If you own your own business or are a marketing / social media manager for a company the social landscape has really changed over the past few years. Typically you would use Facebook and Twitter to connect with customers and build communities there, but there are new emerging social networks that allow you to connect with customers in new ways and these new networks have much better engagement as well. So let’s go through the different social networks I believe you and your business needs to be on in 2016.
Snapchat is the new hot social network that I see being a big game-changer this year. Snapchat allows you to send photos and videos out to people who follow you, but the catch is that your content disappears after 24 hours. Snapchat is a great way to give a behind the scenes look at your business and what is going on in real time. The engagement on Snapchat is greater than any other social network, while on most networks people scroll through content and sometimes miss you content or it does not come up, on Snapchat people will sit there and watch all of your snaps. Videos on Snapchat can only be 10 seconds long, so if you are looking to record something longer check out what I have to say about Periscope below.
Instagram has been around for a little while now and is another network where engagement is very high. Instagram allows you to share photos and videos with the world (video is limited to 15 seconds). What’s great about Instagram is that there are no other distractions, no other updates besides photos and videos from people you follow. This is why engagement on the platform is so high. I’ve seen people start a business based off of Instagram and other people who have used Instagram as a massive tool to build awareness about their brand. I actually bought a product because I saw it on Instagram! If you are selling any type of physical product I would highly recommend you jump on Instagram.
Facebook is still a social network you definitely need to be on. It still has the largest user-base, my parents just got on Facebook this year. Besides the web the second place someone will search for your business on is Facebook. Facebook pages offer great features for businesses to. You can setup reviews, have all of your contact information, and more! Another thing that is great about Facebook is Facebook advertising because you can specifically target people based on age, location, and much more. That means if you are trying to promote a product for people ages 25-30 who are into hockey you can do that on Facebook.
Like Facebook Twitter is still a great social network to be on. While engagement has sort of gone down over the past few years it is still a very viable platform. It is also a great platform to communicate to your followers in real time. A great example of this is the @comcastcares account. Hashtags are still very big and allow you to easy search and follow things that are going on. Using hashtags and twitter search you can actually find people who may be interested in your business or product.
Instagram only allows 15 second video, and Snapchat only allows 10 second video. So if you want to do any type of live video that is longer than that Periscope is where to do it. It allows you to start a live broadcast from pretty much anywhere. This is great if you are at an event or say doing an interview. The Pittsburgh Penguins use Periscope quite often to do locker room interviews and more. This again is a great platform to show a behind the scenes look at your business. Users can search by location too, so you can connect with people who are in your area.
Pinterest might not be as big a some of the other networks listed here, but if you have a business that sells a product Pinterest is a great network to be on. Pinterest is a network where you can share photos and videos. It is extremely popular for sharing cooking, DIY, and other cool ideas. Its user-base is largely women so again if your product is more targeted to women it is a great network to be on.
** Bob Buskirk is the Founder of Look Social. Check out his personal blog to see what he is up to.