In recent years the use of social media has become increasingly prominent in business as a means of advertisement and growing a startup from the ground up. 52% of social media marketers believed that it positively influences their company’s sales. This is because social media helps to connect a business to its customers, increase awareness about its brand and naturally boost sales. Furthermore, with a monthly active base of users exceeding 3.5 billion, social media use in business will only become more prevalent. However, as it does, it is important for businesses to remember phones are not obsolete yet, far from it – they may yet be the factor customers rely on to decide between the businesses saturating social media.
A Social Media Approach
To harness the biggest social media platforms in order to boost a business most effectively, the pros and cons of each must be understood. The big three platforms to be considered are: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Instagram is a giant in the social media sphere. Since its foundation back in 2010, the photo-sharing app has only increased in popularity, both generally and for business. Today, 60% of top brands are connected to its 1 billion strong active user base.
The main appeal of Instagram is the influence its users can generate – anyone can find success on the platform. Startups can capitalize on this to carve their own presence on the platform, or take advantage of existing influencers with a large following through sponsored promotions.
Another useful feature of the app is its ‘Instagram Stories’; lots of pages have built up popularity through their use. This is a powerful storytelling story that allows users to create micro-posts with a 24-hour lifespan. By either working behind the scenes or engaging with followers, this feature has been proven to be a strong marketing technique.
Twitter places a proverbial megaphone in the hands of its 330 million strong user base. Originally created as a site for microblogging in 2006 it has become a foundation of information and debate. Startups can utilize this ongoing conversation by chiming in at any time and creating its own audience.
Unlike Instagram where visual brands dominate (i.e. fashion brands compose 4 out of the 5 most followed accounts), Twitter is a playground for personalities. By remaining honest and relatable, a startup can be rewarded for the authenticity of its words with a following. A brand voice must be established and maintained to cement a startup’s place in its industry.
Many users rely on Twitter to find information about almost anything. No tool exists today that is better for a startup to engage with its target demographic and track industry trends.
That being said, Twitter is a place for conversation, not selling. Startups should be aware of this when thinking about how they wish to portray themselves, using it solely and overtly as a tool to sell rarely comes across well.
Facebook is where social media marketing originated, and is a safe place for a startup to learn the ropes. It has been developing custom-made marketing strategies for an array of industries with ‘Facebook for Business’. This offers free and paid advice as to how Facebook may be used most effectively for marketing.
Facebook’s venerable advertisement process is more extensive and detailed than that of any other social networks. Its paid ads are marketing in its most basic form, but its data-tracking and demographic optimization options are far from this; they ensure ads are effective and reach the right people.
All of these platforms are extremely useful tools in a startups arsenal: Facebook is perfect for starting out with advertising, Twitter is great for engaging with customers and Instagram cannot be beaten for exposure. However, in a world where companies are realizing the capabilities of this technology, the telephone has sadly fallen by the wayside.
Perhaps ironically, phones still remain the optimal medium for customer service despite this, and the lack of a good phone system can lead to customer frustration and the deterring of customers from a business. They should thus be used in conjunction with social media to skyrocket a business to success. For more information on which business phone service to choose, make sure to visit TRUiC’s helpful article on the topic.