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Social Media for Businesses

Everybody is on the social media wagon nowadays. A lot of businesses have caught on as well and are using it to their advantage. But among the relatively smaller number of businesses using the various platforms efficiently, there are others who are not getting the desired benefits they are expecting.

Learn whether you are using the wrong platform for your business.

Primary purpose of some social media platforms

a. Facebook

Facebook is undeniably the default social media marketing app everyone uses. Basically every genre of business can be found on Facebook. Banks, NGOs, restaurants…you name it! It helps build brand loyalty and brand reputation as well as helps you present your brand as an authority in its field.

social-media-facebook-like

b. Twitter

The 140 character limit makes it obvious that Twitter should be reserved for getting out quick updates, promoting new products and contents and great for collecting instant feedback. It helps you weigh in on issues AS they are happening. Twitter is your go-to platform for PR or publicity platforms. There is a Twitter joke as to how slow Facebook users always get news long after Twitter users have seen them. This should give you an idea as to how fast news travels on Twitter if you are saying the right things.

c. Instagram

Snap a picture and post! That’s how easy Instagram is to use. Instagram is basically an online scrapbook for showcasing products via pictures and 15 second videos and is widely used in worldwide and in Ghana. For businesses that deal more in services than products, Instagram lets your customers get to know you as not just a brand name but you actually have staff who are human!

social-media-instagram

Unique attributes

a. Facebook

Facebook helps you reach different segments of an audience with one post. Another perk is it lets you create ads to drive traffic to your page and website. Facebook also allows for community interaction so people can see what other consumers have said about your product. This platform allows for brand reviews (which might not always mean a positive thing.)

Here are some other perks of using Facebook

  • Call to action button on your page
  • Redirect to your website
  • Allows you to reach people who do not follow your page
  • Ideal for sharing personal stories, testimonials, detailed information about your business
  • Facebook also gives you insights into the performance of your page over a specific duration, giving you statistics covering age, sex and even location!
  • Ability to pin an important post to the top of the page
  • Create ads that even extend to Instagram
  • You can schedule your posts and edit the captions of published posts

b. Twitter

Twitter is hugely a better platform for dialogue creation and starting conversations with customers. It is also used by a lot of companies for customer service.

Trust me, you want to be nice and witty with your answers because Twitter users can get mean. You want to be circulated on twitter for good reasons only.

Here are some of the perks you get from being on Twitter

  • THE HASHTAG : Although not unique to Twitter anymore, the hashtag is a huge part of Twitter. See how hashtags work.
  • Just because you didn’t get a retweet does not mean no one saw your tweet. You can measure the insight of every tweet. It allows you to view how many impressions your tweet made and how many people interacted with it.
  • Pinning an important tweet at the top of the page
  • Have more than one Twitter account
  • With Twitter ads, you can check campaign performance, optimize bids, and control the timing of your timings
  • Twitter has a Poll option where you can add up to 4 choice options. You can also control how many days the poll should last (7 days actually)
  • Other minor perks of Twitter are that you can turn off retweets and mute accounts.
  • Twitter recently also added a GIF feature if you are that type of brand.
  • Twitter also allows you to create Lists and be added to lists. These are usually common-minded people and brands in a group.
  • Allows to post up to 4 pictures in one tweet
  • You can draft tweets to tweet later
  • You can tag people in your picture

c. Instagram

Here are some of the perks you get from using Instagram

  • Every subscriber has an equal chance of seeing what you post (Though this might change soon.)
  • There is no timeline editing
  • You can edit the post caption even after you publish.
  • You can link your Instagram page to your Twitter account and your personal Facebook page. You can also link it to Tumblr, Flickr and others.
  • You can tag people in your pictures
  • You get to see what your followers are up to.
  • You can review all the posts you’ve liked later
  • You can make your account private, although as a business, that is not advisable.
  • Instagram now allows you to manage more than one account. You do not have to log out of one account to access another.
  • Photo manipulation

 

Target audience

It is important to know the people you are targeting and how best to connect to them. What is great about Facebook is, it allows you to tailor your posts to reach specific people at a specific time and place. But ideally the age range of people who use Facebook is 25 to 40 worldwide. But locally, you are looking at a majority of users aging between 18 and 34.

Twitter is a tough one to handle. But it’s great for getting business news around especially in the youth circle. Not a lot of businesses and people over 35 are on Twitter in Ghana. So if you are targeting people older than 35, Ghana Twitter is not really there yet. But you’re in luck if you are targeting the 18 to 29 age group.

Instagram is used by fairly more adults than Twitter. You are looking at an age group worldwide of 18 to 35.

Shortfalls

Facebook

Facebook does not encourage a lot of text on posts. You can put them up but if the text occupies more than 20% of the picture, Facebook will not approve it for boosts.

The 140-character limit for Twitter is both good and bad. Sometimes, you need to say more than 140 characters.

As a result of the number of tweets that are pushed out everyday, your tweets have a very high chance of being pushed down to the bottom really fast. Another bummer is, you cannot edit tweets after they are out there.

As with Twitter, your pictures get pushed to the bottom on Instagram. But this might change soon with the new Instagram update coming soon. Also with Instagram, only people who follow you get to see your posts (unless you advertise using your Facebook account) The only way other people outside your follower group can see your post is if the person looks for your account actively or one of your followers repost (share) your post onto their page.

 

 

Don’t feel pressured to be on every social media platform. Start with the one that connects you with the right audience, aligns with your business’s needs, and one you can regularly manage.

 

Social Media for Businesses by Efua Dufu for the Thrive blog.

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