Today the hyper-paced business atmosphere is the norm. Executives and marketers alike are overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks that often times picking the right social media network for their business is the furthest thing from their mind. With so many networks out there, picking the right one for your business can not only be intimidating but confusing. How do you know what social media network is right for your business? Here are the 5 most popular social media networks and a description on how they could help your business.
With 800 million users there is no doubt the largest and most well known social media network out there is Facebook. Many of us use it as a way to stay connected to family and friends but how do you know if Facebook is right for your business? Facebook is great for person-to-person interaction; it’s growing fast in business-to-business interaction too. The most effective way to use Facebook for a business is to connect with your consumer. It’s not uncommon for Facebook users to like their favorite consumer brands. According to Marketpath, millions of people have already liked Coca-Cola, BMW or their favorite handbag brand not their favorite HR Company or their web development company.
Facebook can also be a great avenue for B2B but you have to strategize to make the most impact. Make sure to encourage a two-way conversation rather than simply pushing out news and connect to a community with your businesses same interests. Those two tips can really get you started on a B2B level on Facebook.
Twitter is the second most well-known social media network, with users sharing ideas, links and images in a 140 character limit. While the majority of tweets are completely useless information like, “Sara just bought a new bag check this picture out,” business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies have found success on this site. Twitter allows users to connect with leaders within a particular industry, interact with competitors or customers and give clients the ability to gain instant feedback on the company. Remember, Twitter is a place for short conversations. You should be providing your audience not just information about your company but useful articles and images from other places to get a conversation rolling about your company.
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn is without a doubt strictly for business-to-business social networking. Professionals use LinkedIn to connect on a business level with colleagues, clients and people they have worked with. Because users are in a business mindset when they are on the network, updates are more formal and B2B efforts can be very effective and useful. This is a place to answer questions, solve problems and to become the expert in a group of people to get your business noticed. This, however, is not the place for a hard sell. This is a place to grow your business network.
Google’s social media network is Google+. This social network has had a lot of press because some say it’s growing and others say it’s dying. Either way, it’s important you know about it and keep your eye on it. The more you share on Google+, the better the odds are that your business will rank higher for a particular term. That’s because Google uses data it gathers from the network and plugs it into its search algorithm to help craft search engine results pages. Right now, Google+ its still growing and there’s not yet enough data to determine who can use it best, but it’s important your business set up its account now and begin using the service.
Pinterest has exploded into the “it” social network due to its visual nature and simplicity. Unlike the other four social networking sites, Pinterest is all about the photos. It’s not focused on phrases or quotes, it is all about the images and pictures. Before jumping on this train, make sure you look at what your business is about. Do you have a visual product that would stand out here? Does your business focus on the visual? If your business doesn’t have a strong visual element, one way to participate is to post the images from your blog posts on Pinterest and link back to your website. The B2B and B2C companies that have had success on this site are businesses that revolve around visuals. Arts and crafts, recipes, fashion and home décor are among the top items here.
Before hopping on a social media network it’s important that you sit down and figure out what you’re business’ goal is. Once you know what you want from social media, you can then take the time to find the best social network to suit your needs. Without a strong direction, your efforts will get lost in the social media shuffle.
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Photo Credit: Gavin Llewllyn