Posted by Alex Hawker
28 April, 2020

Done well, using social media for your business can increase traffic to your website, deliver return on investment, and engagement with your customers.

Although the temptation is to make your brand present on every social media platform, you should only take on what you can manage. It’s counter-productive to have many accounts open that aren’t particularly active or fail to engage with customers. In this post, we’ll take a detailed look at the functions of each platform and how they will help you to place your brand in front of the right people.


With 2.27 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a great place to begin with getting your business ‘seen’. Over the years, its advertising capabilities have grown more and more. You can now run a whole campaign with the aim of encouraging:

  • awareness (general interest in your product or service);
  • consideration (getting people to think about your business and look for more information about it);
  • or conversions (encouraging people that are interested in you to actually carry out a task or make a purchase).

You can promote a video you’ve made to advertise your business, or just boost a single post.

A lot of businesses use Facebook Messenger to improve their customer service. By making yourself available to respond to messages really quickly in a chat window, you’ll gain a reputation for being super-easy to deal with and eager to help customers out.

ASOS uses messenger well, with individual employees engaging directly to respond to queries or sort out issues efficiently. It’s much more personal than just a form or email, and gives customers the chance to feel they’re being listened to and understood.

If your business is likely to run a giveaway as part of its marketing strategy, Facebook is probably the ideal platform to choose. Competitions are usually really popular, and result in a huge amount of interaction.


Twitter is slightly different to Facebook in that there’s a limit to your character count (280, to be exact). This might seem like a limitation, but it’s actually a great opportunity to express your tone of voice with short, succinct messages. Twitter’s fast pace also means that you can be posting regular and relevant updates. If you’re the kind of business that has specific views, e.g. you’re very environmentally focused, then you can discuss what’s trending on that topic, or retweet articles that support your viewpoint.

There’s also a slightly more business-to-business (B2B) element with Twitter. You can promote other businesses with retweets or by their sharing events and this will encourage them to do the same for you, so it’s quite a good place for reciprocal marketing. Learn more about Twitter from our Top Twitter Tips post.


It’s no secret that Instagram has rocketed in popularity, and as its reach grows, users are becoming able to do more and more with it. As well as pictures, you can post minute-long videos within your feed, stories of 15 seconds, or long-form videos of up to an hour on the Instagram TV feature (IGTV).

A fairly recent feature on Instagram is shopping, which makes it even easier for businesses to drive traffic directly to their websites. You can use ‘product stickers’ to tag products either in stories or regular posts. These mean you can display products and encourage people to buy them. The ‘save’ feature lets users save posts for later in their own profile within easy reach, so if a user sees a product they might like, they can come back to it if they’re not ready to buy right away, and you won’t lose a lead.

For detailed pointers on using Instagram, read our other article, Eight tips for running a brand Instagram.

Mobile phones showing ASOS Instagram posts


Pinterest is widely known as the place to go for inspiration. It provides a great environment for gaining new customers, as most users go there seeking ideas for products to buy – they’re open to being sold to, which makes this a fairly unique platform.

An article by Hootsuite showed that more than two thirds of users say they’ve discovered a new product or brand via Pinterest, with 93% saying they use the platform to plan purchases. They’ll refer back to their pins later when online shopping, or even have them there when they shop in brick and mortar stores. You’re able to attach URLs to posts in Pinterest, which means people can easily stumble upon a post from you, pin it for later, and then end up at your website. This is hugely valuable for a business that needs people to head to their website and convert. If you have a business account set up, you can also create advertising on Pinterest by promoting certain pins or sharing videos. More tips here.   


If you’re a business positioning itself as an expert to clients, LinkedIn may be a good option. By building a base of connections, you can share professional advice and guidance, and become a useful account that might be recommended. LinkedIn is the best place for B2B marketing, as it’s a professional environment where users are in the right mindset for making industry connections. Though you’ll need to maintain a professional image on LinkedIn, it’s important not to come across too cold or corporate. It’s still a social network at the end of the day, so while you’re showing knowledge and professionalism, try to keep it conversational and readable.


The great thing about YouTube is that it serves one very simple purpose – and that’s posting videos. There’s no limit to the length you can post them, which is useful in many ways. Long-form video means you can demonstrate products in action, share footage from events, or answer more complex questions in video form.

It’s also useful for businesses with a website because it’ll save bandwidth. YouTube lets you upload videos and then embed them into your website, which will save space and reduce the risk of crashing or slow loading. All this makes for a better user experience – so it’s win-win.

You might also take to YouTube in the hope of finding a vlogger with a large following to promote your business. For instance, you might ask them to make a video in which they show and describe your product, and probably give it a review. Customers ­– particularly Millennials – are a lot more likely to buy into something if someone they trust or admire (e.g. a YouTuber they follow) advocates it.

Social media is more or less a vital marketing channel today, and it can be a huge asset if strategically planned – so start by choosing the right channels for your business.

If you found this article useful, you might enjoy Social media ‘stories’ and how you can use them, or The value of video marketing.