A Guide to Social Media Platforms for Businesses Part I

Social Media Part 1

There’s simply no denying it. Social media is an incredibly powerful influence in today’s digital-first world and it is vital to have an online presence. Besides helping everyday people exponentially widen their social networks or enabling others to become influencers for brands and grow impressive followings, it can be an invaluable tool for your business, too. That is, if you know how to use various social media channels effectively for your specific business. 

The truth is not every company will need to prioritize social media in the same way or will use social media in the same way. Depending on their industry vertical and niche, companies will need to use social media platforms differently to achieve various marketing goals, and certain platforms will be better suited to one industry vertical over another. The key is to have a deep understanding of your brand identity, as well as your audience and customers so you can effectively leverage social media channels to strengthen your brand identity and influence, as well as widen your reach of customers. 

If you’re not using social media to enhance your marketing efforts, you could be missing out on a wealth of opportunities to realize tremendous growth and value for your business, from increasing brand awareness and recognition, to amping up conversions and adding more to your bottom line. 

We will delve deeper into the various social media platforms and analyze how different industry verticals can best utilize them to elevate their marketing strategy. In part 1, we will be taking an in-depth look at LinkedIn and Instagram. Be sure to check out part 2 next week for a discussion of marketing strategies businesses should employ for Facebook and Twitter. 

LinkedIn

An Overview of LinkedIn

LinkedIn refers to itself as a platform that is designed for professional networking, which means that most of the content on the platform is also professional in its nature and corporate in its tone. Here, you will see everything from personal profiles of industry professionals, feeds of content related to various industries and topics, as well as profiles for different companies. While LinkedIn’s user base is not as massive as other social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook, it still flaunts an impressive user base with over 250 million active users. 

How Can Businesses Use LinkedIn for Their Marketing Efforts?

While LinkedIn offers fantastic resources for prospective career seekers and professionals, LinkedIn can also be a vital tool for certain types of businesses in helping a company expand prestige and authority in its industry, demonstrate thought leadership and maximize its influence. LinkedIn’s platform caters best to companies in the B2B sector, who therefore have an audience of other businesses and companies.

If you own a company in the B2B sector, you can use LinkedIn’s platform to post content featuring your services and offerings that will be relevant to the businesses you serve, as well as take advantage of a wide network of industries and businesses who are part of the LinkedIn community. You can also post links to white papers or other types of educational or informative articles and blogs, and promote your company’s upcoming events such as webinars or conferences. Such content opportunities that LinkedIn offers are crucial in helping your company position tself as a leader in your industry as well as effectively reach your customers using a modality of communication that will best resonate with your audience and their needs. 

LinkedIn is also an incredible resource for businesses in either B2B or B2C sectors to curate a profile of their company culture and create a snapshot that exemplifies its offerings and services, as well as offers a more intimate look into the behind-the-scenes view of working at the company. Such content will help companies attract qualified talent to apply for roles in their organization. Companies can also use LinkedIn’s job board services to directly post available positions in the company they are looking to fill. 

Instagram

An Overview of Instagram

You probably are very familiar with Instagram’s incredibly addictive and entertaining platform whose concept is based on sharing visually appealing forms of media including images, pre-recorded videos and live video events. If you have ever found yourself spending hours scrolling through an endless feed of Instagram’s engaging content, then the platform’s marketing strategy was clearly working effectively to capture and hold your attention. 

With an impressive user base of over 1 billion users, and 500 million active daily users, Instagram is a brilliant resource for companies in helping to grow their influence and reach especially for those in the B2C sector whose audiences consist of consumers. Its content is visually-focused, consisting of bold, exciting and aesthetically pleasing content designed to attract users, as well as incite conversations with your community.

How Can Businesses Leverage Instagram to Enhance Their Marketing Pursuits?

If you own an ecommerce company such as a beauty brand that offers various types of skincare and cosmetics to your customers, Instagram will be an incredibly powerful tool for you to expand your marketing efforts, especially to enhance lead generation. Instagram’s platform is ideal for posting captivating images of your products and offerings that also demonstrate your brand identity to customers. You can also run campaigns to advertise your products and offerings directly on the platform using sponsored ads. You can also upload videos in the main feed of your channel or produce creative and fun short videos under a minute long in the Reels section or longer videos on IGTV.  Stories which refer to live videos that are up for a total of 2 hours offer another incredibly effective method of engaging your audience. The short-form format of a Story is perfect for posting intriguing, engaging content such as polls or thought-provoking questions, designed to spark conversations and interest in your brand. Stories are also a great way of reminding your audience that a new post is up, if they haven’t yet checked out your feed. An especially powerful tool for ecommerce brands to drive customer conversions, you can even tag your products and offerings in your Stories to encourage customers to shop directly from the platform. 

Examples of great videos to produce for Instagram would be tutorials or demonstrations to customers showing how to use certain products or present a behind-the-scenes of production and operations. By reposting and repurposing your audience’s videos using your products, you can leverage your audience’s wider social networks to reach new potential customers, and continue to generate excitement in your brand. Instagram’s live sessions also offer an incredible way of connecting with your audience in real-time to answer questions, continue to promote your brand to convert customers, as well as demonstrate your expertise in your space in an incredibly engaging manner, that will be especially effective for younger audiences. You can also take advantage of Instagram’s ecommerce capabilities, and sell your products and offerings directly from the platform — a powerful tool for you to utilize especially if your audience is younger and likely to shop on mobile. 

Janna Epstein
Janna Epstein
HEAD COPYWRITER
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