+44(0) 1803 391 993

Transform your business with us today through web design & development - we will achieve all your goals and objectives

contact us now

Header Image: NordWood Themes

Which Social Media Platforms Should Your Business be Using?

Social media is definitely a very useful tool when it comes to marketing, not only are they free but they are extremely useful for businesses who wish to grow in the online market. Along with a website, your business should definitely be on social media to take full advantage of any online avenues available, the further your business can reach the better. Facebook has over 1.69 Billion users globally, while Instagram boasts over 1 billion monthly users, illustrating that these social media channels host a huge proportion of the available market and so as a business owner, they are definitely the place to be in terms of reach and visibility.

While it is free to sign up to these channels,  if you want to use them successfully they can demand a lot of your time. Depending on your budget for ads or boosting your posts, or even if you are wanting to build an audience organically, you will definitely spend a large amount of time on this. So it is very important that you choose the right platforms that are going to truly showcase your business in the best possible light.

So Which Social Media Channels Should Your Business Invest Time into?

This may depend on quite a few different factors. So first ask yourself these few questions:

  • What type of business do you have?
  • Is your business quite creative or is it more practical?
  • Are you selling tangible products or are you selling a service?  

These considerations will help when deciding on which social media channel to focus on, as each have their own features and benefits when it comes to promoting a business. We have listed four major social media channels that we consider useful for a business.

 

Pros of Using Instagram

Instagram is a great platform for businesses who have a creative flair. For example, photographers can truly showcase their photography skills on this platform. However, you don't need to be a photography genius to succeed, as it can be ideal for a variety of businesses. As long as you have a phone with a camera then you are good to go, and you won't even need any special photography apps, as it is very easy to edit and style photos in the Instagram app itself.

The platform is extremely popular, so you will be able to show off your brand to many like-minded individuals or businesses; it is a chance for you to build a community and to learn from each other, as many other businesses will also be showing off their ideas and skills. Following similar businesses to you and using specific and popular hashtags, will give you the opportunity to be found by your target audience, as many people will follow several different businesses that are in the same industry, take fashion and beauty for example. People are also able to follow specific hashtags, meaning that even if you are not being followed directly, by using popular hashtags on your posts, you can reach more of your target audience who may then follow your account. This is a great way to organically create a following, and of course this won’t cost you a penny. However, what it will cost you is time, as Instagram needs a fair amount of consistent time spent on it, to build up a genuine following.

There are many other features which are useful for businesses including their business style profile, which will allow you to add a business bio, a website and easy contact buttons, so you can add an email address and telephone number. You can also utilise the 'insights' within the app, where you can see the interactions your posts are having and learn a lot more about the people engaging with your content.

Instagram is now owned by Facebook, which makes life a little easier if you want to use both platforms. By linking up your Instagram with your Facebook page you can post a picture on Instagram and it will automatically post it to Facebook, this is a really nice feature as it can kill two birds with one stone, saving you a lot of time. This is also a feature with Instagram stories; you can now post your stories to both platforms, keeping things nice and quick.

Cons of Using Instagram

However, there are some drawbacks with Instagram. The main one being that you are slightly restricted in terms of post types/ content. Instagram will only let you post square images and videos on your profile, and captions which have a word limit, and that is pretty much it. So if you were hoping to post content such as blogs, infographics, statements etc. then Instagram may not be the best place to share this content. With the introduction of Instagram stories however, this can allow you to be a bit more creative, but overall you are still fairly restricted.  Instagram does not allow you to schedule your posts within the app, this can be a huge disadvantage for a busy business, as scheduling posts makes sure that you target your audience when they are most active, increasing your chances of engagement. External apps such as Buffer or Hootsuite are popular solutions to this problem, and will help you to schedule your posts on Instagram (and a range of other platforms!).

 

Pros of Using Facebook

Facebook can be an excellent platform for pretty much any business as it has a range of different features, and the platform caters for a whole range of content types. Not only can you post any size images and videos, but you can also share blogs (it will even give a little preview of the link so that your audience are more likely to click on it), create slideshows, and design interesting ads within the business tools.

With a Facebook business page you can invite your entire 'friends list' to like your new page, and they in turn can also invite their friends to do the same. This is a fantastic way for local businesses to spread the word within their community, whilst also starting to build up an audience organically. On top of this, Facebook offers businesses so much in terms of tools and features as standard. You can use Facebook to schedule appointments; people can leave reviews about your products and services; and you can even use Facebook to sell products.

How your page is set up allows you to be very specific in terms of the business information that you want to include on your Facebook business page. Furthermore, if you want to manage your business page on the go, you can download a separate app called ‘Facebook Page’. This app will allow you to create and schedule your posts, so you can easily manage your content and ensure that it is being seen at the best possible time for your audience. With Facebook also being one of the most used platforms, it would be silly to not take full advantage of their features.

Cons of Using Facebook

However, Facebook does have a few drawbacks. The interface for both desktop and phone are understandably different, but this can make life a little bit frustrating when some of the tools and features are completely different in the app compared to the desktop version, leaving you with no choice but to learn different methods to carry out the same task depending entirely upon the device you are using. While many users prefer the phone interface, there are more features on the desktop and so using both versions will give you the best of both worlds; however it may be slightly frustrating and time consuming to use multiple devices. Just like Instagram, you cannot schedule posts within the original Facebook app, it does require you to download their ‘Facebook Page’ app which can be a little bit annoying, but unlike Instagram this app is tailored specifically to Facebook and hosts a wealth of other features and tools for creating posts and ads.

Compared to other platforms, it can be a little bit more difficult building an audience organically using Facebook. Hashtags are not widely used on Facebook and so users may not be searching for hashtags in the same way as Instagram or Twitter. This can make getting your business out there a little bit difficult. As mentioned previously, you can invite friends to like your business page and while they may want to support your business by liking the page and spreading the word of your business locally, you will not necessarily target your specific audience. Meaning that when you are looking at your insights, you may get a false indication of who your target audience is; not only that, your audience are not really going to engage with your posts as well as people genuinely interested in what your business is about.

 

Pros of Using Twitter

Twitter is a platform that is ideal for conversationalists, businesses with big opinions who love to start conversations and fully interact with their audience. Similarly to the other platforms Twitter has a huge amount of users, there are 330 million monthly active users on Twitter so there is a huge amount of people that can be targeted through this platform. This platform is ideal for a business that doesn’t want to spend the time taking photographs but wants to show off their knowledge and wisdom for their industry. Twitter mainly focuses on written content and has a word limit of 240 words per tweet .

Twitter also offers a range of business tools, however not as extensive as Facebook, this platform is far more similar to Instagram in a sense. Hashtags are widely used on Twitter like they are on Instagram but in a slightly different way.  When you are writing a tweet you can use hashtags to engage with other people searching for the topic you are talking about, meaning like-minded individuals are able to discuss a topic in depth together. If your tweet is interesting enough other people may even re-tweet it so that it will show up to their own followers. When you click on a hashtag in someone’s tweet, it will bring up a list of other tweets using the same hashtag, with the most relevant ones appearing first. You can use this to your advantage, by starting business/ industry related tweets to spark conversations with your target audience. These tweets could be news stories or anything that has a controversial view point; you can really show off what your business knows about its industry. If you are willing to spend the money, you can also create ads on Twitter and they too have a range of different tools to create interesting and engaging ads.

Cons of using Twitter   

Out of all of the platforms that we have spoken about, Twitter could be considered the most time consuming, as it will take a lot of time to truly engage with your followers and start to build up that valuable connection with your audience. As this platform leans more towards written content, it could take up more of your time compared to just snapping a picture with your phone and posting it; while you can do that with Twitter, the level of engagement that you receive may not be as good as some of the other platforms mentioned previously. Not only that, you are also confined to 240 words per tweet, unless you have a chain/thread which is not only quite restricting but also a little bit confusing.

Pros of Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is widely used for social networking and connecting with other businesses, this platform could be considered more B2B, if you like. While this platform may not have the same creative aspect to the others mentioned above, we still feel like this is quite an interesting social media platform that can definitely benefit your business. LinkedIn hosts 690+ million users in more than 200 countries and while it may not be as widely used as Facebook or Instagram, it provides many different features and benefits than the other platforms; LinkedIn is known as the “professional social networking site” and so is used in a slightly different way.

However, LinkedIn will still allow you to post content which is a really nice feature, as you will still be able to fully establish your expertise in your industry, you can also list books that you or your business has authored, as well as blogs and website links, so everything you have accomplished is fully accessible for your audience; which will show your business in a positive light with the added bonus of driving traffic to any external websites you have linked. 

If your target audience happens to be more B2B than B2C, then LinkedIn may be the perfect social channel for your business. You will be able to build professional relationships and utilise all of the business related features that LinkedIn has to offer. LinkedIn also lets you know who has visited your profile, which can be hugely beneficial if you are trying to target specific businesses. If you would like to work with a specific business that has visited your profile, you can reach out to them and start those important conversations and build up a connection straightaway. LinkedIn is also ideal for finding new employees; you can set up job listings on your own profile and also easily search for potential candidates with the specific skills that you are looking for. A persons LinkedIn profile can provide a lot more than just a CV, and so if you are interested in someone for a potential position in your company, you will get a much deeper insight into whether or not they would be suitable just by looking at their LinkedIn profile.

 

Cons of Using LinkedIn

LinkedIn is used by a lot of people however, the platform is used sparingly so you may not have very long to make an impact if you are posting content. On average people spend around 17 minutes on LinkedIn per month. This is mainly because of the nature of this platform; it is not used in the same way Facebook or Twitter is for example. So if you are looking for a lot of engagement on the content that you are providing, then LinkedIn may not be the platform for your business.

LinkedIn has varying degrees of connections; on the other platforms mentioned the majority of them use the term followers to describe their community members, while LinkedIn use connections . There are varying degrees of connections on LinkedIn which limits how you can interact with another account for example; you are not able to send a private message to someone on LinkedIn unless you have a 1st- degree connection. Not only that, you may not have access to some of the features LinkedIn provides unless you have a certain amount of connections with other accounts, this may cause a little bit of frustration if you are trying to connect with other businesses and starting that initial contact. Unless they connect with you back, you may not get the chance to interact with them fully.

Overall

There are a huge amount of social media channels available for your business not just the ones mentioned above such as Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube and even TikTok, so it is completely up to you which ones you think will really suit your business and promote it in the best possible light. Of course, there are going to be many other factors that also contribute to the platform you choose such as money, time and creativity, but don’t let that put you off getting your business out there, as there are such an abundance of platforms that cater for all businesses. At the end of the day, don’t forget you can be on multiple platforms; as each one offers their own benefits.

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 157 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to Blog updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS RSS

‹ Return to Blog

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

How to Take Pictures for Your Website - 6 Tips

| 08th September 2020 | Blogging

How to Take Pictures for Your Website - 6 Tips

Strong imagery can really make a website; if a website has clean, professional-looking images then this instils trust in the brand and encourages visitors to buy products or services. Website images can grab our attention and make us feel a type of way, not only will this improve your user experience, but in turn, can boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) by improving your bounce rate. If that's not enough, using the right images can improve your conversion rates, as people will respond well to a website that uses good quality imagery and may make your website seem more trustworthy and professional; therefore people may be more likely to use your Call To Action (CTA) buttons. However, not everyone has the budget to hire a private photographer to take beautifully framed, wonderfully lighted images for their website, so instead of relying on the same stock photography as everyone else, here are our 6 tips for taking perfect pictures yourself.  1. Understand your theme Before you reach for your camera ask yourself "why am I taking these pictures?" While this may seem like a simple question, it is important that you understand the motivation for taking the pictures, and what message you want to portray to your visitors. For example, if you own a relaxing spa, you may want your images to really portray a message of tranquillity and relaxation. This could be clean white images showcasing some of your spa area, your massage table or products. You can use similar businesses to yours to get some inspiration for your own pictures, try and put your own spin on them though so that your pictures are unique. You could even use Google images for inspiration and paste some pictures into a word document, this way you can look back at them when you are ready to take your pictures. You may even want to use Pinterest for inspiration and pin some of your favourite looking images. Looking at professional pictures will give you a good idea of image composition, do you want your subject central or are you going for something a bit more quirky? Also, look at the type of backgrounds they are using, are they clean and crisp or are they colourful? Are they in focus or blurred? Once you have got your vision nailed, you can then go wild with creativity.   2. Have a plan Good execution comes from good planning; with a well thought out plan, you can counteract difficulties before they arise. The main areas to consider are: What images would you like to have on your website? This will depend on whether or not you currently have a website. You will probably have a rough idea of how many images you would like on each page of your website. For example, you may have a photo gallery featured where you can display as many images as you would like. You may have a banner at the top of your homepage where you may show three or more header images. You may need product images for your online shop and even some team photographs to feature on your About Us page. It's a good idea to make a list of all of the images you would like to shoot, so that you don't miss the all-important banner image or your best selling product, then you can cross them off as you go! Where will you photograph your images? Location; where are your pictures going to be taken? This could be very straightforward if you own a hotel or attraction, you will be taking your photographs at your business! But be specific, which rooms or features are you going to shoot. If you are taking your own product photographs, then this could be in a room in your house or even outside to make the most of the natural light! You will also need to consider the background of your images. If you want a clean background then a white screen or wall will work well (you could even make this out of paper and cardboard for your own DIY studio). It may be worth having a quick look at your premises and note down some areas that are on hand. Finally, remember that light is important when taking photographs yourself...

Safari to Block Websites with Long Term SSL from September 1st

| 25th August 2020 | Blogging

Safari to Block Websites with Long Term SSL from September 1st

At the beginning of the year, Apple announced that its Safari web browser would reject websites whose SSL certificate was valid for more than 13 months. Now with everything that has been going on this year, you would be forgiven for forgetting about this (or let's be honest, not even hearing about it until now) and feeling the sudden pit in your stomach, wondering if your website will start being blocked on certain devices.  The move proposed by the tech giant is part of their plan to ensure that the websites viewed on their browser are following the most up to date cryptographic standards, to help raise the bar of website security. The idea is that the more frequently your SSL certificate is renewed (within reason), the more likely it is to have the most up to date defences in place to protect user data. In comparison, an SSL that only gets updated once a year is more likely to have security risks. This is a move that was initially suggested by Google in 2019 but was voted down in the CA/B Forum (a voluntary group that is made up of SSL certificate providers, companies that develop web browsers, etc).  It is highly likely that proposals such as this will shortly be seen across more browsers, and is merely the first move in the newest push to improve website standards.  So in practice what will this mean for website owners? Well, Apple has stated that all websites with an SSL certificate that is valid for more than 13 months will crash on all Apple devices that use Safari as a browser. This could be a huge issue for website visibility as Safari is the second most used browser (behind Google Chrome in the first position), with 33.22% of users using Safari on both desktop and mobile. Potentially 1/3 of users will not be able to view websites with these long term SSL certificates. Not only could this affect your customers being able to visit your website, but in the long run could even start to drag your search engine ranking down! The upside? This new rule will only affect new SSL certificates purchased for websites from 1st September, so if you currently have a long term SSL certificate we encourage you to switch to a shorter-term SSL certificate when yours runs out.  Website security is important to us at WebBoss Websites. We pride ourselves on using the ISO 27001:2015 accredited WebBoss.io platform for all of our websites. Which allows us to bring complex security industry measures to your website at no extra cost. This includes short term SSL certificates as standard, for all websites. Our SSL certificates are auto-renewed after 90 days, meaning that you will always have the most up to date protection for your website and gives you one less thing to worry about.  Not, a WebBoss Websites customer? Contact us today to see how we can help to create your ideal website.       ...

6 Website Myths

| 21st August 2020 | Blogging

6 Website Myths

Here are 6 website myths you need to know about before owning a website in 2020 You may have heard a few of these before, but with the internet full of opinions and contradictions it can be difficult to know what is true and what is a myth. With this in mind, we have created a shortlist of some of the biggest website myths! 1.     Websites are too expensive While this may be somewhat true, you will get what you pay for and sometimes it will be worth the money that is spent on it. However, we suggest starting with something that is going to work well for you in the short term, and then as your business progresses, you may need extra bits and pieces adding to your website later on down the line. This is then when you can start to build up your website with extra functionality or custom features if they are necessary. If you decide to join us here at WebBoss, we can provide you with a low cost website to get you started, then you can choose to upgrade your website with bespoke features whenever you would like; we can be completely flexible to your needs. This will mean that you won’t have to make a huge commitment at first, you can slowly build up your website and if you realise that a website is not for you, then no harm was done and you won’t have wasted thousands of pounds. Building a website can be expensive; however, there are so many low cost solutions on the market that can deliver a professional looking website for a very low cost. Our Low Cost Ecom website solution can provide you with any website that you need for a fraction of the cost. 2.     My website will appear at the top of Google as soon as it is live This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes in and although websites can be optimised for SEO before they go live (meta descriptions, alt tags, keywords etc.) this may not guarantee that your website will appear high on a search engine for a specific search term. It can take you months to start to climb up the ranks on Google, no matter how good your SEO is. You cannot take shortcuts when it comes to SEO, you will need to show your expertise and authority, build up relationships through backlinks and use specific and unique keywords on your website. 3.     Only an online business needs a website You may think that only an online business needs to have a website, but this is simply not true. All businesses should be online in some way or another and having a website can be the best way to achieve an online presence. So many people will use a Google search or similar to find businesses near them, meaning that you may be losing out to your local competitors if you don’t have a website or some sort of online presence. 4.      Once I have a website, I don’t have to do anything to it Your website should be your biggest marketing tool and the hub of everything you do online, so making sure that you are constantly updating your website is extremely important, not only for your potential customers but also for SEO. Fresh new content and an up to date website will be favoured by search engines. You will also want to ensure that your business is staying up to date with current trends in your industry and also current legislations. Your website privacy policy, terms and conditions, etc., will need to be updated according to the latest changes. It is important that your website is also updated with the world’s current affairs, for example, with Coronavirus on everyone’s lips at the moment, it is especially important that your website reflects what your business is doing in light of the situation. Having a website that has been untouched for many months or even years, may make your professionalism seem questionable to future prospects. 47% of people will check a website before they purchase or interact with a company or brand, meaning that if you want your business to be successful online then you need to keep your website up to date. A great way to do that is to write a blog, as t...

Understanding Your Target Audience

| 19th August 2020 | Blogging

Understanding Your Target Audience

An often overlooked area of marketing for small businesses is understanding your target audience. In the excitement to launch a new business or even a new website, things can get missed. Or perhaps you are testing if your side hustle could become your new full time, and want to see if there is any interest first before diving in deep. Either way, knowing your audience is vital to sustaining your business. It allows you to market your product or service in a way that appeals to them to encourage them to become customers. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you are trying to understand your audience.   Who is your target audience? Sometimes there can be a slight difference between your current audience and your target audience. For example, a new business may create a Facebook page and invite all of their friends to "Like" it. However, their friends on Facebook may not be their target audience, and any engagement with posts can be due to existing relationships rather than proof that your marketing is working effectively. Knowing who your target customers and audience are will help you to focus your content so that you reach the people your product or service is targeted towards. Once you are up and running for a while, you will be able to use social media to ascertain who is interested in your business.   What problems or desires does your audience have, that your product/service fulfils? Where does your product fit in solving problems or fulfilling desires? As it will not be suitable for everyone, who does it suit? This means fulling understanding your product or service as well as your audience. If you haven't already, take some time to think about the Unique Selling Points (USPs) of your product and the way it solves a problem for your audience. A common mistake when defining a business's target audience is being too wide; instead, you should try to narrow down your audience as much as possible, as this will help to make your marketing more effective.   How does your product benefit them? Following on from the point above, your audience has to feel that not only does your product or service solve a problem or fulfil a desire, but it benefits them. While the benefit can be simple, understanding your audience will better equip you to understand the benefits they feel that they are receiving, compared to the benefits you may believe your customers would want.    Are you an online shop/service, a brick and mortar shop/service? While we are all painfully aware that the landscape of the high street is changing, having a physical presence may affect your audience. Traditionally, a purely online business may have a slightly younger clientele than a brick and mortar store. This would then affect how you interact with your customers; if you have a shop you may want to encourage customers to visit you in-store. Whereas, if you are purely online then you would focus on drawing customers to your website.    Where do they look for information? Knowing where your audience will look for information will help you structure the content of your information for different mediums. If your customers are more likely to look for information on your website, the information would be different from what you would provide on a social network. If your audience is looking on social media, you want to draw them back to your website for further information.   While it may feel daunting at first, it really can pay to research and understand your target audience. It affects everything from web design and structure, to marketing material and social media posts. Even costing your product! In the long term, it can actually save you time (and money) to research your target audience early. ...