Using social media to market your IT business
Even the smallest business has the capability to interact and leverage social media as a means to grow their business and reach bigger audiences. Social media doesn’t only give you access to larger audiences, it’s algo dynamic and makes for more genuine interactions, be it with clients, partners, new prospects, colleagues, suppliers, or competitors.
Using and maximizing the inherent power of social media is a no-brainer, especially for IT businesses where user acquisition and/or prospecting clients is critical to the wellbeing and operational success of the company.
Social media, unlike other media outlets that are much less effective for marketing purposes like TV, radio, and newspapers, really works. Nowadays, people spend much of their time on social media (approximately 2.5 hours daily, according to research), so why not use that to your advantage?
In this article, we’ll explore how you can use social media to market your IT business successfully. Let’s get social!
Why using social media as large platforms for marketing and business
Social media is packed with tons of valuable opportunities for IT businesses of all sizes. For example, you can:
- Increase the presence of your brand and business to make it more prominent
- Showcase your goods, services, and/or capabilities to your prospects and clients
- Discover what your prospects and clients think about you
- Harness new customers
- Forge and strengthen synergies with current clients
So, what are the advantages of using social media for business and marketing your IT business? Here’s a sample of the benefits you can enjoy by employing a robust and comprehensive social media for business strategy:
- Larger audience reach. Unlike traditional media outlets, social media for business can reach millions in a matter of seconds, with no geographic limitations.
- Target specific groups. Social media is packed with targeting tools so you can hone in on the audience you want to market to, making it easier to reach effective audiences and particular locations.
- Relatively low cost or free. Many if not most social media for business platforms provide an arsenal of marketing tools at no cost to you, and when there are paid options, they’re typically very affordable.
- Genuine interactions. Social media interactions feel more personal, adding a deeper level of authenticity in your online interactions.
- Quick. As we mentioned, social media is fast-paced, getting your messaging across instantly, distributing to more people and in a shorter timeframe than any other media outlet.
- Simple. Marketing via social media doesn’t require high-level expertise or a specialized professional with years and years of experience. With standard tools, a computer, and marketing drive, you can be on your way to scale your marketing efforts.
The best social media for different business applications
Each organization needs a unique approach to social media. All social networks are different (some much less so than others, but still different) and as such, should be approached differently. While some social media business platforms are more effective for sales, others are more effective for brand awareness, photography, engagement, and so on. It’s understandable why social media is one of the most profitable marketing channels, and it should be leveraged accordingly to make the best of it.
With more than 65 well-known social media business platforms in existence, you should strategize on which ones serve your purpose. Here are 7 of the best social media business platforms you should be looking at in the IT sphere:
- Facebook. The first name that comes to mind when someone says social media is most likely Facebook. The tech giant has been making waves for a couple of decades now, and there’s no denying that it has positioned itself as the most well-rounded social media platform out there. With tons of tools for marketers, Facebook has a 1.84 billion audience (as of the end of 2020) ready to be targeted and reached. From building brand awareness, creating private groups for clients, interacting with clients in real-time, and more, there are ways to personalize experiences on the platform.
- Twitter. A massive success, Twitter is the place to be for real-time news and posts. This social media platform is right for just about any type of business, but especially for IT as it meets the high-paced demands of a technology environment. Twitter offers several ways to monetize the platform, making it possible for organizations to cut through the noise, stand out against competitors, engage with audiences, and add valuable content in posts.
- LinkedIn. The professional networking platform by excellence, LinkedIn has built a name for itself as an exclusive space for professionals. Not to put it mildly, but LinkedIn completely revolutionized the way people search, find, and get hired for jobs, and it offers tons of opportunities for IT businesses to market their operations. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is best suited to find new business partners than it is to find new clients, unless your target audience is B2B. Another thing to keep in mind is that unlike Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others, people don’t go to LinkedIn to be entertained. They go to LinkedIn for helpful content, learn about industry insights, see their professional contacts, and look for new professional opportunities.
- Instagram. The most popular photo-sharing app by far, Instagram is another social media platform that is a great tool for IT marketers. With a billion users each day, Instagram is the place to be. Instagram is a prime outlet to share products, values, and a company voice, making it a top choice for lead generation. Instagram users are keen on interacting with businesses, with at least 200 million Instagrammers visiting one business profile each day. Also, over 60% of people say they discover new products and services via Instagram. So it’s no wonder that more than 2 million advertisers worldwide use Instagram to share and drive value-driven results.
- YouTube. With Google as the parent company, YouTube the golden standard of video social media business platforms. If you want to share information via video, then YouTube is the preferred channel, trumping competitors like Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok. With over 2 billion monthly users, YouTube is the place where consumers go for entertainment and learn new things, making it a top tool for IT businesses. With video tutorials, webinars, product descriptions, and more, YouTube lets marketers optimize videos for SEO to gain views.
- Reddit. One of the most interesting social media business platforms by far, Reddit has secured that sense of authenticity and true connections that attracts droves of users every day. By being more genuine, connected, and engaging, Reddit is a to-the-point social media platform where groups have strict rules about what can and can’t be posted for commercial purposes. For example, if you shamelessly advertise your IT business, you will most likely be removed from a group, but there’s a lot of success to be gained from engaging audiences via Reddit.
- Stack Overflow. Home to the largest audience of developers and technology lovers, Stack Overflow is a must for IT businesses. With multiple options and advertising opportunities to promote your product, boost brand awareness, and more, many IT businesses favor Stack Overflow because they know most developers head to the site when they have a problem. Over 55% of developers visit Stack Overflow every day while 80% of developers visit the site at least one a week. There’s a lot to be gained from this platform as it’s probably the biggest influencer to developers.
Next, we’ll break down which social media business platforms work best in different scenarios.
Social media for B2B
Social media for B2Bs drives results, no questions asked. Recent statistics show that social media advertising is performed by more than 83% of B2B marketers, ranking second to search engines in terms of success.
Successful B2B marketers report that one of the highest contributing factors in their social media business strategy was valuable content a. Valuable content shared via social media reaches large audiences, so it’s important to create a robust social media business strategy that accounts for that. With more and more sales meetings, conferences, and business decisions happening online, one can’t leave B2B marketing out of the conversation.
Here are the most effective social media business platforms for B2B organizations:
- LinkedIn: As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B marketers. In fact, over 96% of B2B marketers list LinkedIn as their go-to platform for organic content distribution and 83% use LinkedIn for paid social, so it’s safe to say this is the most-used platform for both types of content distribution. Thanks to LinkedIn’s professional focus, marketers agree it is the best opportunity to reach decision-makers.
- Twitter. The blue bird social media platform is one of the top ways to engage B2B brands for potential business opportunities. With more than 500 million tweets per day, Twitter lets brands stay current and up-to-date with their industry. From using relevant hashtags, leveraging trending topics, participating in active threads, and more, IT businesses have a lot to gain by using Twitter for B2B marketing. Building a trusted brand will lead to increased brand loyalty and retention, with many B2B brands offering support accounts in Twitter to strengthen customer relationships, which can lead to higher customer advocacy. Also, Twitter is of great help when it comes to social listening and brand sentiment.
- Facebook. Did we mention that Facebook is the most widely used social media platform out there thanks to 1.84 billion active users on a daily basis? If it’s about reaching wider audiences, then Facebook is definitely the place to be. The social giant offers valuable demographic tools for B2B marketers, with 74% of decision-makers spending time on the platform, more so than other people. Good for building brand awareness and flagging your business as an industry authority, you can use Facebook to publish helpful posts, insights, and news. Also, Facebook Groups offer a great means to find valuable business sources to get involved in relevant conversations and connect directly with customers.
Social media for public relations
Social media is one of the most effective social media business platforms for PR strategies. Not only does PR become more effective but it also helps identify brand threats and engage influencers more seamlessly. More than a couple of years ago, PR departments would release a statement, either by printing it or publishing it online. Now, with social media in the mix, PR is more fast-paced and nuanced.
When talking about public relations, these are top social media platform choices for you:
- Twitter. Thanks to its real-time quality, Twitter is a primary channel to publish official brand information at once. Twitter is one of the primary avenues to break news into the world, announce new product releases, amplify relevant events, and so on. Given its character limit, IT businesses need to be strategic about the key points of their press release or statement, providing condensed information along with useful links. Also, Twitter is one of the preferred outlets to be in close communication with journalists and publishers so they amplify your content. Last but not least, Twitter is great to address a social media crisis.
- LinkedIn: Modern PR relies on social media to spread the word about their companies. It’s recommended that you tap into your employee pool and encourage them to post on LinkedIn as part of growing the LinkedIn presence. Specifically C-level employees and executives with leadership positions are a great and effective way to reach bigger audiences than with a branded post.
- Tiktok. We know, you probably didn’t expect this one but Tiktok has really made a name for itself amongst PR marketers who wish to reach specific audiences. For some time now, Tiktok has been on the radar of PR professionals given that the app has now reached over 1 billion active users worldwide, making it the eight largest social network in the world. PR plans need new and creative channels, especially with IT businesses wanting to attract younger audiences. With everyone being a creator, Tiktok is open to all formats, so marketing can be as creative as you want. One of the key aspects of Tiktok is a user’s personalized recommendations. Thanks to a powerful AI-driven algorithm, users see videos based on their preferences, making it a very desirable social media platform for a brand's videos.
Social media for startups
Startups need to make every marketing effort count, which makes it even more critical to select the right mix of social media business platforms to use. Based on your target audience and the type of content you’re looking to post, that mix can look very different from one startup to another.
Here’s a rundown of the biggest social media business platforms your startup can leverage as part of its marketing strategy:
- LinkedIn: Sitting in one of the top spots for B2B segments, LinkedIn is where you want to be if you’re a B2B provider yourself. LinkedIn offers a primary age cohort of 30-49, which is a very desirable demographic along with the fact that most users are college educated and make over 75K per year in the US. With this in mind, your startup can thrive on this curated network of professionals to help you find your next partner or build awareness about your product or service offering. LinkedIn is also a great way to keep your followers up-to-date on your latest news and offerings, using strategic tools like polls and offers to collect contact information and grow your network.
- Twitter: Twitter offers a superior customer service presence than any other social media platform out there, which is why your startup can greatly benefit from offering customer support through this outlet. You can respond to comments, address complaints swiftly, and offer solutions in the blink of an eye. Also, you can listen to what your target audience is saying, their pain points, and what they’re interested in.
- Instagram. Thanks to how visual it is, Instagram is gold when it comes to promoting your IT business startup. Through images, graphics, and even short videos, you can scale your reach to earn new followers, increase organic reach, and interact with your growing audience.
Social media for hiring
Much like traditional marketing, hiring employees is all about presenting your information in the best way possible to attract people. In this case, you want to use the power of social media to market your IT business and attract new employees to grow your operations.
To this end, here are the best social media business platforms for hiring:
- LinkedIn: You probably knew this one was going to be here, and rightfully so. LinkedIn is the largest professional network and most frequented social media platform for recruiting employees. LinkedIn offers a great platform to search for both passive and active candidates, and given the platform’s positioning as a professional networking site, you’ll be able to connect with professionals that are not there to be entertained but to find their new professional opportunities and share self-development milestones.
- Facebook: With much wider demographics, Facebook offers one of the broadest ranges you’ll find in any social media platform. Facebook is used by people of all ages, so you can target your roles to people in different age groups. As a bonus, Facebook is also great to find passive candidates as you can target job ads to those specific people, drastically improving your target audience reach.
- Instagram: Used to share photos, Instagram is gradually becoming one of the most favored social media platforms for recruiters to post about job openings. With attractive visuals, recruiters promote jobs and use targeting tools to attract specific demographics.
Social media business best practices
Everyone wants to see the business grow, and expanding their reach goes hand in hand with that goal. Thanks to social media, consumer journeys are not what they were a mere two decades ago, as businesses adapt to embrace social media as part of their marketing strategies. Social media is critical to market IT businesses as posts can create trends or influence a consumer’s decision.
The use of social media platforms is not for entertainment only. It’s a preferred choice for those looking for product information as many rely on social media to guide their purchasing decisions.
Here are some social media business best practices you can employ to make the most out of using social media to market your IT business:
- Be unique and authentic. Sometimes, a business decision comes down to creativity. Stand out from competitors with creative content that attracts both end users, peers, and other companies that may help distribute and amplify your brand. Through a unique and genuine brand voice, you can build trusting relationships with those who consume your content, making your company look and feel more engaging and compelling.
- Engage with your social media network. Reply to messages, answer that DM, participate in relevant threads, or simply retweet or share a post; it all adds up to making your business more approachable and gaining you traction. By being personal, you are more likely to stay on top of mind of your market, helping consumers as they reach the decision-making stage.
- Choose the right social media business platform. While most leverage all the big social media platforms or a combination of them, it’s important to personalize the type of content you use and publish in each one. For example, you can use Facebook to build authority, Twitter to make on-the-moment announcements, and Instagram to share photos about your business or product. It’s through a collective social media strategy that businesses gain greater results with.
Social media platforms are far from static. In fact, they’re quite the opposite. Fast-paced, dynamic, real-time, interactive…social media platforms are a far improvement from how we used to communicate a couple of decades ago. As social media continues to improve and be developed in the future, businesses need to continue to update themselves on the latest trends and ensure their business can meet modern business demands.
More and more IT businesses are using social media networks for marketing, especially Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Stack Overflow, as these are the most relevant ones for the types of audiences they’re trying to reach.
Keep in mind that each platform is unique and caters to specific business needs, so be sure to perform research and build a creative marketing strategy that is unique to your IT business and that allows you to tap into your strengths.
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