At least 86 percent of Americans are now Internet users, according to a recent Pew Research poll. A national survey of 1,520 adults conducted March 7-April 4, 2016, finds that Facebook continues to be America’s most popular social networking platform by a substantial margin: Nearly eight-in-ten online Americans (79%) now use Facebook. Here’s the current state of the social media landscape in America:

  • 79% of internet users (68% of all U.S. adults) use Facebook
  • 32% of internet users (28% of all U.S. adults) use Instagram
  • 24% of internet users (21% of all U.S. adults) use Twitter
  • 29% of internet users (25% of all U.S. adults) use LinkedIn
  • 31% of internet users (26% of all U.S. adults) use Pinterest

Unsure which social media platform is right for your business?

Check out these 5 tips to make sure your business is using social media effectively. And then Contact Me to find out how to get started!

1) Get on Google and Facebook first

At a bare minimum, you need to make sure that your business has an online presence on the most popular search engine and social media sites. If your business has been around a while, it probably already has a listing on Google, but you need to claim that listing. By claiming your listing on Google, you can get a jumpstart on making sure you come up when some does a Google Search for your type of business. Plus, you can make sure that your business hours and contact information are correct. Claiming the listing also allows you to respond to reviews that your customers or client may write.

2) Diversify your social media presence

Social media is always changing, but there’s a real advantage to having a presence on several different sites. Not every platform is right for every business. For instance, if your business lends itself to a more visually-oriented product, like art for instance, then you would want to be on Instagram and Pinterest. If you want to reach more business people, then LinkedIn is for you.

Your social media profiles on different sites can also help promote the other, and individual sites each have their unique advantages. Creating a YouTube page and posting a few videos is a fantastic and easy way to boost your search ranking.

3) Live broadcast a video

In addition to the wider choice of reactions to a post, last year Facebook added live video feeds. Broadcasting a live video on Facebook is comparable to having a local news crew show up at your business. A live broadcast can be the perfect way to publicize a special event or sale.

It’s best to keep live video feeds short. You’ll be able to see who’s watching in real-time and make comments as well.

4) Schedule your postings

You need to be informed about the best times to post on social media, so that you will be reaching the largest possible audience. The best time to post depends on the type of social media page you’re using.

Facebook and Twitter posts get the widest circulation in the evening, later in the week. LinkedIn, on the other hand, gets the most traffic in the morning in the middle of the workweek.

Facebook has just added the ability to schedule your posts for peak hours, so your business can still have Facebook posts going online while the office is empty. You can also get a free account on Hootsuite where you can schedule social media posts for up to three platforms.

5) Hire a social media professional to help

Managing social media takes time and expertise, especially when your business is just building social networks. Just learning about the different markets takes time, and then it can be a challenge to develop engaging and informative content that promote your brand.

Some businesses delegate the maintenance of social media pages to someone already working in the office, but this tends to result in inconsistent quality. To project a professional image for your brand, you need to enlist the help of a Social Media Professional like Russian River PR & Marketing.

Budgeting for social media also allows you to pay for advertising, which can increase the size of your following. With the right help, planning and attention, social media can make your 2018 a winning year for your small business.

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