Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at April 30th, 2018
Written by Janet Gershen-Siegel
Let’s look at some more terrific social media channels you should be on now. In Part 1, we went over the biggest and best social media platforms where your business should be, and those were Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Let’s see where your business can really shine.
Do you tweet?
Twitter can seem like a mystery to a lot of people. It’s rather different from other social media platforms. Twitter calls itself a microblogging service. But it’s not really used for much blogging. Instead, Twitter tends to be one big, long conversation.
According to Statista, the number of monthly active Twitter users in the United States was 68 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Twitter’s American demographics, according to Statista (as of 2016), tend to skew young. Just over 40% are in the 18 – 34 age demographic group.
Twitter usage falls off considerably for seniors, who comprise only 5.9% of all American Twitter users. Hence if your product or service is more for seniors, Twitter should not be your primary platform. However, that does not mean you can ignore it completely.
Companies use Twitter in a variety of ways. One popular method is to tweet out information about discounts and specials, particularly with Twitter-only coupons. These also help show how effective your advertising is, and what your reach is on Twitter. Another use for Twitter is to provide a degree of customer service, such as generalized announcements of server outages or if the store is closed on an unexpected day. Another use is to field a crisis, as you might see complaints on Twitter but nowhere else.
Here’s a truly memorable and clever use of Twitter – in 2013, the lights went out during the Super Bowl. Oreo took to Twitter and tweeted a still image of a cookie on a background which shaded from light to dark. So what were the tweet and caption?
Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark.
This quick thinking created a memorable ad with over 15,000 retweets. Now, nobody can take a great picture and come up with an incredible tag line in five seconds. Given the date (it was February 3, 2013); it’s likely the tweet was originally meant for Valentine’s Day. And it might have possibly been for a different tweet. The quick thinking in this case was to alter the tweet and get that image out as soon as possible, which meant that management was on board, and may even have suggested it.
Will your business be as clever and nimble? It does not have to be. Great coupons, an engaging presence, and a clear attitude that your company will do its best to make right any problem are all great uses for Twitter.
If you do not know what hashtags are for, don’t fret! Hashtags are a means of searching aggregate content. Hence for, say, Doctor Who fans, following the #DoctorWho hashtag makes it easier to find like-minded people and future friends. It also means if you market to such fans, using the hashtag means your tweets will be more likely to reach them.
Some industries and hobbies have more than one hashtag. The independent writer community uses #amwriting, #amediting, and #amquerying for various stages in an author’s journey. So read, read, read to learn where the best hashtags are, and who is using them. Search and experiment. And if you make your own, keep it as short as possible.
Like on Facebook, Twitter can sometimes be the scene of a social media crisis. Here are the best things you can do to address a crisis through the medium of Twitter. If a lot of these look familiar, they should. Because handling a crisis actually works well for all of the social media channels you should be on now.
Write a social media policy, as soon as you can. Having a policy will give you a road map of what to do if it all goes to hell in a hand basket.
Hire a person to manage social media. In the beginning, it may be hard to afford someone. But if you are handling it yourself, you’ve got to spend some time and attention on it.
Address concerns as well as you can. Here’s where a preexisting policy will help out the most. Most people communicating in a crisis are either confused or curious, or have a legit complaint. Always address those people. For someone who just wants to complain, decide if you want to let them vent. But deleting every negative thing said is not a great idea, either. Again, here’s where a policy will help tremendously.
Unlike on Facebook, your company can be truly proactive and snag accounts with similar names to your own. Hence if you spell out numbers in your Twitter handle, see if you can get a similar handle with the numerals. You might want to even consider numbers that can take the place of letters, such as 0 for O, 1 for I, 3 for E, 4 for A, 6 for G, and 7 for L. Also, you might want to snap up accounts with names like yourcompanystinks (plus far earthier versions of that).
Why does this matter? Because while this also happens on Facebook, the home for fake customer service troll accounts seems to be Twitter. See: https://twitter.com/customercaring for an example.
And on Twitter, it’s easier to make a ton of accounts. Facebook does make it more difficult to do that, so if there are too many hoops to jump through, a troll might not want to make a parody account on Facebook just for the lulz. So protect your company early, before anything like this happens.
And, of course, take heart. Lots of businesses have gone through a social media crisis. They are not fun but most businesses will survive it.
Google Plus can seem a bit like the social media platform that time forgot. But with only about a 50% usage in the United States (per Statista, as of January of 2018), it could be a great way to reach an array of customers who do not want to follow what everyone else is doing. If you’ve got an iconoclastic brand, that might be a way to use this social media channel. Note: Statista puts Google Plus usage higher for men (52%) versus women (48%).
But according to Android Central, the biggest and best use of Google Plus comes from its obvious connection to Google. As in, Google will pull Google Plus posts for searches. Relevant posts from your Google Plus circles will show up in search – so you will probably want to cross-post your content there.
And that may very well be driving the usage numbers. Google Plus seems to be an afterthought, mainly used for its connection to Google. So use it, yes, but think twice about being too active unless you’ve got a very good reason to do so.
And… a bonus! Pinterest has long been seen as a female-centric social media channel, and that’s still the case. Statista says that, in April of 2018, 50.7% of users worldwide were female. Is it surprising that the genders are so close on Pinterest?
Given a traditionally smaller male presence, you would think that you couldn’t advertise male-centric products and services there. But think again!
Women will buy men’s and boy’s clothing. And they will also recommend urologists to the men in their lives. Science fiction, a genre dominated by men, has a large presence on Pinterest. This includes everything from book covers and film posters to images of cosplayers. So do not count out Pinterest. Just as with Instagram, be sure to work with professionals or at least good equipment. Because blurry photos just are not going to cut it here.
Oh and one more thing – tag your pins! If your company offers life coaching services, then tag your pins with all of the words associated with your service, and be sure to include your location. Pinterest searches weigh tags heavily, so use them!
Finally, when all is said and done, the best social media channels social media channels you should be on now are the ones that you can comfortably use. And they’re the ones you have the time for. Or at least you can hire someone who can handle them.
Being on every platform out there will not do you much good. You can’t really just ‘set and forget’ these. Being present and active and engaging will go a long way, regardless of social media platform. Check out how this will help your company leverage the power of the internet and social media. And get on the best social media channels you should be on now.