The Importance of Being Social
As I casually scrolled through my Facebook news feed for 25 minutes while I was bored, it hit me: social media has become ingrained in our day to day habits and lives. My 25 minute browsing session is nothing compared to the average American aged 18-64, who spends 3.2 hours a day social networking from a computer, tablet, and/or mobile phone.
In my last article I talked about how the mobile takeover affects your company. What I didn’t discuss is how people are engaging and interacting with mobile devices. Well, users are being “social.” Social media use on smartphones and tablets alike has skyrocketed. Americans are spending an average of 28% of their mobile time on social media applications (this is the highest percentage for any type of application). Social media is actually now the leading internet activity for American users. It even beats e-mail!
Every social media platform gives you the opportunity to engage with your customers in a unique way and provides your company with important customer information, follower engagement, and traffic to your website. As a business, taking part in social media is no longer a luxury but a necessity, so get ready to get social!
Facebook - Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.
Most people are relatively familiar with Facebook as “The Social Network” for individuals to connect with their friends, or nowadays, their grandmothers. But Facebook has more uses than just that. Facebook is extremely useful for companies, especially B2C providers.
Facebook allows companies to share status updates, links, photos, or videos with their fans that show up straight in their fans’ news feeds. It also allows for companies to post promotional offers, events or important milestones. The comments stream allows companies to actually engage in conversations with their fans. The company page inbox and timeline allow fans to post directly to the company in either a private or public message. All of these tools help companies portray themselves as more than just an organization but rather a group of real people who are available to help customers and fans at any time.
Facebook is one of the best social media sites for providing in site statistics about post reach, engagement, and follower demographics. Facebook provides age, gender, and location demographics separately for your fans, people your posts reach, and people who your posts engage. Another cool statistic (yes, I just called a statistic cool), shows the number of people who visit your Facebook page from an outside website. This is very useful to gage what websites are driving traffic to your social media pages. Facebook also does a great job showing the reach and engagement of each post. On every post you can see how many people viewed the post, how many people liked, shared or commented and whether or not those likes and comments were on your companies post or an outside share.
Need some inspiration? Check out DOOR3’s Facebook page here!
LinkedIn - The World’s Largest Professional Network
For B2B providers, LinkedIn is the holy grail of social media sites. We all know Company Pages are useful, but one of LinkedIn’s more recent features are the Company Showcase pages. Showcase pages are subsets of your Main Company Page that breaks down your company’s offerings (products or services) into more specific categories that users can then follow. Some of the benefits of a Showcase Page include a more specific description of products or services, post updates specific to a product or service with a targeted audience and no competitor ads on the page.
LinkedIn also provides professional insights about your followers and analytics about your posts. The professional insights include industry, company size, function, and seniority level of both your followers and page visitors. Like Facebook, LinkedIn provides engagement statistics comparing how many impressions your posts receive versus how many people clicked or interacted with your posts in another way.
Twitter - Connect with your friends and other fascinating people.
Twitter is a much more simple social media platform that calls for a bit more creative work. Working with only 140 characters, you need to catch your followers attention enough for them to retweet and favorite your content. This calls for quick and engaging one liners that inform your followers of something they didn’t previously know.
Twitter also uses hashtags which, when trying to increase your follower base, can become your best friend. When you #hashtag a word in your tweet, anyone who searches for that word will come up with your tweet in the list of other tweets with that hashtag. Twitter users are constantly searching twitter hashtags and if you hashtag relative words, you can end up receiving a lot of meaningful followers without doing much work at all. That sounds #prettygreat to me!
Need some inspiration? Check out DOOR3’s Twitter page here!
Instagram - Capture and Share the World’s Moments
The newest king in the social media game is Instagram, the photo sharing social media platform. Instagram is less content based so it allows for companies to show a much more human side of their company. Instagram allows companies to post photos, edit those photos with ready-made Instagram filters to make them look nicer, and add a caption to the photos.
Much like Twitter, Instagram uses hashtags so your company's photos can be found for people searching relative hashtags. On top of this, recent studies have shown that Instagram provides 58% higher engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. If that doesn’t convince you to start Instagramming, I don’t know what will!
Need some inspiration? Check out DOOR3’s Instagram profile here!
YouTube - Discover new channels, watch and share your favorite videos
Video is the new hot marketing trend. Today, 70% of marketers now incorporate video into their marketing campaigns. YouTube provides an easy platform for companies to post videos about products and services in action as well as post webinars or videos for more in depth thought leadership. One of the great things about YouTube is they have a Video Editor built in their platform, called the Creator Studio, where you can manage and edit all of your videos before publishing. After publishing, each video has an easy social sharing tool bar for users, helping you get your content out there.
YouTube also has a whole section in their Creator Studio for analytics to help you measure the performance of your videos. You can see statistics about traffic sources, demographics, devices, and even information about the average length people spend watching each video. YouTube also provides engagement reports of the number of views your video has gotten over time, as well as the number of likes or dislikes. The Analytics section is a great way to get insight on what’s working and what’s not. So start making videos today and allow your audience sit back and enjoy the show.
Need some inspiration? Check out DOOR3’s YouTube channel here!
We’ve given you plenty of reasons to go social, so stop being antisocial and join the social media revolution. Not to mention, we haven’t included all the paid advertising opportunities that theses different social media platforms provide. But that’s a whole other story…
* Jamie Zakalik is a Digital Marketing & Business Development Intern at DOOR3. How do you use social media to your advantage? Share your advice below.