Entrepreneurs and innovators generally recognize the power of social media to connect and engage with people. Every small business or product needs a social media presence, but identifying which platforms will be best for your idea can be tricky.
To decide which platform best suits your invention, decide what you want from social media — which will best reach your audience and which offers the capabilities you need? Most companies can’t be amazing on every single platform, which takes considerable time and resources. It’s best to choose just a few to concentrate on and excel at, rather than be subpar on all of them.
Here’s an overview of some of the major social media platforms and how they can help move brands forward.
Instagram Is All About Visuals
The photo-sharing site is perfect for businesses with lots of visual imagery. It allows you to establish a style and build a cohesive brand identity. Its mobile-friendly nature allows businesses to take photos on the fly and edit and post them instantly. You can also create hashtags for your brand to use for each post and encourage your customers to do the same.
Instagram’s main drawback: the only place you can put a link is on your profile page, while most people don’t go back to it after they like your page. Instagram can get you a lot of attention, but if you’re trying to sell your invention on a website it can be hard to generate traffic.
Facebook Builds Relationships
Facebook is a great option for almost any kind of business because it engages customers in real time. The platform lets you tell your story by posting photos, videos, and other information about the business. Customers can ask questions, post comments, and write reviews — and, you can respond. This provides a good gauge of customer sentiment. If done correctly, Facebook allows you to create loyal followers and generate new business leads.
Facebook’s main drawback: the same as its strength: it’s just so big. So many people are on Facebook, and there are so many things you can do, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.
Twitter Gets the Message Out
Twitter resembles an ongoing, ever-changing conversation. This is great for businesses that have regular news or announcements or that want to engage with customers immediately. It can take some work to build a Twitter network, but it’s worth it.
Twitter’s main drawback: it’s non-stop. Until you get used to how Twitter works, it can feel like a full-time job in itself.
YouTube Showcases Products
YouTube is the perfect platform for showing off products or services. You can create product demonstrations, introduce new products, or create other videos about your company. The videos give customers a first-hand look at your business, and they can be linked to other social media platforms. Better yet: if you get a big enough platform, you can make your YouTube channel generate revenue by putting ads in front of your videos.
YouTube’s main drawback: whereas other platforms you can do yourself (and do it well), you need some understanding of video production to run a highly successful channel. While there are many highly trafficked channels where most videos are filmed on their phone, many use professional videographers to film and edit.
LinkedIn Grows Business Connections
The professional-networking site lets entrepreneurs reach out to important connections in the business world and can be a great way to attract new customers or investors. You can set up groups to share your expertise or ask others for advice, and post links to articles. And, when the time comes, you can use LinkedIn to hire new staff.
LinkedIn’s main drawback: while it’s extremely powerful for any idea that is being sold to other businesses, it’s not a strong place to sell products to consumers.
No matter which platform you choose, you should always post regularly and respond to customer comments or questions. Social media campaigns only successfully build brands when work is put into them.
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