Social media is a very useful tool for marketing because it is an easy and free way to increase your audience and make potential customers aware of your business. There are a range of social media sites that are free to setup and make posts on and can help businesses reach their target markets.
A lot of potential customers will look at a business’ Facebook page to determine if that business will be suitable for their needs. There are 2.4 billion people using Facebook every month and not utilising this platform in your marketing strategy means you would be missing out. Two thirds of Facebook users say they visit a local business Facebook page at least once a week, so your business page is a very key part of your online identity. Setting up a business Facebook page is free and it allows administrators to post content, post links to their website and communicate with followers. There is an option to use paid ads but you can also post text statuses, video, photos, linked content, polls, stories and go live all for free.
Instagram is a photo based social media site where engagement is high, followers are brand loyal and business goals can be achieved by making connections with these followers. More than 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile every day, so it is important to capitalise by having an Instagram account set up for business. Modern audiences determine what a business is going to be like by searching either their website, Facebook or Instagram account and not having one of these accounts would reflect poorly on the business.
Instagram has specific business features that users can choose to add to the profile, such as contact information, business category and call to action buttons such as ‘book an appointment’. Businesses can use Instagram to post photos, stories and videos that show who they are and what they are offering whilst keeping their target audience in mind.
Businesses can use Twitter as a place to meet customers where they already are. It is a social media platform primarily for sharing short text posts, but also has photo, video and link sharing capabilities. Businesses can build a Twitter profile that stands out, provides value to the audience and is engaging. Posts that do well on Twitter are those that customers want to like or retweet and share to their own followers.
A great way for brands to operate on Twitter is by interacting with their audience directly. Following and responding to customers on Twitter will create a strong sense of familiarity and trust between customer and business.
Snapchat is a video and photo sharing platform where businesses post stories to their followers. Businesses who are targeting the younger generations can’t afford to miss out on using Snapchat. 71% of Generation Z use Snapchat every day and it is a great platform for reaching ages 12-34.  Snapchats disappear after 24 hours so it is important to post regularly to keep the business fresh in followers’ minds. Businesses share snapchats by posting to their story, and they can also reach audiences by sponsoring a filter. Some ideas of what to be posting on snapchat include featuring user-generated content, offering promo codes or special offers, promoting new products and driving traffic to a website.
“It is important to be where your audience of potential customers is today, and where they might be tomorrow” – Andrew Delaney