Social Media is one of the biggest vessels of communication in the world. In many cases, social media has the capacity to connect you to vaster audiences than in-person communication ever could. Especially since the start of COVID, people are relying on it more than ever. Check out our blog post on The Rise of Apps During COVID-19 – FarShore. With so many social media platforms available on the market, figuring out the intricacies of each can seem daunting. Sure, we all get the concept of posting an Instagram selfie like Kim Kardashian, or reading a sarcastic tweet from the likes of Ryan Reynolds, but how can these seemingly lighthearted and fun social media platforms become essential marketing and communication tools for your business? Though there are many social media apps and websites currently in use around the world, I’d like to highlight three that I feel can have an incredibly profound impact on your business’ success: Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
It’s no secret that Instagram has rapidly become one of the top social media platforms over the last decade, if not the top. What once started out as a simple picture sharing mechanism has now become an extremely multifaceted and interactive tool for people and companies alike.
The most obvious way Instagram can be used is to create a carefully curated visual display of your business’ brand, via pictures. You can post individual photos, infographics, photo series, videos, etc., and an array of colorful filters and photo editing options can further enhance the overall aesthetic and cohesiveness of your page. People are drawn to visuals. Though words have the most explicit meaning, visuals can elicit emotions and motivations from people in a way even words cannot.
In addition to these more permanent posts, Instagram offers a “stories” feature, which allows you to post content that expires after a certain window of time but is strategically featured at the top of your page during that period. Stories can be an awesome way to allow your consumers a behind the scenes perspective of your business. With these real time posts, it gives you the ability to update your followers on the day-to-day happenings of your company, which creates a much more personal and interactive experience. More than ever, consumers appreciate relatability and transparency, so the more inside information and content you are willing to share with your customers, the more enticing it can be. Stories are also great for organizing your content, as you can take these posts and file them into “highlights” so people can retroactively explore the different subtopics of your brand.
The concept of “followers” can also give you a unique way to interact with and incentivize people. Brands are having great success by encouraging their consumers to, “like, comment on, or share” their materials in exchange for some benefit such as a giveaway or a discount code for followers only, which gives people the feeling of the exclusivity of the brand. The concept of a group of people all “following” a central entity gives people a sense of community and being a part of something big and exciting.
Twitter is a really good way to blast content from other channels to an even more extended audience. You can very easily link all your Instagram posts onto Twitter, which means doing the work once and getting the benefit twice. Twitter does have a lot of similarities to Instagram, but a key difference is that it is more so focused on the written text. Each “tweet” is limited to 280 characters. Since you are limited, it makes everything you post very concise and to the point. In an age where we are all guilty of having shortened attention spans, this formula is great for driving your key information home without risking loss of attention or interest from your consumers. It is also a good way to reach some of the demographics that may not be as drawn to the flashiness of pictures and visuals.
Although Twitter’s primary means of communication may not be snazzy photo feeds, you can and should use Twitter as a means to share multimedia. Twitter is good for linking articles, websites, downloadable content links, etc. What’s better than to draw someone in with an enticing and crafty tweet, and then link them to your website or app?
Similarly to Instagram, a lot of notable and intelligent people are on Twitter. If you can get someone of prestige to “retweet” (or on Instagram, “share”) your content, this can be super valuable for your brand. You also have the ability to interact with your consumers directly. Twitter is great for responding to/starting dialogue with people without it getting lost in the comments of a photo post. Others can easily benefit from seeing your responses and interactions with those before them.
We all know LinkedIn as the place you connect internally with coworkers, look for career opportunities, or figure out what people you went to school with ended up doing with their lives. While all of those aspects are true, LinkedIn can also be a great tool to use as a business. LinkedIn is one of the few places you can really vet your audience in order to have a targeted and tailored access to your consumer base. When creating ad campaigns, you can designate filters regarding the types of people you would like the posts shown to. For example, people who live in a certain area or work in a certain field. People may also be receptive to more of your long form content on Linkedin than they may be on other channels. Since people use LinkedIn for business matters, they are expecting lengthier content. It’s very different than if they happen to come across your page on Instagram when they were actually looking for funny cat videos. Don’t get me wrong, I love funny cat videos as much as the next person, but those can be tough to compete with if you’re trying to put out some heavy hitting marketing materials for your business.
You can also really personify your brand on LinkedIn, by having user profiles of the people and employees that actually make up your business. People like to feel the humanistic qualities that a brand has, as it appeals to their senses of ethos and pathos. Having employees interacting with consumers in real time is an awesome way to build brand relationshisp. People love to feel paid attention to on an individual level, or that they have a personal connection to your brand. You can also have your employees take the time to get “endorsements” from other professionals they may know. Endorsements are a way for the internet to see what skills you’re competent in and are backed by other credible people in the industry. This is a great way to have your employee’s qualifications speak for themselves, rather than you as a brand trying to convince the consumer why you’re so great.
Social media is the pinnacle of communication in 2022. Although I could go on about several other platforms and their added benefits, these are what I personally be the three of the most valuable in terms of marketing for your business. There are certain things that we shouldn’t overcomplicate. Why spend thousands a months on third part marketing services when there are free tools like social media that will do it for you? A great analogy to this concept is Why You Shouldn’t Make Your Own Burgers – FarShore.
To learn more tips for social media as it particularly pertains to startups, check out Social media marketing for startups (farshore.com).
Michelle is an Account Coordinator here at FarShore. Her main goal in this role is to facilitate superb client/company relationships from start to finish. She graduated from Cameron University with a BA in Strategic Communications and a minor in PR. When not working, Michelle can be found taking her two cats for walks, trying food from new restaurants, or traveling somewhere warm!