Social media – usually we love it, sometimes we hate it, and more than anything, we love to hate it. But when it comes to its impact on business, how important is it?
A recent survey from Pollara (https://www.pollara.com/) reports that 91% of Canadians use at least one social media platform, and 63% of them follow company, brand or product pages. It seems clear that your potential clients are definitely on social media – so how do you reach them?
Over the next 4 weeks, I’m going to be talking about all of the most recent data – what social media platforms are most popular, what you can accomplish with social media in your business (this one might be a bit of a surprise), how to utilize social media effectively, and what’s coming next in social media for businesses.
This week, let’s talk about what social media platforms are most popular, and where your potential clients probably are.
To some degree, that depends on where in Canada you are, but on average, 76% of Canadians use Facebook, 48% use LinkedIn, and (brace yourself for a surprise) 42% use Google+, the much mocked but shockingly useful social media site. Instagram and Twitter come next with 34%, and Pinterest at 33%. There are many more social media platforms, but it seems as if those are your best places to start when trying to promote your business.
Despite perception, there aren’t huge gender divides among the main social media platforms, with the exception of Pinterest, with has substantially more female users. Regardless of which gender buys more of your type of services, you will find them in large numbers on the major sites.
Although there are some interesting companies that research where your individual customers actually are (using the emails that you provide), a much less creepy way of discovering this is to just ask them. Periodic surveys of your customers allows you see patterns of social media use, and even interests, that may very help you start conversations not only with them, but with people like them.
And lastly, when picking social media sites to focus on for your business (we typically recommend starting with a mix of perhaps 3 different sites), think about your message – how is it best conveyed to your potential clients and potential return clients? Would seeing the product or service in action help? If so, a more visual site like Instagram may be a good fit. Are you irreverent and funny? Twitter may be a fitting complement to your style. Are you primarily business-to-business, rather than business-to-consumer? Then LinkedIn is a more suitable place to focus. In this way, it is important to consider not just where your customers are, but what kind of business you have, and how you best communicate.
But let’s take a step back – are you even sure that social media works for business? What does it actually do for you and your bottom line, and is it worth your time? Let’s talk about that next week when we tackle the issue of what you can accomplish with social media in your business! (Spoiler alert: it does work, and it is worth your time, but it might not work in the way you think it should).