One of the most common business dilemmas is figuring out where to start with social media marketing. There are lots of amazing things a business can do to create benefits from the social web — customer service, business intelligence and creating awareness to name a few.
Social media networks are incredible resources for businesses of all sizes looking to promote their brands online. The platforms themselves are free to use, and they also have paid advertising options specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences
If you want to create a successful social strategy, you need to familiarize yourself with how each network runs, the kinds of audiences you can reach and how your business can best use each platform.
Facebook is ideal to use when your company is creating community presence or want to reach as broad a network as possible. It is the biggest social network on the Web, both in terms of name recognition and the total number of users. With more than 1.55 billion active users, Facebook is a great medium for connecting people from all over the world with your business. It offers a high level of engagement because it became the most-frequently used among its contemporaries.
Twitter is right for your business if your goal is to reach both men and women, especially younger ones. It is also particularly appealing to “information junkies” so if your business lends itself to the provision of topic-based news or timely insights, Twitter is a great choice. With Twitter, you can share short (140 or fewer characters) text updates, along with videos, images, links, polls and more. You can also easily interact with other users by mentioning their usernames in your posts, so Twitter is a great way to quickly connect with people all around the world.
LinkedIn is best for B2B or in another industry or role in which you can provide useful insights to people thinking about their work, seeking to make business connections, or looking for their next job. LinkedIn is hands-down the most popular professional social media and networking website. Around 40 million Americans currently have a LinkedIn profile. Because of its professional nature, businesses across the country are using the popular social networking site to find new employees and potential customers with their targeted advertising program.
Pinterest is better for your business when you are in a highly visual industry with customers who will naturally seek to express themselves through images. This platform consists of digital bulletin boards where users can save and display content they like in the form of pins. Users create and organize their boards by category. Given Pinterest’s particular popularity among women, it is also the place to be if that is your market target. Inspire and inform them on Pinterest and you can create real engagement. Pinterest is very visually oriented (every post has to be an image or video), and like Facebook, it is also fairly low-maintenance in terms of post frequency.
Instagram also offers a visual aspect to what you do and what your customers are interested in. Given Instagram’s appeal to specific ethnic segments and its popularity among urbanites, it can be a good choice for certain market targets. Instagram is another platform where more artistic niches excel. This platform, unlike the others, is almost entirely mobile, so it is important that the person running your account has a good eye for detail and has at least basic photography skills.
YouTube is a video sharing service and dubbed as the largest and most popular video-based social media website on the internet. As a matter of fact, YouTube is watched by more American adults aged 18-34 than any television cable network. Granted a lot of those people are watching cat videos, but small businesses across the country are experiencing great results from publishing videos on YouTube. This platform is great for showing up in search results with rich video snippets, targeting users with video-based content, geo-targeting videos based on your location and integrating and embedding videos on your website.
Google continues to change the way the determine who’s website should be the number one in results and most recently they have started to include ‘social signals’. Google+ can connect you with people who have the same interest you have or the same goal you have with business.