When it comes to social media it can be confusing. Simply due to the evolving landscape of the platforms.
So trying to get started in an evolving industry can be confusing.
This post involves an overview of several topics that someone should need to know about setting up.
Firstly, social media has transformed from being primarily a networking industry to entertainment industry as well.
This has then opened more doors online, allowing more diverse content to be produced.
Keeping to their roots, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are seen as the three sites that are big networking platforms due to the vast amount of ways users can interact.
Other than just being seen as a networking platform.
Social media was designed so that users could:
- Express themselves
- Discuss their interests
- Connect with friends and family
- Promote themselves, could be their career or business for example.
From a more business point of view, social media can be used to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Generate leads
- Improve website traffic
- Provide engagement with said audience
Taking into consideration the many ways it is used means there are plenty of users:
- 2.89 billion monthly active users on Facebook
- 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram
- 303 million monthly active users on LinkedIn
- 330 million monthly active users on Twitter
- 1 billion monthly active users on TikTok
- 444 million monthly active users on Pinterest
Each and every user takes part in using social media for these said purposes; either on a personal account or business.
To try and help you have a better understanding of which platform to use let’s go through processes you should follow to help decide.
Knowing your audience on social media
There’s no good focusing all your efforts on a single platform that doesn’t reflect correctly to the right audience.
If you don’t know your target audience or are unsure please follow Finding your target audience and why it’s important to help!
Continuing on, since they’re several platforms- here’s an overview of who uses which platform:
By looking at these figures you can start to apply your audience to a platform that’ll target your audience the most.
Communicating through social media
They’re different forms of social content that you can communicate through.
It’s about thinking about what type of response you want to achieve, that’ll help decipher which form you should participate in.
In aid of this, here’s a quick summary of different forms that you can use:
Each form can be used in a personal or business way.
- Write a snippet of your life or of any experience you want to share.
- Talk about a hobby you have.
- Write a review on a product you might enjoy.
Blogging on a personal level is about engaging with your audience inspiring a conversation or relationship.
- A brief overview of what your product/service is.
- Educate your audience on subjects surrounding your business.
- Establish yourself as an expert.
These subjects will educate and inform your audience alongside offering a space for your customers/clients to give feedback.
- Share images of what you enjoy.
- Post pictures of friends and family, memories.
- Keep others up to date with what you’re doing.
Adding images just is a fun way of sharing yourself!
- Share images of your product or service.
- Add announcements like sales or discounts in a creative way.
- Keep customers/clients up to date with what you’re doing.
Photos are a brilliant way of sharing any updates as audiences like a visual representation over text.
- Share funny videos you find.
- Re-post any content you support.
- Post videos of any event you’re attending.
Videos just go that extra length of showing your personality, values etc
- Share videos of products/services.
- Re-post any content you support.
- Post videos of any event you’re attending.
- A good way of sharing any advice.
For businesses, video content is a good way of showing a more in-depth side of the business.
These are just a few examples of content you can take part in, there is so much more!
Simply just expanding some of the activities is a way of generating more content ideas.
To have a go at any of these activities you’re taking part in trying to communicate with your audience.
To start a conversation on social media you’re working towards a presence, that ultimately acts as a face to the business online.
Evidently, it’s all about experimenting till you find what works best.
Don’t forget there is a purpose for all the content you produce. This could either be to educate, entertain or engage.
It’s the same as having 1 goal for an email; you want a purpose for your social content. You can mix it up and involve engagement with most social content by adding a question or call to action.
At EMS we tend to use education as our purpose for most content. We like to inform you on subjects that we think will be helpful and useful for you, a business owner.
Get the ulimate guide to start a business
Social media platform’s
After talking about the type of content you can produce, it’s time to look at where you can share this.
Instagram offers several features, adaptations and settings that suit one’s needs.
The main features of Instagram are sharing images, videos as well as stories and lives.
One bigger feature of Instagram that started huge movements is hashtags.
Hashtags work as a categorising feature, if you use a certain hashtag under an image or video it will then appear under that hashtag if someone searches for it.
For instance, if we use #business, our image/video will then appear in the search suggestions under #business.
Now Instagram is highly popular so to use tons of #s that relate to the content you’re producing, will then put the content into several categories, which can help to achieve engagement.
Additionally, this social media platform has been known to be the place for connecting your brand with your consumer, generally through engagement.
A way of doing this could be the question and answer, polls and quiz features on the Instagram stories.
Facebook is a highly popular networking platform.
Just like many other platforms, Facebook offers features to post images, videos and stories but indifference to Instagram you can post just text with no imagery.
A key tip is that Facebook notices if you add a link in the main body of text and will shuffle the post to be seen less, so a good way of adding a link is popping it in the comment section.
Facebook as well offers the option to join groups, this is a brilliant way of networking amongst others you share interests with. Another example of Facebook groups is our EMSFlippinGood Facebook group.
Interestingly, Facebook owns Instagram so when setting up either account you get the option to upload information and link the two together.
Enabling a consistent brand image across the two platforms and an easy set-up.
Twitter is another key example of a networking platform.
It specialises in allowing a platform where users can express their views on topics such as entertainment and politics.
Most recently they’ve added a radio/podcast section for more diversity in content to be added.
A positive about Twitter is that tweets that generate a good response can reach a wide audience.
Twitter is the place to be for a discussion, users generate a lot of conversation between tweets. For a business, Twitter can be a good place to announce any new updates or ask for opinions.
LinkedIn could be seen as the best platform for business as it is a social network that focuses on professional networking and career development.
On LinkedIn, you can invite others to connect with you creating a network for yourself to refer to.
It also acts as a job listing app, reminding you of any job listings that are going near you and referring to your career. In addition to being able to see other businesses and job listings, LinkedIn evidently helps to build your brand.
Overall, LinkedIn is a great business networking site that is worth setting up, making yourself visible amongst other businesses.
Tiktok is known as the fastest growing platform to date.
The app allows you to post short-form content to long-form. Short-form is the most popular form of content on the app.
You can create and share videos; using different trending sounds, features and #s. What’s so great about TikTok is its diversity of content produced.
There is not just one type of TikTok, there are so many different types of content being produced. Such as #smallbusinesscheck is a trending hashtag that involves businesses creating short videos based on what they do, whether that’s a packaging video or just a day in the life.
Not only can you share your brand with others in a different way, you also have the opportunity to connect to other brands across the world through the comment section and dueting their video.
Immerse yourself into this new world of social media, there is so much more to explore.
Now, Pinterest is a bit different from the usual social media.
Pinterest is the place for idea generation and inspiration, you can save different posts as ‘pins’ and create various different boards for yourself.
On this you can post your products on your Pinterest for others to see, creating brand awareness for yourself.
Pinterest can evidently bring more traffic to your website, increase sales and entice more customers all by just posting your service and products for those to see.
Keep in mind the image sizes matter!
After running down each social media site, it’s important to remember the image sizes.
Quite often the same image sizes apply to most sites, however, to be safe here’s a breakdown of the requirements of each platform.
Profile picture: 400 x 400 pixels
Header: 1500 x 500 pixels
In-stream images: 1600 x 1900 pixels
Image sizes for Ads: 600 x 355 pixels
Website card image: 800 x 418 pixels
Top tips for Twitter:
- The Twitter header is no longer responsive but instead, a static device-agnostic shape, keeping to the 3:1 ratio.
- Horizontal and square avatars/profile images/logos get cropped in the circular placeholder.
Profile picture: 170 x 170 pixels
Header: 820 x 312 pixels
Timeline posts: 1200 x 630 pixels
Feed Ad images: 1080 x 1080 pixels (maximum). 600 x 600 pixels (minimum).
Group cover: 1640 x 856 pixels
Facebook stories: 1080 x 1920 pixels
Top tips for Facebook:
- Upload images as a JPG or PNG to avoid distortion.
- For stories don’t choose an image smaller than 500 pixels.
LinkedIn for company sites
Logo: 300 x 300 pixels
Square logo: at least 60 x 60 pixels
Cover: 1128 x 191 pixels
Sponsored Main image: 1200 x 627 pixels
Company photos: 900 x 600 pixels
Profile picture: 400 x 400 pixels
Background image: 1584 x 396
Post image size: 1200 x 1200 pixels (square) 1080 x 1350 (portrait)
Link post size: 1200 x 627 pixels
Top tips for LinkedIn:
- Cover photos are cropped differently on desktop and mobile, make sure the image looks good on both!
Profile picture: 320 x 320 pixels but displayed as 110 x 110 pixels
Image/Ad Image/ Video sizes:
1080 x 1080 pixels (square)
1080 x 566 pixels (landscape)
1080 x 1350 pixels (portrait)
Reels/Lives/Stories: 1080 x 1920 pixels
Top tip for Instagram:
- There’s maximum use of 30 # of Instagram Ads.
- Use square and vertical sizes for Ads as it takes up most of the user’s screen.
Why know these? Simply, it helps your content to be posted looking as professional and form-fitting as it should be.
Content won’t be squished or squashed, it’ll allow users to see clearly what you’re posting and promoting.
Our Lauren Durance and Adam Grey who present the marketing on the Going For Growth course have said to:
- To keep profile information clear and concise. Don’t overcomplicate it for yourself.
- Don’t over compensate, keep it real to you and your business. Try to not lie to look better.
- Create purposeful content, as well add variety to what you produce.
Lastly, research! There’s a misconception you have to be on every single platform, that’s not true.
Know your target audience and use the apps they use, ask yourself are you on the right platform?
If ever in doubt, reach out to us!
EMS University is a great resource for more advice on marketing as well.
To read more insightful resources take a look at our resource centre.