Written by Jessica Ann on February 10th, 2014
What Social Media Makes Sense for Your Business?
Getting an invitation to a party or event is usually a good thing. But that warm feeling you experienced when you received the invitation can quickly disappear when you notice that no dress code is mentioned. Figuring out what to wear is already a task. But when you have no idea what everyone else will be wearing, it’s excruciating. The only thing worse is actually appearing at an event dressed inappropriately. Cringe-inducing.
Deciding on a social media strategy for your business can be similar. All of the main social networks work in different ways and they appeal to entirely different users. The users of these platforms have differing expectations, rules, and codes of conduct. Making the decision on which social network is best for your business is not easy, while getting it wrong can be time-consuming and embarrassing.
So here is a quick guide to the top social media networks. Consider it a social media dress code.
Facebook is the most popular of all of the social media networks. People use it in a variety of ways, and with Facebook Graph Search it brings relationships to life:
Most businesses can benefit from a profile on Facebook. But those who sell to consumers get the most out of it. The trick with Facebook is to engage in a conversation with your fans with no hard selling.
Twitter is all about short snippets of information. It does not communicate images as well as other platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, or even Facebook, but its strength comes in its immediacy.
It is a great tool for marketing your business, communicating with your customers and getting information to them quickly. It is also good if your business involves updating news frequently, or your digital marketing strategy involves building your online reputation as an expert in your field.
LinkedIn is a social media network that is aimed towards business people. If your business is about selling directly to consumers the benefits aren’t as clear.
LinkedIn connects like-minded business people and companies to network and discuss issues. Companies who sell products and services to other businesses will benefit most from LinkedIn.
Pinterest is all about sharing beautiful images, so if this vibe doesn’t fit your business then choose another one that more suits what you do. If, on the other hand, your work lends itself to stunning photography, Pinterest could be picture perfect.
If you get it right with Pinterest, it’s a great way to drive attention to your website. If you add rich pins to make them more useful, the results can be stellar. Pinterest users tend to be very loyal to the brands they follow and interact with.
There are plenty of reasons why your business should be on Google+. Google+ works in a way that is similar to Facebook, but it has a much smaller user base. Many businesses choose to ignore it, and hope that it’ll go away – but that’s the wrong approach. Google+ could be thought of as a hybrid between LinkedIn and Facebook with elements of Pinterest thrown in. Yes, beautiful images propel Google+. Take advantage of communicating visually on this platform.
The LinkedIn part is because Google+ is a good business tool. This is due to the fact that Google has it plugged into its search engine (duh!), which makes it good for keeping up with the Joneses of SEO.
The Facebook part is because it works and feels a lot like Facebook, and its user base is continuing to grow. Importantly more people outside of the business and IT world are starting to use it.
And it handles pictures very well, which makes it a nice counterpart to Pinterest.
So what sort of business will benefit from a Google+ presence? You’ll generally find that Google+ is made for businesses that are authentic, and who want to engage in high-level, intelligent conversations around their industry.
YouTube is different to other social media platforms as users search on it more than they follow. But billions of people use it every day (yes, billions) and most businesses can benefit from a presence. If you have a corporate video you should have it on YouTube. You can create videos about the products you sell, or you can create videos to help your customers in your area of expertise.
The benefit is that the search on YouTube is robust, as Google owns it. This opens up a whole new user base for you to tap into.
Instagram is similar to Pinterest in that it is highly visual. The difference is that Instagram is more about user-generated images rather than users collecting and sharing images that were created by others.
To utilize Instagram, start or participate in conversations that involve images. Instagram is a way to connect, engage, and authentically communicate the true essence of your brand. Hashtags are a pretty large part of this platform. You can find relevant hashtags on Instagram through using the “Explore” feature.
Now that you know what the main social media networks can do for your business, you can arrive at the party wearing the right clothes. Whether you don a tux or a tutu, you’ll be appropriately dressed for the occasion.