Social Media – Identifying the Right Platforms For Your Business
For quite some time now social media has found its way into our everyday lives, equally present in business and personal relations. It changed the way people communicate by enabling them to easily share content like news, pictures, videos etc.
For the vast majority of Internet users, social media is an essential part of their digital life, especially when it comes to interaction with businesses. Due to the incredible demand of proper management of these outlets, it’s no wonder why larger businesses have dedicated teams for these purposes.
Just as each business is unique, so are social media networks. Each holds different pro’s and con’s which can help cater to different industries and missions.
Being the largest social network with nearly 1.5 billion monthly active users, Facebook is typically the “go-to” social network for businesses to be represented on. It is quite generic and provides a lot of value to most businesses. For example, professional pages allow users to include all essential details like physical address, domain name, “about us,” opening hours and even sell products directly online via the Facebook shop.
Furthermore, Facebook allows for many forms of interaction between the customer and business: page likes, check-ins, comments, post sharing and so forth. Facebook should be your staple social network because if used correctly, it can be one of your most powerful marketing tools!
Twitter is the fastest way of spreading information throughout the Internet. By limiting each “Tweet” to 140 characters, the messages are direct and incredibly informative. As a business, you can leverage this channel by staying on the top of the mind of followers, being accessible to customers, or even just commenting on current and industry topics. Tweeting coupons or special offers every once in a while will encourage followers re-tweet with a single click of a button. This then expands your visibility and reach to all of their Twitter followers as well. As with all social media, if you decide to use Twitter, be sure to stay active and create posts on a regular basis, otherwise your follower base will shrink rapidly.
More than 360 million people actively use this network for purely business related purposes. For example, it provides immense value to anyone who requires business-to-business (B2B) contacts like consultants and freelancers. Furthermore there are groups and forums where the newest business trends are discussed or someone is looking for an expert in a certain area. These are great opportunities for confident business owners to showcase their knowledge.
Instagram is a mix of a microblog and audio-visual platform. By capitalizing on the mobile consumer base with its app, people can easily take pictures and upload them to share within seconds. Businesses that rely on visuals for marketing purposes have seen great success with Instagram. Some examples include salons that showcase new styles and retailers who can perfectly illustrate new collections and outfits. In the visual world we live in, consumers are instantly attracted to images and videos which businesses can now take advantage of with Instagram.
While these are just the basic social networks for businesses, there are a lot more out there. Some may be specific to your industry and some may cater towards a different type of media. Either way, be sure to investigate how much time you or your employees have to manage the different social media channels before you start. If you start with five platforms and realize you really only have time for a couple, focus on those to ensure it is executed really well.
I suggest that you should launch your social strategy with one or two networks and get accustomed to spending time running those accounts. Keep this in mind: It is better to have one well-running social media account than several mediocre ones.
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