Social media accounts are incredible marketing tools for your business when set-up correctly and well utilized.
There are so many reasons why social media marketing matters, let alone why online marketing is important for your business, that it’s difficult to dismiss online marketing as a fad. Setting up social media accounts for your business doesn’t take long, but it is essential to include the right information for your followers and potential customers.
Choose the right social media accounts for your business
There is no need to have an account on every social media platform! Instead, consider where your audience spends their digital life. Generally speaking, Millennials and Gen Y will spend more time on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and VSCO; and Gen X spends more time on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest; Baby Boomers use Facebook.
Here are some statistics from The Pew Research Center’s 2016 Social Media Update research:
Some 62% of online adults ages 65 and older now use Facebook, a 14-point increase from the 48% who reported doing so in 2015. In addition, women continue to use Facebook at somewhat higher rates than men: 83% of female internet users and 75% of male internet users are Facebook adopters.
Younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to be on Twitter. Some 36% of online adults ages 18-29 are on the social network, more than triple the share among online adults ages 65 and older (just 10% of whom are Twitter users)
Half (50%) of online adults with college degrees are on LinkedIn, compared with 27% of those who have attended but not graduated from college and just 12% of those with high school degrees or less.
Continuing a long-standing trend, women use Pinterest at much higher rates than men. Nearly half of online women use the virtual pinboard (45%), more than double the share of online men (17%) who do so.
Age should not be your only factor to consider when choosing social media accounts for your business. Where is your customer from? What is her socioeconomic background? What professional and personal aspirations does she have? How can you connect with them digitally through social media? Ask yourself and your team these types of questions—take the time to conduct research on your ideal customers and how to reach them.
Use your business name
For most social media accounts, this is a no-brainer. Of course, your business page would serve as your social media account profile name. However, it may be possible that your business name could already be taken. If your business name is not available on Twitter or Instagram, include special characters or play with abbreviations and keywords relevant to your business. Keep in mind that your business name should be shorter rather than longer—every character counts!
Business name: Broadway Coffee & Co, based in Boston, Massachusetts
Ideal social media handle name:
@BroadwayCoffeeCo not available!
Alternative Twitter/Instagram handle names:
Include all contact information
Another step that should be very straightforward—phone number, physical address, email address, website link—but can be challenging if the profile section has a limited number of characters.
If you cannot fit all of your information under the limited number of characters (i.e. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) be sure that your contact information can be easily found on your website.
Remember that followers can send direct messages to each of your social media accounts. Check the inboxes of your social media accounts periodically on your desktop if you don’t install the mobile apps on your smartphone.
Have a professional business profile picture
Depending on whether or not your business is a product or service, a high-resolution logo, a high-quality storefront picture, or professional headshot are appropriate options (no selfies!). High-resolution photos convey professionalism to your followers. A picture that is blurry or unclear can deter visitors by questioning your business’s level of professionalism. If you need more convincing that professional profile pictures matter, Entrepreneur shares tips on the perceptions of professionalism and pictures on LinkedIn.
Have an equally professional cover photo
The cover photo should complement your business profile picture in terms of style and quality, as well as help expand your brand identity to communicate. Ideas for imagery could be professional shots of your storefront or products. You can even use the cover photo space as a major call-to-action (CTA) to highlight a special content offers on your website.
Mention links to your other social media accounts
If you find that you’re more active on one platform than another, that’s okay! Make sure you communicate to your followers that you have other social media accounts in your email marketing and other social posts.
When you’re posting on one social media account, it is possible to post on multiple platforms simultaneously. For example, an Instagram post can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter at the same time if the accounts are linked.
Final Piece of Advice
The work isn’t done after you’ve created your social media pages. The most appealing part of a social media profile is seeing that the business is actively posting and trying to engage with their followers. If you’re not active, visitors may be less likely to check out your business—or worse, they may think you’re out of business! Post on a consistent basis, create content that your followers want to engage with and enjoy bringing your business to the next level.