Content may well be king, but just as every king needs a queen, sparkling content goes hand-in-hand with social media to bring out the best of it.
However, focusing your energies and marketing strategy on the right social channels for your business is often easier said than done, thanks to the variety of potential platforms that are at your fingertips. We’ve come a long way from the days of MySpace, and the array of choice presented to businesses keen to make their mark and build an engaged social following today can be somewhat overwhelming.
Should you dabble in as many platforms as possible or focus your efforts onto just one or two? And more importantly, how do you decide which social media platform works best for your business? Well, we’ve come across a couple of recent articles that throw some light onto this issue.
As content marketers, we are all fully aware of the social ‘Big Six’: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. However, trying to stretch your resources across all of these platforms is, in our opinion, simply asking for trouble. This isn’t to say you ought to put a limit on how many you focus on, just that you need to be sure you have the time and resources to put your all into whichever you choose to use. Better to have one or two well-managed social media accounts than six half-baked ones.
Followers versus engagement
A recent article on thedrum.com reported that LinkedIn is, by far, still the key hub for the B2B business looking to gain followers. With more than 400 million users and 100 million monthly active users, the ability to target particular industries and job titles makes LinkedIn the ideal network for businesses to connect to the right audience as they establish a presence, increase brand awareness and otherwise court prospects.
Essentially, for the B2B business, LinkedIn offers leads galore. However, when it comes to focusing on engagement rather than accruing followers, it appears that Instagram takes the crown. Pinterest has also become a contender in terms of engagement whilst Facebook fell into the mid-range no-man’s land and Twitter proved to be something of a damp squib, averaging just two interactions per post per 1,000 followers.
Interestingly, the report found this trend was generally accurate across a variety of industries from pharmaceuticals to chemical manufacturing. There were some exceptions to the rule – the financial services were found to be garnering higher engagement through the use of Pinterest – but in general it was Instagram that saw the highest figures of engagement, particularly amongst professional services. Cisco topped this industry with the highest number of Instagram followers, perhaps due to their creative mix of video clips, event-focused campaigns and profiles of employees, offering insights into the human side of their business.
In terms of B2C businesses, Rival IQ reported last year that Facebook and Twitter were still the top channels for brands looking to gain followers and establish brand awareness. However, in this sphere too, Instagram engagement is on the rise. Perhaps this is due to the over-saturation of content and ads that fill our Facebook and Twitter feeds. In comparison, Instagram has stuck to its concept of simple, easy-to-browse content with subtle ads that manage to sneak their way into your feed without feeling too obtrusive.
Ultimately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to choosing the right social platform for your business. It is a thorough understanding of your customers needs, habits and social preferences which will indicate where best to focus your efforts. However, it is clear from the evidence that the visual and personalised nature of Instagram and Pinterest are taking the spotlight as excellent channels for those looking to engage with brands.
Of course, managing one social media account can take up valuable time and resources, let alone multiple channels. Why not simply pass the reins over to the professionals so that you can spend more time on what you do best – running a successful business.