Business development · 18 August 2015

Picking your poison: Pinterest or Instagram – which social media channel is for you?

Many consumers have reported buying a product after seeing it on Pinterest
Many consumers have reported buying a product after seeing it on Pinterest

Social media can improve and enhance your brand’s online reputation in a drastic way if utilised efficiently. It can also be a confusing concept for businesses and success can be hard to measure in terms of ROI. When it comes to “getting it right” there are many ways harmonising a company’s social media accounts can reap rewards though.

Social media channels do have the perception that they are untrustworthy especially when it comes to ads on Facebook and Twitter. The “sponsored” text below the ad is sometimes an automatic turn off if the audience has not been targeted properly. However gaining customers’ trust using social media can enhance your brand reputation.

One important rule of business is to follow your audience and appear where your audience is found, both online and offline.

Social media channels for businesses can include:

Facebook

Twitter

Snapchat

  • Snapchat has about 30m active monthly users. A further 55 per cent of users use Snapchat daily – around 16.5m people
  • Snapchat was the fastest growing digital platform in 2014, growing by 57 per cent

LinkedIn

Google+

Instagram

Pinterest

Blogs

Focusing on doing one social channel one is much more effective than spreading yourself thinly in an attempt to cover all bases
Focusing on doing one social channel one is much more effective than spreading yourself thinly in an attempt to cover all bases

My top ten tips:

(1) Tailor. Social media channels are all different and aimed at different audiences – content suitable for Twitter may not necessarily engage your LinkedIn audience.

(2) Do be personal, give a personality to your brand and enhance communication. No one likes to see the same message posted to someone else, tailor it by using a name. Do not however treat it like you would a personal account, relevancy is key.

(3) Respond to both positive and negative posts. When communicated to effectively angry customers could be persuaded to return and with it being common knowledge that retaining is cheaper and easier than acquiring this is invaluable to a brand.

(4) Engage with audiences by running competitions, using third party tools such as Woobox. This can be a great way to increase likes and improve brand awareness.

(5) Learn from competitor’s successes and mistakes to constantly improve your own approach.

(6) Analyse posts to see which get better results, what works for your audience? Timings can be crucial so continue to test when your audience is online.

(7) Use imagery and video to communicate, it is a proven fact that images are easier to digest. Infographics are a great way of displaying information in an original and unique way, which makes it likeable and shareable.

(8) The @ sign – when using Twitter do not start a tweet with “@” as only the followers who follow you and the user you are tweeting will see this. If “@” is not the first character everyone will see the tweet, so many users take to putting a “.” in front to make sure the tweet is viewable by all, “.@”.

(9) Using sites such as Hootsuite will allow you to schedule posts on many platforms in advance, meaning you can plan messages to followers weeks in advance and not have a panic if you forget to post (as long as you have remembered to schedule).

(10) Hire a social media manager. If you can afford it and don’t have the time to manage all of your companies social media accounts (it is very time consuming and hard to write content for different audiences) these specialised people have the time to tailor posts and tweets to the right audience.

Social media can feel like a minefield and will take time to build an audience of dedicated followers, but the hard work will pay off if your business is right for social. My best advice would be to consider what platforms are right for your business rather than feeling the need to be found on all platforms.

It is much better to work really hard on one platform and do a fantastic job rather than be on all platforms doing a mediocre job. If you don’t think your business is right for social media, check out what your competition are doing and see if it appears to be successful, it may be your efforts are better spent on other areas of marketing.

For more advice feel free to post any questions below.

Image: Shutterstock

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Becky Campbell is the founder and managing director of digital marketing agency Reflect Digital – which she set up from her flat aged just 24. Four years later, the agency now delivers market-leading solutions and campaigns covering everything from web design to e-commerce, to a range of clients such as Premier League football clubs.

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