I am a 21-year-old college student, and part of the 86 percent of millennials that own a smartphone. I keep in touch with family and friends on Facebook, get my daily news from Twitter, connect with employers and classmates on LinkedIn, and share my weekend activities on Instagram.
And it’s not just millennials. An estimated 79 percent of internet-using adults aged 30-49 are regular users of Facebook, as are 64 percent of those aged 50-64 and 48 percent of those aged 65 and up. It’s obvious: social media is necessary to reach all audiences nowadays and is crucial if you want your business to succeed.
When used strategically, social media delivers significant benefits:
- In a study of marketers and their social media habits, over 91 percent saw increased exposure for their business when they devoted at least six hours a week to social media.
- Similarly, 75 percent of marketers reported increased traffic to their website if they spent six or more hours on social media per week.
- Over half of marketers who invested at least two years in social media strategies reported that new partnerships were gained because of it.
- Over half of the marketers who spend at least 11 hours a week on social media report reduced overall marketing costs for their business.
Maybe your business does have a few social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn, but you’re not seeing the results you want. Here are some tips, both from a social media user perspective and a communications perspective, that will likely increase exposure for your business on social media:
- Find out where your audience is. If they’re only on standard social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, that’s great. But maybe you have clients who use Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat or Vine. Do some research and find out if you may be neglecting an audience because they use different social media channels.
- Tailor content for each platform. Be mindful of how different platforms operate and tailor your message accordingly. Some social media sites require less formal language than others; some allow for more words or characters than others; some use primarily photos instead of text. Businesses succeed on social media when they meet their audiences on different social media platforms and specifically tailor their content for each platform.
- When possible, include a visual. Facebook users watch a collective 100 million hours worth of video a day, and photos posted to Facebook have an 87 percent engagement rate, which is much higher than any other type of content posted on the site. You’ll get more eyes on your content if you have eye-catching visuals that motivate users to engage.
- Keep your posts and updates constant. Each platform is different in terms of the ideal frequency of updates. For example, most experts believe that LinkedIn requires only one post a day, but Twitter can be two or three times a day. The key is to make sure you don’t let your posts slip, creating the appearance of being absent or irregular. Scheduling social media posts through websites such as Buffer or Hootsuite can help your business stay on track with different social media accounts.
I just counted, and I have thirteen social media apps on my phone at the moment, most of which I use daily.
It may seem overwhelming at first, but once your business cleverly taps into the breadth of opportunity that social media offers, the benefits can be huge.