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Discover the best social media features for businesses

Social media is a great tool to increase brand awareness, boost traffic and generate leads. But only when you use it properly.

If you’re looking to up your digital presence or wondering whether a social strategy is worth the fuss, you’re definitely in the right place.

Instead of managing multiple platforms and spreading yourself too thinly, the key is to identify the right social media platforms based on your audience and its capabilities.

In this blog, we focus on the latter as we reveal some of the best social media features and functions on offer across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and more.

By the end, you should have everything you need to maximise your social presence and turn the right channels into a highly profitable means of business. This is your social media intervention.

What are the benefits of using social media for businesses?

The obvious benefits of social media include increasing brand awareness, driving web traffic and increased sales leads. This is hardly surprising when you consider the following social media marketing statistics:

• There are 3.78 billion social media users (Source: Statista)

• An average of 2.5 hours per day is spent on social networks and messaging (Source: DataReportal)

• 73% of marketers believe that social media marketing has been either “somewhat effective” or “very effective” for their business (Source: Buffer)

However, these stats only tell half the story. There are now many more special features of social media for business that present a whole host of further benefits.

For example, it’s possible to pinpoint certain customer demographics, custom audiences and lookalike audiences within your social marketing campaigns. You can do this through data measurement and by utilising optimisation features such as Facebook Audience Insights.

Companies can add to this well of excellent data with extra customer insights, feedback and reviews.

A great social presence also enables businesses to keep customers engaged with their product selection and offer customer service in a convenient location for customers. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are key players in this area.

There are Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) benefits too, as search engines now include social engagement in their algorithms. It only takes one well-liked LinkedIn article, Pinterest Inspiration Board or YouTube video to improve your business’ visibility on Google.

It’s just a matter of using the right platform and focusing on producing quality. Remember, billions of posts are published every day. So, you need to be original and use the right features to maximise your reach.

What are the main features of social media you need to know about?

The following four social platforms are investing heavily into creating marketing opportunities across their websites. Why? Because when you win, they win through increased advertising.

Let’s take a look at some of their most intriguing innovations.

Best features of Facebook

Facebook is branching out with the arrival of a self-publishing newsletter tool. This feature provides insights for writers and integrates with Facebook business pages – as well as groups – to encourage active online communities. This social media feature is a real game-changer if you want to grow an engaged following and get more people looking at your original content.

On the topic of Facebook groups, these are a golden oldie of the social marketing world. Although they require management, posting valuable content into a small, niche and active community can revolutionise your social strategy.

Finally, Facebook offers a customer service capability. By setting up a small team to answer queries and respond to customer feedback, your brand can interact with customers in a convenient location.

If 90% of customer queries receive responses, Facebook will give you a green badge. This helps to authenticate your brand and bolster its reputation

Best features of Instagram

One of the most notable social media features and functions on Instagram is its innovative shop function. As 74% of customers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions, this feature can be of great value if you’re looking to sell products.

Instead of telling people to click the “link in bio” all the time to access products, your customers can visit your shop from your feeds and stories. They won’t need to leave the Instagram app either, as the shop function makes it possible to browse, explore and purchase through the in-app browser.

Another noteworthy feature is Instagram Reels. With this, you can create, record and edit videos with a maximum length of 15 or 30 seconds. These videos can be easily adjusted in terms of audio and special effects through embedded creative tools. You can then alter speeds, transitions and add augmented reality filters. Neat.

Here’s an example from our Instagram account, which we hope catches the eye:

Note – if you’re a TikTok fan, don’t simply reshare your content from this channel. These videos are penalised by Instagram and will often get lost in the social algorithm. Instead, focus on creating fresh, new video content specifically for Reels.

For longer recordings, Instagram TV can be a fun option to share videos of up to an hour-long. You can even create your own shows. National Geographic’s channel does this very well.

Creating Instagram Stories with shoppable tags is another great way to draw attention to your product selection. These can link back to the relevant product on your website, enabling a simple buying experience.

On the theme of tagging, Instagram Geotags pinpoint your location when posting, adding it to your posts. By then sharing content from a brick-and-mortar store, you can subtly engage viewers with your whereabouts, in case they ever want to visit.  

Best features of LinkedIn

PPC advertising and social marketing will draw people in, LinkedIn is also jumping on the newsletter tool bandwagon. Similarly, your audience will receive push, in-app and email notifications whenever you publish a new article in your newsletter. but good website design and copywriting is key to converting the traffic.

For paid ads, LinkedIn’s Matched Audience Tool is worth investigating if you want to convert abandoned baskets and old unique visitors from your website. This paid social media feature allows you to place a pixel on your website and serve up adverts to members who have previously visited it. In other words, it’s a form of social retargeting.

There are then LinkedIn Lead-Gen Forms, which empowers you to build a database of possible customers. This feature works by automatically filling in a viewer’s details when they click on a LinkedIn advert to download a report or register for a webinar. If you do choose this option, you need to ensure the content and imagery of the paid advert is highly engaging. After all, you don’t have a landing page to do any further selling.

LinkedIn Merge is another handy addition. It enables you to transfer connections from an inactive account to its active account. This function is handy if your company absorbs another.

Best features of Twitter

Let’s start this section by introducing Clubhouse, an audio-only social media platform. Why? Because Twitter Spaces is a new feature set to compete with the app.

With Twitter’s greater power, they will take over from Clubhouse by enabling users to listen to live audio conversations on their platform. You can use these to create intimate connections with customers while reducing screen fatigue.

Other features that businesses love about Twitter is the ability to pin tweets to the top of a page, customise tweet alerts and create polls. This last point is an effective way of gaining quick and simple customer feedback.

Other great social media features and functions

Three established social platforms that we are yet to cover, include WhatsApp, YouTube and TikTok. Let’s quickly delve into their most promising features.

WhatsApp now offers a Business API designed to let any person discover and communicate with any business. Its capability to push out proactive customer messages is causing quite a stir due to its ability to cut through the noise and reach customers on their personal devices.

Just think of all the possible uses for a simple customer experience. Whether that’s for shopping, appointments, payment updates, alerts or issue resolution. The possibilities are endless.

YouTube has also released an interesting new feature that allows users to post 360-degree videos. This social media feature is a godsend if you have drones, Go-Pros or other specialist equipment as it gives the customer the option to see everything that’s going on at a certain moment.

Now to the new kid on the block, TikTok. They offer branded lenses, branded takeovers and an ability to connect your social account with Instagram and YouTube. By doing so, they enable the easy proliferation of content.

Yet, sponsored hashtag challenges are arguably the platform’s most innovative feature. These show up on the app’s “Discover” page and will take users through to a video in which you give them a challenge.

When the user accomplishes the challenge, they’ll use your hashtag and spread brand awareness. When Samsung used the hashtag “#galaxya”, the company received 150+ million views. Not bad!

Need help implementing any of these social media features and functions?

From social media’s most crucial features to its exciting new functions, this whistle-stop tour will have no doubt introduced you to many fresh marketing ideas.

If you’re hungry to investigate these further, get in touch with us today. We offer a wide range of social media management packages set to suit every budget.

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