A lot of companies will go out and create four or five new profiles without the thought of whether that particular platform is right for them. Having a couple of focused profiles is better than having five different profiles which isn’t really suitable to your industry or you don’t really use. For example, you might not look at using Pinterest if you’re in the building industry (97% of female subscribers according to recent statistics), whereas you might do if you’re a dressmaking tutor by using images to promote your services. Having said that there are ways which you can use tools like Pinterest to promote and engage in different ways.
In this article we aim to give you a basic insight into what Pinterest and Instagram can offer your business in order to increase brand awareness, engagement and help with your Social Media strategy.
Where to Start
It’s key to know that each social media tool and platform have different ways in which they allow interaction with other users and promotion of your product. A great way to make your products stand out and look great is to have a look at Instagram. Twitter is a great platform to get short and snappy messages across but something like Instagram is great, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s an easy way to take a picture on your phone, upload it, choose one of the many great filters, share it, add a caption and add hashtags. After that, sharing capabilities include through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr and email. As well not only can you access your Instagram profile via mobile, it can be accessed on the web. It’s as simple as that, but if you do it right, the engagement can reach another level. Generally, any business can use Instagram. As an example, one of the larger global brands Coca Cola, use it to interact with their customers by encouraging something to talk about from one image and one caption.
As you can see above, the message is very short straight to the point with an eye catching image and lots of engagement. A lot of clothing, food and drink companies find Instagram very useful for interactions and a great way to promote their product (producing excitement about a ‘new spring clothing drop’ or a film making company showing you ‘behind the scenes’ of a new music video), but literally anybody can use it, you just need your own thought process of what works and what doesn’t in order to achieve this. You will need to make a judgement call on whether you could use this platform to fit into your business and strategy.
As stated before, Facebook and Twitter are your main platforms. Most people will know how to use both and they are great ways to get a message across and drive traffic back to your website. You can upload images, comment on other people’s posts, ‘like’ and ‘retweet’ interesting things. Both would be recommended as a starting point for any company. Having said that, Pinterest and Instagram have shot up into the top seven must try social media platforms list. Pinterest alone already boasts 20,000,000+ registered users each month. Instagram on the other hand have an ever rising 100,000,000+ registered monthly users, for something that started out in 2010 as a simple photo app for android and iPhone users, those are some phenomenal figures. Taken from the Instagram website, here are some statistics which might make you wonder why you’re not using it!
- 100 million Monthly Active Users
- 40 million Photos Per Day
- 8500 Likes Per Second
- 1000 Comments Per Second
Your platform in effect can mirror the target audience that you are aiming to engage with. As a business owner or marketing person, you need to be aware of the statistics for each platform, and in particular, age and gender. There’s no point choosing a platform where generally the users are 40 plus years of age, whereas your target audience are under 21’s. Why not try something different? If you’re an owner of a local cafe, you’re on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, but you want to expand and reach out further. You could possibly look at ways at implementing Instagram into your plan. Upload some images onto Instagram of your customers trying out your new range of cake, with a thumbs up, and a cool, quirky filter. On that image have links to your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. This way not only are you promoting through Instagram, but everything inbetween as well.
Going back to what was said about Pinterest and its users, various statistics do show that 97% of Pinterest users are women. If that is the case, from a male perspective, the question would be, “how do I achieve success on this social media platform?” You will need to think outside the box. Cynthia Sanchez (@OSPInteresting) gave great advice in Social Media Examiner on how to build trust and loyalty using Pinterest no matter what business area you’re in. The example she used was with The Taco Bell Community Board on Pinterest. Most people will be thinking, “how can a fast food company succeed in promoting through Pinterest?” The beauty of Pinterest is you can use it to tell a story about your company. Show your reader how you began as a business, show them ‘behind the scenes’, give a more personal insight into how your business wants to be perceived. The use of creating your own boards is great, imagine it as your own album.
Thinking Outside the Box
To sum it up, like anything, it’s about trial and error, testing the water and analysing the results. Depending on the results, you’ll chop and change the way you do things, enhance or edit your messages. What we like to suggest is, try everything and cancel out the areas which aren’t working. There are always analytics available to see what platform is working, alongside what messages get the most clicks or engagement activity. There are so many social media platforms out there that you might be thinking, “how do I keep up?” If you want to start using a new platform, come up with something fresh to go alongside this set up, have a purpose and direction in a way to help achieve your goal of brand awareness and engagement.