Fewer Americans are turning to traditional news outlets and newspapers for news. Newspapers have always been an important part of the American news landscape, but they have been hit hard as more Americans digest news digitally. According to Pew Research Center, “The industry’s financial fortunes and subscriber base have been in decline since the early 2000s, even as website audience traffic has grown for many.”[I] It’s no coincidence that every social network was created during this period of decline. Research shows that younger generations consume the majority of their news from social media platforms. The use of social media for business communication is imperative. Every business needs social media. Here are four popular social platforms that are great for business.
Facebook is the most popular social media network even with the recent leaks and bad press they’ve received. This platform can be invaluable to small businesses when used correctly. Facebook can be used to share important company updates as well as share events and photos. Business accounts allow for access to robust advertising tools and analytics. These pages also allow you to highlight hours of operations, contact information, and so much more.
Twitter gets news out quickly, providing short updates or sharing links to larger articles. Many businesses use Twitter to share images and videos. This is a great platform for interacting with users by mentioning, liking and retweeting other users’ tweets. Many companies do well with Twitter by using their brand voice and personality on the platform. Many consumers would rather direct a complaint to a business via Twitter instead of picking up the phone or writing an email. As a result, large organizations use Twitter as a way to handle customer service. If you have exciting content, Twitter is a great tool for quickly spreading the word.
Instagram is the most photography centered of all of the platforms and is growing in popularity with businesses. This is a visual platform that’s based entirely on photo and video posts. Instagram Stories and Instagram Live have proven to be great tools for businesses to promote their products and services. Although some aspects of Instagram translate to desktop and laptop usage, the platform is almost entirely mobile. Creative businesses and influencers most excel on Instagram, however, it’s a great visual platform for all businesses to embrace.
LinkedIn is the best platform for professional networking, for finding top talent, and for promoting businesses as industry leaders. This platform is designed for professionals. Many Human Resource teams and hiring managers use LinkedIn to search for applicants and future employees. Therefore, prospective employees use LinkedIn to find out more about a company they are pursuing. As a result, inkedIn has become the best place to post job openings and information about company culture. Businesses can join industry-specific LinkedIn Groups to ask and answer questions. This helps brands stand out as industry experts and brings people to the company’s page and website.
One of the most important parts of marketing and business communication is analysis. Regardless of the platforms used, every business must use social listening tools. There is an abundance of tools available (Hootsuite, HubSpot, SalesForce, BrandWatch, Google Alerts). Social listening is the process of tracking conversations around specific keywords, phrases, and topics and leveraging your insights to discover opportunities to create new content for those audiences. Companies need to pay attention not only to notifications but also to the huge group of people talking about their business, their brand and their products and services.