With the global spread of Facebook in 2009, it looked like social media weren’t bound to last. Just another fashionable behaviour that our society made up in order to be buried the next day. It’s a bit funny if we look at it right now, with our phones in our hands at all times of the day.
However, when we decide to take part in this particular show with our business, we can’t just do it, we need to understand what social channels to pick between the wide range of possible approaches in order to make our product shine.
Way before we chose what social media is the best solution for us, we have to know what we are going to do with it and what we want to achieve from our investment. Are we selling a product online or do we just need a space to show our brand off? This decision is crucial so we can set goals and we can understand how we should use the wrenches of our toolbox. Once the decision has been made, we are ready to get face to face with the available inbound marketing channels. Let’s get through the most popular ones.
Beloved and hated at the same time, Facebook is a huge Pandora’s box where all the generations with all the possible interests have come together. How do we reserve a special spot for our business? Of course, there is no such thing as a correct recipe for everyone, but one key element might be patience. Imagine you have a box full of buttons you have to match: without time and patience you will never be able to accomplish your task. At the same time, the melting pot of Facebook requires some time for you to understand what you are doing right and what you should change.
Is there a safe modus operandi? Yes, prioritising mixed content like videos and pictures along with very short texts is always a good idea. Remember Facebook is a recreational platform and it is very unlikely Shakesperian monologues will have adequate coverage. Be concise and catchy, those who want to know your business better will come to you.
We can’t talk about Facebook without talking about advertising. Official pages face some pretty big limits if they want to reach a wider audience without paying. Nowadays Facebook allows you to advertise your page, your website or a particular post and it all depends on what your primary goal is. Costs are not that high: the minimum daily budget is 2€ and the campaign has to last for at least 4 days with the assurance your content will be seen from 490 to 1416 times per day with 17 to 48 clicks. Setting up a Facebook campaign is easy peasy and safe, you just need to set up the budget and the campaign duration, you won’t be charged anything more than what you see on the screen. One very cool tool is the target personalisation which allows you to choose the audience you want to reach based on their demographic features, interests and shopping habits. If you are new to this game, try starting with a low budget and then increase or decrease depending on the results you got.
Facebook’s evil twin is indeed one of the most efficient communication channels featuring the use of images and videos. Is Instagram mandatory for a business? Well, we need to make some basic distinctions. For instance, if you are selling a specific product, you have an online shop and you wish to increase your sales, then Instagram might be a good fit. You will need to have some catchy content and graphics that show your product in action; all of this wisely paired with very short captions and very specific hashtags.
The hashtag thing is quite an interesting topic to explore. Initially, Instagram depended very much on hashtags, basically, they worked as keywords and were absolutely crucial for our content to be found and exposed.
Now, things have changed a bit and the power of hashtags is not really the same anymore; a change due to the social setup itself, but mainly due to the hashtag overload that doesn’t bring in real differences in its usage. No hashtags at all then? Let’s not put on black and white glasses: the trick is to use a few, but goal-oriented and functional to your brand awareness.
Another big star of Instagram is the Stories tool: quick content that can be seen in the following 24 hours from posting. For those using Instagram for business, stories are useful to avoid serial posting on the official profile while continuously communicate your position at the same time. This kind of efficiency cannot be found equally on Facebook stories, no matter what, active users will be less. The newest appliance in the Instagram kitchen is “Reel” which allows you to create video stories with licensed soundtracks.
Advertising is available on Instagram as well and, being Facebook’s property, the two social media can be linked together making the campaign management much more fluid and cost-friendly.
The most famous tweeting bird took off a while ago as a direct response to Facebook’s monopoly. Twitter is the perfect channel to create short and catchy statements, a few condensed words with high-conceptual density.
Since the beginning, Twitter’s top features have been the hashtags, keywords able to rank your content on direct searches or trends. As for anything else, less is more: use a couple of them and make sure they have enough potential.
For whom Twitter might be useful? Considering that talking in slogans is not enough, it is possible this very social channel is not the perfect fit for a business in this particular digital age. What trends on Twitter is a controversial social matter, a politician’s speech or an environmental warning for citizens. However, if you are not the Donald Trump or the Coke of your field, Twitter won’t really make a substantial difference in your communication efforts.
That of Linkedin has been a real walk on the wildside, and a pretty brilliant one to be fair. This is a social network entirely dedicated to business, where it is very unlikely you will be able to find gossip or a football game’s score. Such diversification from generalised social media like Facebook and Instagram allows the growth of a proper hub where professionals can exchange virtual business cards and engage in topical conversations.
You can easily set up an official page for your business which works just like Facebook’s: write posts, react and share. The extra feature here is the opportunity to upload files (even from Google Drive) that people can conveniently download. Employees can register on the official page with their job title and this information will figure on their profile too. Of course, the real Linkedin gem is the possibility for firms to post job offers and for candidates to apply for the vacant position directly on the platform.
Concerning advertising, Linkedin behaves exactly like Facebook with the sole difference of the minimum daily budget (10€) with no minimum campaign days, however. With one campaign day coverage ranges between 700 and 3.800 with 4 to 10 clicks guaranteed. The targeting automation suggests a specific budget and a conversion tracking is also a huge plus available.
Linkedin efficiency depends very much on the kind of business we wish to promote, more adequate for those who offer services instead of those selling a product. In any case, all of those willing to use Linkedin for brand awareness will find themselves on the right path.
Often ignored by most firms, Pinterest is, on the contrary, an incredible resource for those businesses able to use pictures and videos as primary content. Just as Instagram, Pinterest goes all-in with the undeniable power of graphics and the engagement that can come from them.
Also, being a very recreational space its implementation is highly suggested for those selling a product, a place to visit or an experience to live.
Pinterest behaves like a sort of archive where people can store images and videos: a pretty dress we would like to buy, interior designs that would look great in our new home, a monument in the city we’re going to visit next, a recipe for a gorgeous cake etc. You can label pins in categories on your dashboards and you can easily find them whenever you need them.
Advertising pins works similarly to the other social networks and the main goal here (apart from conversion) is to build customer loyalty towards your brand by simply having them save your pin on their dashboard; an unmistakable way to obtain feedback on the content you created.