Social media has changed the way that businesses interact with their customers. It provides a platform for two-way communication between businesses and their customers and networks, enabling them to share information, updates and industry knowledge with others.
Each social media platform targets audiences in different ways. Your intended target audience, messages, communication goals and the relationships you want to cultivate will determine which platform/s will best meets your needs.
For businesses new to social media, here is a quick rundown on the most widely used platforms.
With over 17 million monthly active users in Australia, Facebook is by far is the most well-known social media platform. If Facebook accounts were a nation, it would be the largest nation by population on earth! Facebook is highly versatile and can be used to post photos, videos, live video streams, business articles and product information. Chat bots can also be utilised to handle customer enquiries. Facebook allows businesses to buy advertising targeted to a specific demographic, making it a powerful consumer marketing tool. It’s commonly considered a minimum to build a B2C social media presence.
A favourite communication channel for politicians and celebrities across the globe, Twitter allows you to get bite-sized (140-character) messages out to your followers quickly. Twitter posts can be found when people search using hashtags (ie #keyword or brand). Your followers are then able to ‘retweet’ your message to their followers which can rapidly broaden the reach of your message. If you’re in an industry where thought leadership is valuable, then consider Twitter as a platform to increase your brand awareness and personal profile, whilst also demonstrating your experience and expertise.
Purchased by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion dollars, Instagram is a visual platform focused on sharing photos and videos which can be edited using filters and other inbuilt tools. Industries that are best suited to this platform tend to be food, fashion and travel-related. However, it is important that the person managing this account has basic photography skills – well-composed, well-lit and engaging photos are essential if you are to benefit from this platform.
Youtube can be a great educational tool to provide information to customers about your business’s product or service. Creative videos can become viral and help increase brand awareness. Air New Zealand’s air safety videos are an example of videos that are both creative and informative.
This is a platform for businesses and professionals to connect with each other and to expand their networks to create both business and employment opportunities. Mainly used for business-related discussions and ideas sharing, LinkedIn works well for professional services companies such as accountants, lawyers and engineers as well as other B2B businesses such as marketing and consulting.
Accru was one of the first mid-tier professional services firms on social media and has a presence on most of these platforms. Join Accru on LinkedIn if you’re in business, or on Facebook if you’re a young accountant and keep up with Accru news relevant to you. You’ll also find many Accru offices and staff on Twitter.