Starting a business is both nerve-wracking, and exhilarating at the same time. In the early stages, the excitement you initially felt can turn to stress pretty soon if you don’t know how to market your product or services.
Anyone who wants to learn how to use social media platforms can find a lot of information on the Internet but with a lot of people saying “do this,” “do that,” it is hard to know which one fits your business and which one will just eat up your time and resources.
Here are different social media platforms you can use for your business.
Who doesn’t know how popular Facebook is? It has 2 billion users monthly. Imagine if you can tap just 1% of that!
In the US alone, 69% of adults use Facebook. Facebook allows you to create profiles, upload photos and videos, send messages, and keep in touch with your family and friends.
Since a lot of people are on Facebook, why not learn a few tricks to market your small business.
How using Facebook can help your business
First, remember that Facebook restricts Facebook profiles to be used to sell or promote anything. For your business, use Facebook Page instead. Here, you can create promotions, sales, or even contests for your target market.
Second, inside the Facebook page, you can see the performance of your posts. Through the data you collect, you will know which among your posts engage your target market better.
Finally, Facebook Page has a special section now where your target market can easily view your products or services without clicking multiple links.
Tips on using Facebook
- Avoid using these words in your content, graphics, or videos if you want Facebook to allow your post: enter the giveaway, join the contest, freebie, free, coupon, discount, like this post and tag a friend, and comment and share.
- Sometimes, however, it’s difficult to avoid using these words. One suggestion is to use them as rarely as possible. You can be creative on this. For instance, instead of saying “Freebie” or “Free”, you can say “Buy now before the offer ends”.
- Experiment with the type of language you use on your posts and take note of those posts where Facebook sent you a warning notification. Yes, they will not specifically tell you which part of your posts violated their terms and conditions, but take note of the language or words you used.
- Better yet, review the terms and conditions of using Facebook. It is better to create content that you are sure that Facebook will allow you to continue posting.
- Know when to post. For Facebook, it is ideal to post 1-2x a day. Here, quality posts matter. You don’t want to annoy your target market with your constant posts that they don’t find relevant to them.
- The best time to post is from 1 pm-4 pm. It is ideal to post on days nearing the weekend (Thursday and Friday) as more people are checking their Facebook feed.
- Image size: 1200 x 1200 px. Some suggested free online tools to create professional-looking photos is Canva. It’s free and easy to use with hundreds of templates you can choose from.
Youtube can be a great platform for your business because there are about 2 billion monthly Youtube users. Your target market could be included in this number.
How using Youtube can help your business
Some would argue that Youtube is only for those who want to make videos and be popular. Well, the truth is, small businesses can use this platform to introduce their product or services through product reviews, instructional videos, and educational videos.
Tips on using YouTube
Youtube videos are searchable on Google. If you do this right, your target market can see you immediately when they search for your product or services.
You can also share your Youtube content on your other social media platforms, giving your target market variety.
Be consistent. Some may be overwhelmed by the task of creating a lot of videos. One suggestion is to do documentation. You can make a short video about what’s happening now. Just make sure that these things are still related to your business or else it will just be a flop.
Include a call-to-action. What do you want your target market to do after watching your video? You can include the call to action in the description but it will give you great benefits if you include it on the video itself.
Select the right category and tags. Again, we want all our efforts to pay off at the end of the day, so make sure you include the same keen eye for details in creating your video by categorizing and tagging them properly.
The bulk of Instagram users 67% in fact, are between 18-29 years old. So, if your target market is people below 30 years old, this social media platform can be a great marketing platform for you. The thing about Instagram is that your posts are mostly pictures and short videos with a few written words.
How using Instagram can help your business
They say that a picture says a thousand words and we hope that these thousand words help your target market know your business well. This social media platform is particularly beneficial for businesses that are related to fashion and digital tech.
For those who are not in a young and trendy business, you can still use Instagram but make sure you use good quality photos. A well-curated feed can attract new customers.
Tips on using Instagram
- Integrate your existing social media accounts with a strong following with your Instagram account. Instagram allows you to publish your posts to these other social media accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr) automatically.
- Shorten the URLs you use in your bio. It takes up fewer characters and makes it easier to track your traffic from Instagram. You can use a service like Bitly to do this.
- Utilize Instagram stories. You noticed that an average person often watches Instagram stories every time they log in to your Instagram. These stories do not need to be long and complicated. You can use this feature to consistently be in your target market’s radar without scaring them away.
- Be familiar with hashtags. Instagram uses hashtags instead of keywords on its search engine. Using the right hashtag will greatly benefit your marketing efforts.
- Know the popular hashtags on Instagram. A common mistake made by small businesses is using random hashtags. To be honest, nobody is searching for those random hashtags. Use the hashtags to gain visibility online and grow your following on Instagram. More followers mean more people know about your business and more people can buy from you.
- Use as many hashtags as you can but it doesn’t mean that all your posts need to have as much as 30 hashtags. Again, the goal of the hashtags is for visibility. Some say the ideal sweet spot is 11 hashtags per post.
Another popular social media platform is TikTok where fun is its main focus. According to HootSuite, Tiktok had 800 million active users as of October 2019, and it’s growing fast, with average users opening the app more than 8 times a day.
Though Tiktok caters to the younger generation, do not overlook it. Remember that Facebook and Instagram first started targeting the younger generation but turned out to be a big social media platform after a few years.
How using TikTok can help your business
Consumers now watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week. And eighty percent of people would like to see more videos from brands. That would be a great number of potential customers for your business.
Just make sure that your short videos are still connected with your business brands. Giving your target market “random” video content will just make them laugh but forget your brand afterward.
Tips on using TikTok
- Keep your videos light and fun. This is the time to show the creative and humorous side of your brand. So, don’t make them way too serious.
- Make it short and to the point. When making a short video, you should get to the point within 15 seconds.
- Use music. Again, add fun to your videos and one of the best ways to do it is to add music.
- Shoot vertical videos. Avoid taking your videos horizontally or else you will see big black bars above and below your video.
- Do challenges. Whether you create your own brand’s challenge or you join others it’s up to you. People engage in challenges because well, it’s fun and the competitive nature of human beings emerges. Take advantage of that.
Pinterest is the go-to for visual ideas. It is an online pinboard where content shared is driven entirely by visuals. Remember that you can’t share anything on Pinterest without an image on it.
How using Pinterest can help your business
Knowing that your target market is more attracted to visuals, Pinterest can be a great tool to market your small business. Using the “Pin It” button, they can easily pin your content and then, later on, share it on their other social media accounts.
Tips on using Pinterest
- Understand Pinterest’s lingo. When you share something, each bookmark is called a pin. Sharing someone else’s pin is called a repin. Boards or Pinboards are what we call the pins we save by topic. Each board looks like a real-life pinboard.
- Create content that users will love to pin, which includes videos, photos, infographics, even an image made simply of text.
- Be creative and experiment. Through experimentation, you will know which one resonates with your target market.
- Don’t limit your pins with your business only. You can create boards about people who use your products or services.
- Pinterest sets a limit of 554 pixels wide and 5,000 pixels for height. Tall pins such as infographics stand out better in a news feed.
- Take note of the 500-character limit in your descriptions.
- Create photos with text. Don’t just use plain photos. Again, you can use all your creativity here.
- Add a watermark or your domain name in your images. Just make sure that the image is yours.
- Use important keywords in your boards; don’t be afraid to use creative names as well. The name of the board should resonate with your target market.
- Create a board for your own stuff; then mix and match your other boards with your stuff and other people’s stuff.
Quick Social Media Strategy Tips
These are just five of the most popular social media platforms available for you to use and grow your business. Here are some general social media tips for your business strategy.
- It is highly suggested that you identify where your target market usually spends time online more and focus on creating content. The key here is targeting content to them.
- Another strategy is creating content with photos or short videos that you can easily share between different platforms. Just take note of the requirements for each so you can save time and resources in making them.
- Create a social media marketing calendar. Organizing your posts, when to post, and where to post them will definitely be a lifesaver when things are getting busier on the business side.
- Hiring a marketing manager can also be a big help. But if you are just starting and you want to try and experiment with less financial involvement, always take note of what strategies you have tried. For instance, maybe you have higher engagement when you post videos instead of photos.
- Take note of your progress weekly and monthly.
Doing everything at the beginning of your journey can be exciting and fun. It may seem challenging, but it is a learning process that can help grow your business. Knowing what your target wants and where to find them will be a great help to you and your team.
Again, building a business can be tiring and stressful but with the right tools, and with the right planning, everything can run smoothly.