Selling through social media
You will learn
- What social media platform is best for you
- Which content works best on Instagram
- What industries is Pinterest perfect for?
Virtually every modern and innovative business today are selling through social media. Sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram help businesses reach their potential and existing clients and customers but with so many different platforms to choose from how do they decide which ones are the best ones for selling to consumers?
Many businesses, especially small businesses struggle to keep on top of their social media postings and sometimes spreading themselves across all the platforms can be overwhelming and in some cases not entirely necessary. Take a look at our tips for finding the time for social media here.
It's probably a good plan to know a little bit about each platform so that you can decide which ones are right for your business and then you can spend more time and energy focusing on those platforms rather than having a scatter gun approach across them all.
Having systems in place such as a social media strategy combined with a content calendar and then the facility to automate the majority of postings will help establish which are the right platforms for your business, and will in turn help to reduce any posting overwhelm or confusion.
Using the right social media channels can help you attract more customers by showing the personal side of your business which allows consumers to really get to know both you and your brand on a personal level through the posts you choose to share with them. Consumers thrive on this sincere approach and it helps to build more trust with them.
Whilst every social media channel has its strong points, below are some basic guidelines on the different platforms to help you decide which one/s will work best for your business when selling to consumers:-
The most important social media channels to get started with are Facebook and Instagram. Facebook has over 1.59 billion active users worldwide whereas Instagram is the new kid on the block and is growing in popularity extremely quickly. Needless to say Instagram is owned by Facebook!
Facebook is a direct way to start a conversation with people all over the world whether it's B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer) it works exceptionally well for both.
Many businesses enjoy Facebook because of its lead generating capabilities especially from using Facebook's advertising platform which can laser target a specific customer profile with its unrivalled and inexpensive targeting options. For example you can reach billions of users worldwide with demographics covering the likes of age, location, gender, industry, net worth, income, postal codes and background etc. It is still the most popular platform by far especially for business wanting to sell to consumers.
You can take a look at our top tips for using Facebook for business here.
Instagram is increasing in popularity very quickly indeed, especially from a business perspective. However, even though post engagement is much higher than Facebook's post engagement, it still doesn't have the numbers that Facebook has as yet. Instagram is definitely one to keep a close eye on and currently it doesn’t have the spam or adverts popping up in the Newsfeed that Facebook has.
Instagram is easy to use being all about images, hashtags and 15 second videos. It's also been designed to be accessed from mobile phones or devices. It's far less competitive right now than Facebook and Twitter and although it's still more popular with the under 30's this demographic is definitely changing.
With about 14 million UK users already using Instagram it is now considered a mainstream platform in the business and marketing world so is definitely an important platform to consider for your online presence. To find out more, read our article on marketing your business on Instagram here.
Twitter is great for either B2B or B2C providing face-to-face like conversations with customers on a daily basis. It's especially good for monitoring conversation, company’s reputations and things that are trending. In fact many people use Twitter to keep themselves up-to-date on news matters rather than reading a newspaper.
It's fast moving so you'll needs to post more regularly than on other platforms and the use of '#Hashtags' will help your conversation reach a much wider audience. Although you can only use 140 characters per tweet, Twitter is a great platform to let your company personality shine as it has a more informal, relaxed and humorous feel to it.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is ideal for visual businesses and is especially popular with industries like decor, cooking, fashion, health and crafts. Users flock to Pinterest to get inspiration on what to buy more so than going to Facebook.
Pinterest uses a pin board-style layout that allows its users to categorise its posts (known as ‘Pins’) within organised ‘Boards’ that are themed and others can share them. It's very simple to use and is so visual and inspiring that it can be a huge distraction and time eater – so be warned! Check out our top Pinterest tips here.
As with any social media platform the trick to knowing which one to use is to know and understand exactly who your target audience is this way you can talk specifically to your audience with your posts.