Facebook has been in and out of hot water of late, Twitter seems to be trying to stay out of trouble, and many people I’ve worked with don’t understand Instagram. While these aren’t the only social channels, they seem to be the “Big 3” social media networks. Are they really important? Should your business/organization be using them?
In short, YES. Your business or organization needs an online presence and, let’s face it, websites just aren’t enough anymore. You need to engage with your customers, and the most effective way is through social media.
Ready for the longer answer? You should consider what works best for your business. Facebook is almost a default to have, especially given the breadth of the platform. Until something comes along that can pull everyone away from the giant, it is a good practice to have a page for your business/organization. It allows you to make fast updates about your business, and you reach the masses faster than you would by just putting the information on your site and hoping for the best. Even this blog post will make the rounds and go to Washington Media’s social platforms. Why? Because we know it’s smarter to post it in as many places as possible than to just hope it’s seen on our blog. It will reach more people if it goes to Facebook, Twitter, and the like.
Twitter is another matter. Do you need one for business? Well… Do you want one? Twitter is the platform that seems to keep coming back from what some would deem a permanent grave. From what I’ve seen (and based on the experiences of clients and colleagues), the platform works best for those who are going to use it consistently. While that can be said to be true of any social media platform, I think it’s especially true here. A user’s feed fills up so fast that you have to use the site more than once per day to ensure your tweets are being seen. So, if you like the platform and plan to use it, then set up a Twitter account for your business!
Instagram… with all your hashtags and models? Actually, Instagram is a very good thing for a business to use. The sad fact is just how long it took for Facebook to make Instagram business friendly. The platform is based around the idea of capturing the moment. You can capture your products or services, share the antics going on behind the scenes, or share information about events (either in progress or by posting the event flyer). In a way, Instagram is Twitter for picture/video.
Of course, there are other platforms (LinkedIn and Snapchat are probably another two that most people have heard of), but they rely heavily on being right for your business/organization and your client base. Like all things in business, be smart about your social media channels and make them work for you.