Instagram, Twitter, Facebook: Which platform will get your site noticed?

Whether your business is B2B or B2C, social media can get your website noticed. Which platform is likely to drive your online sales?

Social media presents the opportunity for you to market your business across many different platforms.

Yet, with so many social networks out there and new platforms launching each week, it can be hard to decide which one will work best for your brand.

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Here, Startups takes a closer look at the three social media heavyweights – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook – to help you gauge which platform will work best to get your website noticed…

Instagram

Instagram is a photo sharing platform that allows users to take arty pictures and upload them instantly. Although the platform doesn’t have as many features as Facebook and Twitter, it is still worth having an active profile for your business on this exclusively mobile-based app.

Why Instagram? Currently boasting more than 400 million daily active users, and 95 million uploaded images and 4.2 billion likes each day, can your start-up afford to ignore Instagram?

Most suited to lifestyle, product and B2C brands, Instagram gives you the opportunity to be even more creative with your social media marketing strategy.

Studies show visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media than any other form of content, therefore Instagram is the perfect tool to help engage your customers.


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Business Profiles

Last year Instagram launched Business Profiles, which means businesses can now create or convert existing accounts to business accounts.

This is a free feature that supports better communication and customer service as you can share your email address, telephone and location with your customers.

With Business Profiles, you can access insights within the app, promote posts and create adverts that you can then promote based on age, location or gender demographic profiles – or have Instagram select them for you.

Promote, engage, share

Instagram lends itself well to running contests to increase engagement and drive website conversions as you can encourage users to repost images with certain hashtags or captions, or get more likes for a post which will then link back to your page.

Brand hashtags are a great way to promote your brand on Instagram. Nike, for example, adds the hashtag #justdoit to its Instagram photos and jumps onto established hashtags such as #tbt (throwback Thursday) to increase levels of engagement.

To capitalise on your business’ Instagram feed, ensure you share your Instagram images on your Facebook and Twitter accounts as it will help spur on the conversation across your social channels and present a unified social media strategy.

Instagram Stories

With the rise of Snapchat, Instagram has recently adapted its offering to include Instagram Stories where users can record videos that will only display for 24 hours.

You can capitalise on this feature by using Stories to record office activities, share company milestones and ‘behind the scenes’ clips that will help to humanise your brand – to inject extra personality you can edit videos with emojis and illustrations.

What’s more, the short video function on Instagram enables you to easily create video content which you can then share on your website homepage – perfect for attracting your customer’s attention when they visit your website.

Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that lets you convey messages in snappy tweets consisting of 140 characters. Although Twitter is a text-based platform you can also share images and videos, but remember that the focus here is all about conversation.

Caption: British beauty brand Aurelia Probiotic Skincare uses Twitter to promote its products and encourages users to visit its website.

Like Facebook, Twitter suits every industry and works for both B2B and B2C businesses. With 157 million daily active users the app cannot be ignored when it comes to its potential to generate organic leads.

Using Twitter, you can connect with other businesses by searching for key terms and specific hashtags relating to your business, you can keep track of competitors, and you can seek out potential collaborators. A simple ‘mention’ using the ‘@’ sign could very well lead to a flourishing business relationship.

#trending

Twitter is a real-time app which means trends are constantly changing and current events shift the conversation very quickly, so it’s important to monitor your Twitter feed closely and jump on any relevant hashtags and conversations.

Unlike Facebook, which uses algorithms to tailor you feed, Twitter doesn’t filter out anything so you are guaranteed to have your post seen. The only problem with this being that users are tweeting all the time so, unless you tweet very frequently, you’re going to need to make sure your business can be heard above the hubbub.

Twitter’s best feature is that it allows you to interact with your customers and convey marketing messages. You can utilise hashtags and potentially ‘trend’ for a period of time, equating to fantastic exposure for your business and your website.

Twitter is a text-based platform and doesn’t showcase videos and images that well, so while you can effectively convey your brand’s voice on Twitter, there is less scope to grab people with visual content.

To ensure that your Twitter feed works to promote your website, make sure you include the Twitter widget on your site so that visitors can easily interact with you.

Facebook

Facebook is a great marketing tool for businesses in any industry. It has the highest potential reach of all three social media platforms discussed here, with more than two billion active monthly users to date.

Because of its global scale, Facebook is an effective medium to generate leads to your website and promote your brand.

Facebook Insights

Once you have a Facebook page set-up for your business, you can then gain access to Facebook Insights.

This is a free analytics tool which enables you to measure the success of your Facebook posts, reach, and Facebook marketing activities. The tool allows you to see your total number of likes, how many people are talking about your page, your weekly reach, and so on.

Facebook Insights also helps you understand when the best time of day is for you to post. As Facebook is not the kind of platform that requires a regular stream of posts, you can promote content, images and videos at opportune times.

Reactions and responses

Facebook lends itself to instant conversation as users can immediately comment on content, users use Facebook Reactions (emoji symbols) to express their views, and can also share posts on their own pages if they wish.

As conversations can move quickly on Facebook, you will need to monitor your page often and you cannot afford to neglect it. The faster you respond to customers, the more likely you are to secure the ‘very responsive to messages’ badge which is a good indicator of the customer service your business offers.

While Facebook doesn’t excel in producing organic leads, it does give you the opportunity to use dynamic ads to target specific audiences and demographics.

For any content that you share on your website, you should add the Facebook widget in order to increase its circulation.

Facebook Live

Facebook Live allows you to connect with your customers in real-time. You can give customers sneak peaks and glances into your business, you can share daily videos, and you even can stream events and talks. The opportunities are endless.

Unlike Instagram Stories, you can edit Facebook Live videos and they stay on your profile for as long as you want – you can also target specific audiences with certain videos and users can comment as you broadcast.

So which platform is best for your online business?

Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are all effective channels to market your business.

Ultimately, you should choose the platform that most fits your needs and best suits your brand. For instance, a B2C start-up is likely to have more success on Instagram than a B2B start-up.

Our advice? Adopt a multi-channel social media strategy that will allow you to take advantage of the best features that these three platforms have to offer.

And remember, being active on social media doesn’t have to be a drain on your resources. Social media management platforms such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck make it easy for you to schedule posts cross-platform and keep track of what your customers are saying – you can take a look at our round-up of the best social media management tools here.