And if so, which channels do you need? And how exactly should you best use it?
These are all important questions. Unfortunately, many people often don’t ask them before they dive into the world of social media and — often — waste a lot of time and effort on work that doesn’t really return much the way of results.
Picking the right channels
The first thing you should ask yourself is, which social media channels are the best fit for your organization? These days, there are a plethora of channels from which to choose, so it pays to be selective.
Google My Business
One thing we always recommend is getting listed on Google My Business. It’s not really typical social media in the sense that people interact on it. But content that shows up in the “Info Box” on the right side of Google search listings comes directly from your Google My Business account.
NOTE: If you don’t fill anything into this account, Google will simply choose some things from your site. Unfortunately, they may not be the items that you would wish to show up.
While not necessarily a strict social media channel, YouTube is one of the most visited sites on the Internet. If you have any videos associated with your business, you should definitely create a company YouTube channel, put all your videos on it, and then embed those videos wherever you’d like them to appear.
Arguably the largest social media network, and certainly the best known, Facebook is often the channel that people turn to just because it is the one with which they are familiar. But that doesn’t mean it is a channel you should automatically use.
Since Facebook tends to be a true “social” media, it is often not linked with business. However, it is extremely well trafficked. If you are going to use this channel, make sure you set up a Facebook Business page.
Often referred to as the business-related social media channel, LinkedIn definitely is more focused on business-to-business networking. As such, it is often a good place to be when distributing content from your own business. Again, we recommend setting up a LinkedIn Business page, which is separate from your LinkedIn personal page.
Like Facebook, Twitter is so well-known that businesses often think they need to be on it. However, because of the nature of this channel, it doesn’t allow for any detailed explanation of your products or services. It is not one we generally recommend.
Instagram and Pinterest
These are grouped together because both are essentially image-based channels. If images are extremely important to your business, then they may be a good fit. That doesn’t mean that anybody should just select images to put them on these channels.
For instance, if your business is a law firm, you can certainly come up with pictures, but they won’t have much relevance in this venue. However, if you are a clothing designer, then a photo-based channel is exactly where you want to be.
Although these are some of the most obvious, there are a number of others that you may consider. The point is to think about where your customers — and potential customers — will be. Wherever that is, that would be a good place for you to be as well.
Using Social Media channels for SEO
Social Media marketing is an entire genre of marketing unto itself. It is a big job, and very time-consuming. But aside from that, social media channels can be effectively employed within SEO campaigns, without all the work that normally goes into dedicated social media marketing.
Since a big part of SEO campaigns involves creating content and posting it on your website, social media channels can be employed both to draw attention to that content, and drive visitors to it directly. To do so, create original “blurbs” related to your content and written in the style of the social media channel to which you are posting them. Include graphics whenever it’s appropriate.
CAUTION: it may be very tempting to use pre-fab systems which automatically post your content to any number of social media channels. We recommend that you avoid that. Although it certainly saves time, it won’t create original content for the social media channels, which is exactly what you want.
Paid placements: The advertising option
Of course everything we have been talking about above is included as a part of the “organic” or “free” portion of those channels. Just about every social media channel also offers the ability to run ads, boosted placements, contextual promotional items, etc.
In general, because of the incredible targeting features offered by Google Ads, that platform offers a better ROI. However, there are certain instances where using the paid option on specific social media channels can be beneficial. An experienced PPC/SEO agency should be able to offer advice on an individual case-by-case basis.
A final note: Reach
One of the criteria to consider when selecting the social media channels to use, is the reach that you will have within those channels. For instance, although billions of people may be on Facebook, if you don’t have any followers to your business page, posting content there will be less effective.
In that case, it may be advisable to choose different social media channels. Or, if your personal page already has a lot of followers and/or connections, it may be more effective to use that page to post your content.
Whatever you decide, remember that quality is more important than quantity. Better to have occasional well-written posts on a small number of relevant social media channels, then to “spray” content indiscriminately throughout a large number of them.