In a world full of uncertainty, it’s important to know what will make your product or service stand out. Different industries have found ways to utilise the power of social media to gain more awareness of their products and growth strategies.
So whether you’re an entrepreneur who wants to grow your business, or a marketer who wants to engage with potential customers – this article is for you. Here we’ll cover how you can use social networks to market your product or service, which networks to use, and how to use them effectively.
Which Networks To Use?
Although the world of social media is vast, there are a few key networks that you should consider using to get the most benefit from your marketing efforts.
Let’s take a look at each network in turn, and find out what makes them unique.
Probably the most popular and most used of the social networks, it’s safe to assume that you’ve got a Facebook account if you’re reading this article. Since its creation, Facebook has evolved to become more than just a social network – it now offers a variety of valuable business and marketing services. If you’ve got a business page on Facebook, be sure to connect with your customers, and engage with them. Like any other social network, you can gain great visibility on Facebook if you create engaging content regularly.
Another important feature of Facebook is Story Creation. Essentially, you can use Facebook to create and post short videos about your products and services that will appear in your followers’ news feeds. These stories can be used to highlight new products, explain an offer, or showcase a feature of your service. Facebook also offers a tool known as Live Video which lets you broadcast yourself directly to your audience, engaging them in real-time.
Facebook is a great choice for marketing, and it’s the largest social network out there with over a billion active monthly users. Plus, it’s free! If you haven’t got a Facebook account, there’s no excuse not to get one now.
Continuing on from Facebook, we come to Instagram. As the name would suggest, Instagram was initially created for people to share pictures and videos, but it has so much more to offer. Similar to Facebook, Instagram offers a variety of valuable business and marketing services, as well as great visibility for businesses.
One of the most unique features of Instagram is its audience. Unlike most social networks, which are based on your network of friends, Instagram knows exactly who you’re connected to, because it’s based on your phone number. This allows it to serve relevant content to you based on your interests and those you follow – making it a potentially valuable tool for marketing. Essentially, Instagram uses its massive userbase to engage with you and your potential customers – encouraging them to ‘follow’ you, and thus gain access to your content.
Another important point to make about Instagram is that since it is a visual network, you should make sure that you post regularly. Like Facebook, Instagram has a ‘daily’ posting limit, so if you want your content to be seen, you’ll need to post at least once a day.
Fuelled by the influencer craze, Twitter has evolved from being an ‘information’ network, to a social media network in its own right. Similar to the other social networks mentioned so far, Twitter has a business account and a personal account that you can use to engage with your followers. If you’re running a business account, be sure to follow the rules and guidelines of the network to maintain your credibility – this is especially important if you want to engage with potential customers.
One of the biggest differences between Twitter and the other social networks discussed so far is the 140-character limit on all tweets. This limit doesn’t just apply to your actual text – you can also incorporate images, video, links, and more into your tweets to maximise your reach to your audience. With so much information at your fingertips, and so many people on Twitter, you can be sure of one thing – your message will reach a large audience. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to engage with those you communicate with, increasing the possibility of converting them into paying customers or brand advocates.
More than just a place to connect with potential employers – LinkedIn is the ultimate professional network, built for business people. Similar to the other networks discussed so far, LinkedIn offers a business account and a personal account that you can use to engage with your followers. Like with Twitter, LinkedIn has also evolved from being just about connecting with people, to a platform with valuable business information and job opportunities for those in the know.
One of the most valuable things on LinkedIn are the so-called ‘InMails’. These are emails directly from LinkedIn that you can use to engage with potential customers. Similar to the other networks discussed so far, you can use LinkedIn to find a job, connect with other professionals, and even make money from a variety of online ventures.
Last but not least, we come to Snapchat. Similar to the other networks discussed so far, Snapchat is a place for people to share their stories and videos. However, the key difference is that it is a ‘story-driven’ network, focused on quick, easy-to-consume videos. If you are looking to engage with potential customers, or just want to have fun and be creative, Snapchat is the network for you.
Unlike the other networks discussed so far, on Snapchat you’ll often see people interact with one another through their stories. This means that you can use the platform to get inspiration for your own content, whether you’re a photographer, artist, or entrepreneur.
All of these networks discussed so far are fantastic for marketing, but if you want to truly stand out, you should consider creating content that is specifically aimed at one of these networks.
To find the right people to target, look for communities that are relevant to your products – for example, if you sell shoes, you might want to target someone in the shoe industry, or even create content specific to football (soccer) – the sport that you and I both love. With the right people to target, and relevant content, you can be sure of one thing – your product or service will be in front of the right audience, and you’ll be able to engage with them.
Above all else, always think about your target audience. Who is this person, and what are they interested in? Using the information you have about your audience, you can create content that is valuable and interesting to them – and the more you can do that, the more likely you are to engage with them and grow your business.