Social media has become increasingly popular in our daily lives; connecting us socially, privately and professionally. Sharing is a deeply ingrained human instinct and social media allows us to exercise our need to share personal and business messages in real time with friends, family, colleagues and customers.

Now more than ever, as the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, social media is proving invaluable for an ever-increasing audience searching for information, support and human connection during this challenging health crisis.

But at the heart of social media is its ability to influence. For businesses, social media provides a way to not only engage with their audience, but also to change how people think and act. By having the right content, in the appropriate channel, at the best time can help to generate new leads, retain current customers and in turn lead to business growth.

With popular communication channels, comes great competition, so it’s important for businesses to get their social strategy right to gain a loyal audience and to create a (digital) word-of-mouth advocacy.

To begin with, consider if you need an omnichannel social presence: it might not be necessary to you or your business, depending on where your audience is. Focus on the social channels that are right for you and optimise your voice and content to match your audience’s needs.

Here are some of the key differences between the four core social platforms:

Facebook is the largest social media network. It began with people using it for communication among family and friends, but it has also now become an advertising platform and provides an interface between businesses and their audiences. Facebook can be thought of as the “social” home for your business and people will come to your page to learn more about your company, culture and values.

LinkedIn is known as the professional social network and is the most effective platform to engage with people that matter most to your business. It’s not only about who you know, but about who your connections know – that’s why it’s the top-rated social network for lead generation. The type of content found on this platform is usually more business related.

Instagram has evolved from a photo-sharing app to an important digital marketing platform that businesses use to advertise on and target their prospective customers. It’s a great way to add the human aspect and tell the story behind your brand on a visual level. The use of hashtags can build a community and leverage user-generated content. Influencers are an integral part of the platform which make it a great tool for executing marketing campaigns.

Twitter is extremely fast-paced, conversation-orientated and a great way to establish an audience. It has now become the go-to network to interact with customers, answer questions and to raise brand awareness in bite-sized snippets. You only have 280 characters to work with, so your content must be well thought out, including the hashtags. Unlike the other platforms, the Twitter feed moves incredibly quickly and so you are encouraged to post more frequently.

Keep an eye out for a blog series on best practices for each of the core social platforms. In the meantime, if you would like to find out more about our capabilities, please drop us an email.