Before starting up a page on social media, the company has to think about what platform they want to use and why, also considering how they will go around using this selected platform.
Starting with Facebook which has over 1.4 billion users, which is a large quantity compared to the amount of people who use social media. It has the largest member population of any social media platform. From this, a company has a 19% chance that their consumer has and uses Facebook. On Facebook, businesses are able to post articles, photos, videos, share content etc. which gives their audience a wide variety of functions to look at. One function in particular which would help generate more publicity would be the use of hashtags, this is because anyone searching for that particular topic would come across the post which has the hashtag included.
Many businesses use Facebook in order to promote themselves, this is highly by using ads. Ads are a commonly known feature on Facebook as they are featured on every page, if a business wants to be seen then by paying Facebook; they are able to get a space on the site for their company ad. However, as known ads aren’t a favourite for many users therefore even though the ad will defiantly get seen by users, it cannot be deemed that people will click on the ad to find out further information. It also may not be beneficial as it wouldn’t be targeted to people who are interested in the businesses topic.
For this reason it would be beneficial for a business to create a page. This is a simple feature but can be edited so that it is easily found by those who are searching for relevant/related content on the site. Also by having a Facebook page, users are able to follow the page so that any new posts are automatically shown to them keeping them constantly up to date.
There is also LinkedIn, LinkedIn is a social networking site allows people from the business community to come together on one platform. On this site, people (users) are able to create profiles which will then allow other people (users) to connect with them if they share an interest in the job role they are titled under. This therefore helps to grow businesses allowing people from all around the world to connect with one another over their work.
The messaging system is provided so that users are able to meet new people/contacts and expand their business or if the user is looking for a job they could message the business in order to speak further about the job.
Many businesses use LinkedIn in order to promote themselves, this is done by using groups. These groups work by users searching for an interest of theirs and by doing this they will be able to find groups which have been made by other users or businesses. By using tags, businesses are able to label their group allowing other users to easily find their group and learn more about them as a business, therefore connecting with them.
Businesses are also able to create events, which would help users who either live in the area to notice the event or other users who are interested in the topic of the event.
Then there is Twitter, this is a platform used in order to get fast communication which would in turn build a personal relationship with the consumers. Again, like with Facebook, users are able to use hashtags on Twitter to attract more followers. On Twitter, the first tweet ever made was in 2006, but by 2009 there was a 1,400% daily volume gain made which is an example of how Twitter is constantly adapting and becoming ever more popular.
Businesses are able to makes tweets on Twitter; this will allow all followers to see what is being posted about. By businesses microblogging regularly, they will be able to communicate with anyone who is interested in their brand.
YouTube is the second largest search engine and is also the 3rd most visited website worldwide which is an example of how much of an audience gain can be made by using this site. If a business were to market on YouTube, they would get extra help being found on google which would increase their chances of being found in general (populating their business). YouTube uses videos, which adds a personal touch to a business as it contributes to the consumers trust for a business as they are able to see the face behind the product.
Business functions of YouTube are fairly simple to any other social media platform. The main business function of YouTube would be to promote a product or the company; this would be done by uploading the advert for the business. Also when uploading the video, by putting all of the businesses extra links in the description it will attract more people to those sites. Many people enjoy visually seeing things rather than having to read about them, therefore by having a video explaining the product etc. more people will be engrossed in finding out more.
Pinterest is one of the quickest social media platforms to use if the business wants the consumer to buy the product which is being advertised. This is because the product can be linked directly to the site, so simply by clicking a button, the items home page can be found. Currently, Pinterest is beginning to drive more traffic than Facebook is which shows that it is a constantly growing platform that will continue to grow further more over the years. This could mean that it could be a risk for businesses to use this platform if they aren’t completely confident with it. However, Pinterest is designed to share content and that is exactly what the users of Pinterest do. Therefore, if a user were to like something that the company was posting about, they would share it so that everyone that they know can also see this.
There is also a wiki, businesses would use a wiki in order to give consumers a better understanding of the businesses history/background. This works in the same manner as a blog, it gains the trust of the consumer making it feel like they know the company better and can trust the product. Also due to wiki being edited by the users, the page feels more personal as the opinions/facts on there may come from consumers who are interested in the product, therefore giving a realistic view on the business.
Also blogging, by blogging, it will help a business to gain trust from the consumers. This is due to a blog being a personal form of communication therefore the consumer would feel more involved in the brand.
Every time that a blog post is made, the chances of someone seeing the blog increases, the reason why this would benefit a business is because once a user is on the blog, they would be able to accesses the businesses main website easily.
The individual or group of people who run the blog are also able to choose if they want their blog linked to their other social media accounts, this means that whenever a post is made on the blog, the link will automatically be posted to all of the businesses other social media pages, which therefore expands their audience.
Finally, Instagram, this is a platform that has more than 100 million daily active users due to its visual design. Businesses tend to love Instagram as it makes marketing more visually appealing, this is achieved by showing personality through the photos being posted, they also tend to take advantage of user generated content and post it onto their page, this would make users feel more involved and want to continue getting involved with the business. Another good feature which is linked in with Instagram is Statigram, which is a tracking analytics program which will keep everything on the businesses page tracked so that they can analyse their performance.
Some statistics showing reasons as to what social media platforms to use can come from Warbly Parker who stated that they get 11% of their traffic from Pinterest and 18% comes from Twitter. There is also the fact that if the company were to want to target adults, Facebook may be the platform to use as 71% of online adults use this platform. This is compared to the 26% that are on Instagram, however the 26% that are on Instagram are shown to be more interactive with the businesses that they follow.