Okay. You’ve decided your company needs a social media presence. What’s next?
Choices abound: From Facebook and Instagram to Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube, there are many potential homes for your brand. But for the new kids on the block, sticking to Facebook and Twitter are likely to be your best bet to break into social media cyberspace.
Facebook is great for providing a stream of brand-dictated messaging through an online platform and growing a community around that group of dedicated fans. With the decline of Facebook’s search algorithm and the variance in privacy settings, the value of your page as a marketing and branding tool depends on your ability to maintain a core fanbase while constantly attracting new users.
One big plus for Facebook: It shares with its social media subsidiaries – WhatsApp and Instagram. Just keep in mind though that Facebook audiences tend to skew older and more conservative (and is only growing more so). Relying solely on this platform could mean that many key demographics you want to reach may be overlooked in the future.
For most, Twitter remains the gold standard for directly determining how consumers engage with your brand. But, its downside is its weakness as a community-building tool. Unlike Facebook’s search algorithm, Twitter recently reverted to a chronological timeline (which is optional) and its privacy settings allow for all public content to be shared and viewed equitably. What this means is that Twitter is an exceptional tool for promoting your brand as a source for thought leadership, due to the constant (and timely) stream of content. Think -President Donald Trump.
The emphasis on Twitter hashtags for collating user conversations is important because it lets brands piggyback onto trending topics and increase their own visibility through popular conversation. On all social media, but especially on Twitter, content must be targeted for younger users and be designed for a user experience confined to a 280-character limit.
As we’ve also seen by now, Facebook and Twitter collect an immense amount of data from users. That allows for accurate targeting of advertisements to key demographics among each site’s users. On Facebook especially, a wealth of user data is collected on purchasing habits, entertainment choices and consumer interests, in addition to standard demographics of income, age, gender, education, location and language. So, regardless of which platform you choose, even a limited advertising spend can catapult your brand’s visibility.
Once you’ve decided on your social media platform(s), pick the right name for your page(s). Look at the basics. Are there already pages with this name? If not, use your brand name. If it’s too long or if there is another brand using the same name, try an acronym or a variant of your name, but make sure it’s still recognizable and remains true to your brand.
Stay tuned. In my next blog post, I’ll show you how to build your social media content.
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