Believe it or not, I get asked to “post this on Facebook” more often than you’d think.
I’m not sure if the word “Facebook” has become synonymous with social media in that way that we now “Google” things or when we used to “Xerox” copies, but that question sometimes makes me wonder if people realize there’s an entire world of options out there besides the giant that is Facebook?
Let me backtrack before I get into those options: you absolutely should be on Facebook. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it! Facebook is the king of the proverbial social media jungle. It has the most users and may get you your biggest bang for your advertising buck. It’s not often I come across someone who doesn’t want to be on Facebook, but I meet resistance (or even blank stares) when mentioning the benefits of other platforms.
I strongly believe you don’t need to be on every social media platform. I previously talked about the positives and negatives of several social media networks, but need to go into detail about the pitfalls of only being visible on a single platform.
Facebook is the biggest of them all, but that also means you may have more competition. If you’re not a niche brand or product, you could easily get swept under the rug. Therefore, if Facebook is your only means of advertising, that isn’t good.
I always advocate leveraging social media to bring that potential audience back to your website. However, if you’re only broadcasting to a single pool of people, that also isn’t any good.
Oftentimes your Facebook page is going to begin with immediate friends and family who you invite to like your page. You have to cast your net a bit wider to find strangers. The best way to do that is jumping into services that cater to the general public.
Twitter is by and large the biggest platform to do so. While Instagram is growing, you cannot link back to your site within individual posts there (which also have to be anchored by posting a photo). On Twitter you can easily send out short, quick messages. As with any service there’s a caveat: tweets are limited to roughly 280 characters (pending photo attachments and links) plus Twitter is like a newswire in that the information is consumed as fast as it vanishes. (Almost instantly.)
While I made that comment about Instagram, the service links up nicely with Facebook (their owner) and can help you cross-promote to both your business page audiences.
Facebook and Twitter posts rank high when using Google. There’s a strong possibility that your posts there on a particular topic will rank higher than your own website. (Note: that’s typical and nothing to be discouraged about.)
YouTube videos will always rank higher on Google than regular text posts. Since video is a hot medium and Google owns YouTube, it would behoove you to create a channel and post clips, if you have them. (As always, make sure you have links in your description!)
Pinterest and Google Plus can regularly show up high in web searches as well. While they may not have the same market penetration as the bigger sites, image searches routinely find pinned items on Pinterest boards or pull from a story posted to Google Plus. With Google’s 90% or more market share of web search, even a “ghost town” such as Google Plus (which has some dedicated users who refuse to use Facebook, etc.) has a positive benefit to sharing there.
Business professionals should be on LinkedIn, but should also be aware that some of the platform’s features are paid-only. The best way to leverage LinkedIn’s benefits is to keep your personal resume up-to-date. Business pages don’t get a lot of play in the general day-to-day use of LinkedIn, nor will you have much success cold-contacting individuals with sales pitches. (LinkedIn has been anti-spam for a while now.)
If you can dedicate the time, simply sharing your content to your personal profile or in community groups where it’s acceptable is the best avenue to using this service.
Finding what social media platforms work best for your social media marketing campaign can be a trial and error process. If you find that you’re not gaining traction on one service, give it some time and then try another.
The focus of this article was to get you thinking about more than Facebook. With Facebook’s fight against “fake news” and a recent privacy scare, they’re becoming a more difficult platform for businesses to effectively use without paying for the privilege.
Also, if you haven’t broken out beyond a “friends and family” audience, it’s time to start finding outsiders by using other services as part of your overall strategy. However, SEO benefits are the main reason you want to amplify your message to as many services you can comfortably, and consistently, keep updated.
Some of those circles may overlap, but in the end, you want to have your entire net cast as wide as possible: you never know when one of those paths will lead someone back to your business.