As social media continues to grow and develop, using it as an inbound marketing platform becomes increasingly important for businesses. And with each new social site, the ways for companies to connect with their customers grow. Businesses can now have direct conversations, gain insights into demographic behavior and interests, and test ideas at virtually no cost. Social isn’t going anywhere, and if your company doesn’t have a corporate account, you’ll quickly fall behind your competitors.
As a small business, we understand how difficult it can be to manage a social media marketing strategy with limited resources. That’s why we compiled some of our top tips and resources we’ve gathered over the years to share with you. Check out the below resources, strategies, and tips for designing your company’s social media profiles!
Picking the Right Social Media Channels for Your Company
Before you look at the design of your social media profiles, the paid ads and campaigns you’ll run, or even the content and posting schedules you’ll create, you need to pick the right social platforms for your company. To do this effectively, you need to define your company’s key target demographics/psychographics, what your business offers to consumers, and the full capabilities of your marketing/social media team (even if it’s just you). Once all that is done, you can determine which social media channels are right for your business. Let’s quickly break them down for you:
Facebook vs Twitter vs LinkedIn
Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the top three social media platforms for company accounts. However, it is important to remember that they are slightly different from each other:
- Twitter is limited to 140 (maybe soon-to-be 280) characters, whereas Facebook and LinkedIn allow for longer format posts.
- Facebook has a wider range of demographics; Twitter users (majority) fall between 24 – 35; LinkedIn caters to top professionals, with the most active users in their 30s and older.
- LinkedIn can be a great source of quality content, with longer-form posts, geared toward educating and being a resource for followers.
- Facebook is great for conversations, groups, and can even act as a website for your company before you get an official one going.
- Twitter is perfect for customer service and developing a brand “voice” to the public, answering questions, and acting as a customer service platform.
- Facebook performs best with 2-3 posts per day, Twitter with 5-10 posts per day, and LinkedIn at 1-2 posts per day.
You don’t have to be on all three platforms, but your company should be on at least one of them. Consumers will search for your company, and most times, their first or second point of contact will be through social media.
Instagram is a purely visual social media channel, perfect for companies promoting lifestyles, providing inspiration, and have access to high quality photos. Instagram is great if your product or service can be related to lifestyles and inspiration (think style, travel, fitness, etc.). For example, Hostleworld provides hotel/hostel accommodations to travelers on a budget. They use their Instagram account to showcase different travel destinations and hostels, promoting the world travel and backpacking lifestyle and providing great travel inspiration for their followers.
It can also be a great platform to give your followers a peek into your company’s personality, with “behind the scenes.” With new developments like LIVE videos, stories, and other features, Instagram gives you a great mix of media without having to be on a bunch of different, individual platforms.
Videos perform better (engagement, reach, views, and conversions) than almost any other form of media across all the major social platforms. YouTube is best for companies that want to offer demos, tutorials, vlogs (video blogs), or video-based campaigns. There are a lot of different video editing programs out there (Adobe Premier, iMovie, and more) to help with the creation process. A lot of consideration should happen before you create a corporate YouTube account. Only have one if you can regularly provide the proper, quality content. Remember, if it’s not right for your company or current capabilities, you don’t have to be on EVERY social media platform.
If you want a little hand up in Google’s SEO rankings, your company should have a Google+. Google likes it when companies use their stuff, so having a Google+ (and regularly posting on it) is built into their SEO algorithm. Google+ is better for companies that focus in photography and visuals. As long as you’re posting regularly, Google+ is a simple Social platform to have. Just remember, like any other site with your branding, pay attention to the quality of your content and stay on brand.
Pinterest is a very specific social media channel. Similar to Instagram, it is highly visual. Unlike Instagram, you can be a little more sales-y, promoting products, services, and promotions. It is a great place to share blog articles, links to your tutorials, or fun industry-related quotes. The demographic for Pinterest is younger, and most users visit Pinterest to get inspiration, tips, and ideas.
For larger companies with a lot of behind-the-scenes action, Snapchat can be a unique and engaging way to interact with clients. Using Stories allows companies to create quick, mini-campaigns, or showcase an event or a “day in the life of” story about one of your staff members. To be successful, companies need to post often, with fully developed stories.
Company Branding and Social Media Guides
As you’re developing your company’s brand, it is very important to create a corporate Brand Guide. Not only will it help your company stay consistent across all its marketing materials from business cards to banner stands, but it will be a constant resource for your social media marketing.
Design and Size Tips for Social Media Channels
Before we go over graphic sizes, the most important thing to know and remember about designing graphics for your company’s social media is to use high-quality images/videos and to stay consistent. As the saying goes, an image is worth a thousand words. A crappy image will say a lot to prospects about your company. Free design sites like Canva, or stock photo sites like Pexels, are perfect for Social Media Managers on a tight budget.
The same goes with simplicity – don’t over clutter a post’s graphic. You don’t need all the information in your graphic; that’s what the body of the post is for. Use your graphic to compliment the post, or as a catchy and engaging (converting) call to action.
Now, about sizing: Each social media platform has its own sizing parameters for their graphics (posts, videos, cover photos, profile pictures, etc.). It is important to note that using those specific graphic sizes for each site is best – your images will render better, and overall, perform better. Yes, that does mean making the same graphic at different sizes for each site. However, this gives you the freedom to tweak each posts graphic to fit the specific demographic your company is targeting on each specific site.
So, what are the graphic sizes of each site? One of the best infographics we came across was by The Omnicore Agency. It is a literal Social Media cheat sheet. Save it, Pin it, whatever you do, make sure you keep this somewhere you can easily access and reference over and over again. Check it out below:
Social Media for Different Size Businesses
Different sized companies have slightly different budgets and capabilities, and therefore, there are a few different tips and strategies to use based on your size.
Before we get into a breakdown by size, it is important to note that ALL companies need to set defined and measurable (S.M.A.R.T) goals for their social media campaigns, and then actively monitor the analytics and adjust as needed.
- Use social media to increase brand awareness for your company. Develop a brand voice, interact with your first clients, and build a following. It can also be an inexpensive point of contact before you get an official website.
- Build your likes by inviting all of your personal friends (Facebook) and having your employees invite their networks to like/follow your page. Increase your following until you can customize your handle. Make sure all your handles across networks match.
- Be very strategic and economical with your paid ad usage. Start with organic growth and use paid ads for your most important campaigns (special event, initial boost in followers, blow-out sales, etc.).
- Once you have a decent following and your company grows, focus on creating conversations, providing useful content, and not just selling.
- Remember, stay on brand. Keep consistent with your company’s values, voice, and target demographic.
- As your budget for marketing and social media gets bigger, create more developed campaigns and long-term paid ads, across multiple platforms.
- Adopt and effectively use Teams (multiple users working on the same account/s) and multiple company accounts to cater to segmented customer needs (ie. help, customer service, orders, inspiration, sub-divisions of your company, etc.).
- Stay on brand and stay authentic, not sales-y. This is paramount for bigger companies. Social media users flock (and not in a good way) to insincerity, trolling companies that use social platforms and trending hashtags to be overly sales-oriented.
- Train employees/have systems in place to deal with negative feedback on Social. Specific damage control measures will help prevent further social media and PR debacles.
- Create complex and segmented ads/campaigns that compliment other print and digital campaigns.
- Use the branding guide and materials that the corporate office provides (or request it!). Have your franchisor do the preliminary work!
- Use your location and city’s vibe to your advantage: Stay authentic to your location’s personality and demographic. Celebrate it! Make your specific business unique to your area (within the limits of the franchise branding).
- Like small businesses, have a strategic and economical approach to paid ads and campaigns.
Social media is extremely important in today’s marketplace. It allows companies to interact with prospects and clients, show their personality and values, start conversations, and promote their brand. It can be a great platform to promote trade shows or events where your company will be exhibiting. Social media allows your clients to get to know your company on a more human level. Most importantly, it gives you another source for your marketing that, when done correctly, boosts your brand’s recognition. Just remember, stay on brand, be consistent, use high-quality graphics, and be sincere.
What have been some of the best resources or tips you’ve found for your corporate social accounts? We’d love to hear what works best for you, comment below!
Have a trade show coming up and need some tips on how to promote it using social media?