There are so many social media channels outside that it is extremely difficult to choose on which ones you should concentrate. I guess everyone is tempted to choose all of them, but this could be pretty time consuming and if not treated with caution the result will not be as successful as expected.
For those of you who are just starting to get into them or have not chosen the ideal channels that work for your type of business, let’s take a look at what is available at the moment and how each of these channels is performing in terms of popularity. The list includes the giants Facebook and Twitter, and continues with Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, the recently launched Medium, and so on.
There is a lot out there explaining which ones are suitable for each type of business. In this post one more point of view will be presented, which will hopefully help you when choosing on which channels to concentrate. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to take this decision and for those of you, who have hoped that social media will be the placebo to skyrocket your company, now is the moment to disappoint you. The move to specific social media platforms should be taken after carefully analyzing your business products, customers and your budget. I would leave this strategy out since it requires a separate post and will focus in this particular one on the social media channels themselves and for what purposes and businesses they can be used. In any case, be prepared to change your strategy again and again, to experiment a lot and with the time you will find the right media and the right strategy for you.
Without a question the most popular of all platforms is Facebook. It was initially created targeting high school and college students; however, this is no longer the case. Used from around 900M active users, it has definitely gained much more audience than it was predicted or aimed. Although it started in USA, nowadays it is evenly spread through the whole world making it a very useful platform for both local and international businesses. It is very easy to communicate with your customers via it, though some of the personal touch available in Twitter is in a way lost since most of your posts are broadcasted. Perfect for pretty much any type of businesses, it is in my opinion a media where every company should be presented. When it comes to what to post, you can share articles, photos, videos, you can create pools of questions which you could use for marketing research, you can launch games, etc. Your aim should not be to have just any ‘Likes’ but the likes of the people really interested in what your company could offer them. ‘Engage’ is the key, no matter what you post try to engage your customers. Any time when you post something have a ‘Call For Action’, ask your followers to like your post, to comment, to agree or disagree, or any other action you expect from them. It might seem obvious to you bus still tell them what you want them to do.
Going to the next media, which is a media that a lot of people do not understand, dislike and most even fear it. Of course, it is Twitter. It is no surprise why a lot of people do not use it at its full capacity or do not use it at all since it is a very specific platform with its own etiquette – ‘twetiquette’. Initially created to answer one simple question ‘What are you doing now?’ it has a limitation of 140 characters to answer this question. It is indeed a very powerful channel with more than 500M users, but should be treated with caution. It is perfect for businesses where there is customer support presented since it allows another channel to listen to your customers and help them, plus you can also use it to inform in case of a difficult situation. If you have a company where with your tips you can be helpful, definitely go for this media, it will pay out. If your company often makes updates, then again this could be the channel for you. It is a great platform to search for potential customers in your area, which is probably most easily done with ‘listening’ to the hashtags of specific terms that interest you. Without getting into details, here are some tips – post great content, when retweeting or sharing content give tribute to the person who actually wrote this, try to schedule your tweets to appear when your followers are most active, and lastly but probably most importantly Do Not use it only for self-promotion no matter how tempting it is. You don’t like spam on your wall, do you?
Linkedin was and is a network for professionals; it is where you should be presented if your business is B2B. A media with ‘only’ 150M, there isn’t a particular type of business for which it is suitable; the only condition is to be B2B. You should be taking part in discussions and if you have the expertise, why not even lead one. Here, off topic information is best not to be used due to the different pulse of this community.
I have included a media which most of the people do not include when talking for the main channels available. But even though Pinterest is a very young media, its growth rate is amazing, reaching already more than 10M users. And there is a certain reason for that. Since the main idea here is to transfer your message via images, it is very tricky which businesses should use it. If your business could be easily represented with pictures, this is a media where you must be presented. A media perfect for designers, photographers, businesses dealing with food, any type of business with physical products. In case your business is not within these categories, but you, or a member of your team, have artistic skills and could represent your company in images, go for it. You will be surprised on the results if you create your page in an interesting, unique and engaging way.
An analysis of what social media platforms to use cannot go without Google+. In the past year it was the most discussed media out there. For the short period since it was publicly released it managed to achieve more than 170M users. People are trying to understand its influence on the Google spiders, some are predicting its death, and many are saying that this is a media not yet ready to be one of the big ones. But I believe that this is a media where each company should be presented, even for the sake of SEO, if not for something else. It is another business oriented channel, so keep your off topic posts at the minimum and try to engage with more relevant content for your company. One thing that you should take advantage of is the so called ‘circles’ where you can separate your contacts into groups, based on interests, demographics, activity, etc. You can also use the circles to find people with similar interests to yours. In case your business is in the sphere of the IT, you really must have an account, since there is a lot of presence from this type of companies in Google+. More infor on the social network can be found here.
Try with the social media channels that best represent your company. For example if you are a photographer, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+ would be my advice for the channels to experiment with. If you are a developer company, I would go for Linkedin, Google+ and why not Pinterest where you can set up your own portfolio. If you are a company with any kind of support, then definitely use Twitter. The list is endless and the best way is to experiment. Try different channels, try with different posts, and do not forget to measure and analyze all of this so to check which social media are returning your investment at the end of the day. And once you have chosen some, experiment even more, learn constantly and you will achieve an audience of loyal customers and potential customer ready to help you grow. And this is what we all aim for, right?