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Social media marketing – what platforms should your business choose?

With a new social media platform seeming to pop up regularly, it can be difficult to know which is best for your business.
 
Social media not only allows companies to interact and chat with potential customers, but also means they can give access to the people and work that goes on behind closed doors. 
 
But, to have a successful presence, you don't need profiles on every platform. Here we give an overview of the main players and offer advice on how your company could benefit. 
 

Facebook
What is it? Facebook can work for every company no matter what they do, sell or supply. With an increasing number of people now using Facebook to find contact details and information, companies ignore it at their peril. 
How many users? Over 2 billion.
Post frequency: Between two and five image or video led posts a week should be sufficient. 
Added benefit: Facebook advertising allows companies to target users by way of interests and geographical areas, amongst many other options. Costing as little as £4 a day it's extremely cost-effective and can really help to build page likes. 
 
Twitter
What is it? A platform that allows businesses to spread short messages and snippets of information out to the world by 'Tweeting'. Twitter is perfect for being part of chats, starting conversations and leading debate and, like Facebook, it can be relevant for all industries.
How many users? Over 900 million profiles.
Post frequency: Due to the quick nature and short length of messages, post frequently – ideally once or twice a day – to make the best use of Twitter. 
Added benefit: To help with regular posting, there are many additional tools that allow you to schedule your tweets. Apps like Hootsuite, TweetDeck and Buffer mean you can keep on top of your tweeting 24/7 without having to be up and active at 3am!
 
Instagram
What is it? Instagram is very much a visual tool and can be extremely beneficial for companies that fall under the lifestyle banner, so it's perfect for uploading pictures and short videos (under 15 seconds) of fashion, food and cosmetics.
How many users? 800 million monthly users.
Post frequency: Once a day should be enough to get your message out to followers.
Added benefit: Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags! Hashtags are searchable and you can use as many as 30 per post, making it easy for Instagram users to find specific content, and for companies to reach their target audience. 
 
LinkedIn
What is it? As the largest professional networking platform, LinkedIn is extremely beneficial for B2B companies, recruiters and job-seekers. A company can develop a reputation as an expert or industry leader by posting well-written and professional content. 
How many users? 467 million members.
Post frequency: Share an interesting article once a week. Content such as industry trends, business analysis, or how-to guides work well. 
Added benefit: Allows instant access to managing directors and key decision makers. 
 
Pinterest
What is it? Pinterest users create boards and pin, and re-pin posts. It's primarily used by lifestyle brands and is particularly popular with crafters. 
How many users? 150 million.
Post frequency: Pinterest favours recent content, so pinning and re-pinning often is necessary to ensure your company's posts remain high in searches. 
Added benefit: Pinterest is very much seen as a place for inspiration, so having eye-catching posts with good quality photography can help drive traffic to your website. 
 
Snapchat
What is it? Snapchat has grown remarkably in the last couple of years and has evolved dramatically since it hit the market in 2011. It's mainly used for creating messages, or 'snaps', made up of short videos or photos that can be viewed for up to 10 seconds before they disappear. The vibe is fun and playful, making Snapchat particularly beneficial for companies that hold regular live events. 
How many users? 150 million
Post frequency: Daily is ideal, but as there is no record of when a company last posted, there is no fixed rule.  
Added benefit: Companies that have the most success on Snapchat make use of the filter, effects and caption facility to create snaps that stand out.
 
Here at PMW, we have a dedicated social media department which is home to a team who are experts across all social media platforms. Contact us for more information about how we could help to grow your company's social profile.

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