogging or video diaries. Keep it short, keep it simple, and keep it pretty.

Why: Video is the new black. More people are watching video content than ever before, across all devices.

#6: LinkedIn

What: An absolute must for any B2B brand or recruiter. It’s not the sexiest platform out there, but it has hundreds of millions of members, and if you want to be seen by the B2B community, you have to have a company page there.

How: Put everything about your company on the company page. Think of it as an ultimate resume for you or your company. Include your mission statement and an extended “about” description, and start following companies you’d like to be in your peer group. Interact regularly with other professional organisations and keep abreast of hirings and job changes for possible company growth.

Why: It’s the social network for grownups, and if you want to be taken seriously, you have to have a presence there.

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