Ah, February. It’s cold in New York City, and budgets are shrinking. Businesses are slow. Decisions for the rest of the year need to be made. It’s no surprise that business owners are under pressure to produce revenue – and fast. Business owners frequently seek social media marketing at the beginning of each year. At Boucher + Co., we field numerous phone calls and emails from business owners looking to inflate their bottom-line.
A large part of our job is educating prospective clients on why they need social media for their business. One of the things we’ve learned through our experiences is that not all social media networks are relevant for all businesses. Each business will have different social media needs.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself when choosing which social media networks to focus on as part of your marketing strategy:
Does my business need a Facebook Page?
The simple answer, yes.
Everyone knows Facebook. One of the reasons Facebook is well-known is that it has broad appeal to both consumers and businesses. As a business owner, you likely have a personal Facebook profile, visible to family and friends, and a business page. Facebook is a key part of any social media marketing strategy because it offers businesses a chance to communicate directly with consumers, while collecting valuable demographics.
Facebook also creates credibility for your business. In the new economy, younger consumers validate businesses by their Facebook presence. For example, a new e-commerce website that sells high-quality artisan soaps for $15 each might only have 20 Facebook Page likes, with an inactive profile that was last updated three months ago. Being a new brand, there likely aren’t many product reviews, and there is probably limited distribution. Getting digital-centric consumers to make a purchase will require credibility-building. Having an active Facebook Page builds instant credibility by showing that a business is taking their marketing seriously.
Is Twitter essential for my business?
Twitter is a very effective marketing channel for your business. It may not directly generate leads and/or purchases, but it will certainly generate some kind of (free) press, while allowing you to put your great customer service skills on full display. Use Twitter to directly chat about your customers and solicit new media opportunities.
Does my business need to be on Instagram?
Yes! It’s one of the fastest-growing social networks and is very popular right now, especially with millennials. Instagram is great for telling a lifestyle story and has broad appeal, translating into an attractive marketing channel for many business owners.
What about Pinterest?
This one’s straightforward. If you’re a business-to-consumer (B2C) company, yes. A business-to-business (B2B) company? Likely no. Pinterest is fully-visual with a large majority of users being women. Marketing a product to (mostly) women? Use Pinterest. Selling a physical product to consumers? Use Pinterest, because consumers can see and imagine your product in their lives. It’s harder to create the same level of emotion when marketing B2B products.
So, what’s the scoop?
Every business should be on Facebook. Most businesses should be on Twitter and Instagram. And if your business sells physical products to consumers, you should be on Pinterest. Striking the right balance of what’s necessary, and what’s not, will help your business increase its marketing efforts without breaking the bottom-line.