Social Media: The Essentials For Businesses
Social media has become an integral part of running a business. Most users now search for businesses either directly on Google or on Facebook, and if you are lacking a strong profile on each, it can drastically affect your business. As of this year, there are over one billion people on Facebook alone and 100 million people on Instagram. Needless to say, being on social media is essential.
What platforms are for me?
There are so many social media platforms to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones are important to have for your business. Here’s how we break it down:
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
It is naturally expected for every business to be one Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at a minimum. Most of your engagement with people will come from these three platforms. Launching your profile one all of these platforms at once is a good idea.
Pro Tip: Make your business’s username the same across all platforms so that it’s easier to find.
A Smart Addition: LinkedIn
Once you have the Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles launched and stable, LinkedIn is a smart addition to any business, especially if you are looking to hire more people in the future. You will not engage with as many potential customers, but connections with other professionals are equally as important.
Pro Tip: Have all of your employees add your business profile as a place of employment to help build traction.
Fun Extra Stuff: Snapchat, YouTube, and Pinterest
There are some platforms where your businesses personality Snapchat and Pinterest are fun platforms for businesses to use, but it does take more work and doesn’t generate a lot of traffic unless you already have a good following.
Pro Tip: If you are in commerce (especially e-commerce) make Pinterest a place for your customers to see your products.
YouTube is wonderful if you are creating videos. But just having a blank profile is strange and can be frustrating to your customers. So make sure you have some video content (and will continue creating videos) ready to go before you add this to your social media profile listing.
What Should I Post?
Once you have your social media profiles created, you have to post content, which can be difficult. We recommend taking time to plan out what your business will post, but we know this doesn’t always happen. This best way to make sure you post content on each platform is to limit the kind of content you post per platform.
Pro Tip: Take a look at other companies in the same industry as yours to figure out what kind of things to post.
Facebook is probably the most versatile social media platform. With having the most users of any social media platform, it would make sense to post any and everything thing here. Except this is a really bad idea.
On Facebook, the best things to post are links to blog articles (and not just blog articles you write), short videos (no longer than three minutes), and pictures with two to three sentence captions.
Instagram really has two mediums that work well: pictures and video. Posting pictures with captions and no more than 3 hashtags is the best thing to do on Instagram. Any videos you post should be less than a minute.
Pro Tip: Instead of trying to manage both Snapchat and Instagram, use Instagram Stories.
Twitter is the platform of short thoughts and fast journalism. That being said, any articles you write should be posted to Instagram, along with re-tweeting other articles. Doing polls is a great way to engage with an audience.
Since LinkedIn is for professionals, blog articles that help people in the same industry as your business should be posted here. Again, sharing other people’s work as well is really good.
When Should I Post?
Once you have an idea of what to post, the question becomes when to post it, which can be difficult. Instead of laying out a specific algorithm of how often you should post, we just have one simple recommendation:
Quality over quantity.
Some places will say it’s best to post 3-4 times a week, and we agree to an extent. More importantly than how often you post is that when you post on any platform is that the content you post is really good. Granted, we do agree you should post on each platform at least once a week, but make sure that post will be a stellar one.
Questions to ask to make sure your post is quality are:
Does this match our other posts?
Will a lot of people who follow us like this?
Does it tell people about our business?
How can we make people want us to post more?
As for what time of day to post, think about your audience. If your audience is mainly businessmen and women, posting around mid-morning or lunch is always a great idea. Here are some specifics for different platforms for peak traffic:
The best time to post on Facebook is 1–4 p.m. late in the week and on weekends:
Saturday and Sunday at 12–1 p.m.
Thursday and Friday at 1–4 p.m.
Wednesday at 3 p.m.
The optimal times to tweet are 12–3 p.m., with a peak best time at 5 p.m. During the workweek is the best, though some niches might have more active audiences on the weekend.
Wednesday at noon and 5–6 p.m.
Monday–Friday at 12–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Experiment with 2–3 a.m., 6–7 a.m., and 9–10 p.m.
Instagram audiences are engaged throughout the week. Mondays should maybe get a little more attention.
Monday and Thursday at any time other than 3–4 p.m.
Videos any day at 9 p.m.–8 a.m.
Experiment with 2 a.m., 5 p.m., and Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Midweek posting is optimal from 5–6 p.m.
Tuesday at 10–11 a.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7:30–8:30 a.m., 12 p.m., and 5–6 p.m.
As you dive into the world of social media, understand that not it’s an experimental process, and that followings don’t grow overnight. But if you post the right content over a period of time, you can grow your audience, traffic, and business over several months.
Would you like to talk to a professional about your social media profile and get some tips? Let’s talk.