Which Social Media Platform Should You Use?
You’ve heard that you need to use social media for your business, but you don’t know a tweet from a post, a friend or follower or any other Social Media slang. So many choices of social media platforms and the uncertainty of which to start with can be a daunting and stifling problem.
So the question is which social media platforms should you use? The best advice is the one where your existing or potential customers/clients ones are. Research your customers and competitors, find out their social media presence then begin to build your platform.
Another factor to consider is your product or service and how it can best be displayed. For instance, a music store or teacher would do much better with a video platform to show case their talent. A restaurant or photographer would do better with more of a photo platform, you get the “picture.” Obviously you should not limit yourself to one type, but maybe choose one as your key point and then use a good mix of others.
Any business getting started with social media should consider using many of the big 5: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Youtube, and LinkedIn. Others to give consideration to are Instagram, Pintrest, Yelp and Foursquare. The following is a summary of each with suggestions for it’s use. Obviously, we can go into much more detail, but keeping with our company name, we are keeping it simple!
Why should you use twitter? Frankly, because just about everyone is on it: from soccer moms, to celebrities and multinational company’s! Twitter is the rapid response, so to speak, social media platform. When someone is pleased or angered by something, many times the first place it is posted is Twitter!
Twitter is a good tool to monitor your brand, competitors and industry. It is great for that first line customer service and notifications.
Much like twitter, it seems most people are on Facebook. From the details of lunch, baby’s first step to business advertisements; you can find it all on Facebook.
Facebook lends itself to more personal and informative content for business. You post articles, pose questions to engage in discussion and showcase your expertise. And yes, you can even advertise.
Facebook also allows a greater chance to develop a following with a business page. Creating a page that is a good mix of education, information and product show case will position you as an industry expert and will bring people back again and again as they need information.
Why should your business be on Google+? Because it is Google! For a long time many thought Google+ was insignificant. However that has changed. Since Google is the largest search engine, it pays to have a brand presence on their social media sight.
You should create a Google+ business page/location with your business branding. The content for Google+ is much the same as Facebook. However, one of the key contents you should strive for is the “Google Review.” As an example, one site we were working with was listed on the second page of Google places. When they received three reviews, they jumped to the first page. The fourth review put them in the first or second listing.
One of the added tools of Google+ are things like the hangouts. You can use this feature to video chat with your clients or potential clients. You can conduct small group webinars, customer service or impact groups.
People love to watch video and Youtube is an excellent social media platform to showcase your product and expertise. Short videos lend themselves well to training, product demonstration, education, facility tours and testimonials.
Your videos do not have to cost you an arm and a leg. Just use a good quality camera, which many smart phones have now days, and good lighting. Be natural, your customers want to interact with real people, they want a face to the business, someone they can develop a relationship and trust.
LinkedIn lends itself more to the business person. It is kinda like and online networking group. So if your customer is primarily another business, connecting with key industry people through linked in might be the option.
Much like any networking group, it takes time to build the relationships. You need to work at this and getting introductions. This is not the social media you should blast away with advertising. Work to make the connection and position yourself as the expert in your field.
Other Social Media Platforms To Consider
A couple of other major social media platforms to consider include Instagram, Pinterest, Yelp and Foursquare.
Instagram is more of a lifestyle promotion platform. People who use this are posting random pictures or short, 15 second videos of life activities.
If your customers are young people, Instagram is one of the major social media platforms they are involved with.
Use Instagram to show how your product or industry can enhance someone’s quality of life or help them achieve their dreams. Instagram also does well for that spur of the moment customer promotional picture. For instance, a car salesman I know will post an Instagram pic of individuals with their new vehicles. A great positive reinforcement.
If your business involves food, fashion, travel, design or Do It Yourself Pintrest is for you. Since the vast majority of Pinterest users are of the female gender, if your business niche focuses on women and fits these categories, give Pinterest serious consideration.
Pintrest can allow you a graphic representation of your business or product. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
3. Yelp and Foursqare
These two social media platforms are geo-location platforms: brick and mortar locations. If you have a physical location that people visit, you want them to check in. It lets their network know they are there, thus giving you a third party endorsement by their presence.
Your Yelp or Foursquare page in some ways is similar to a Google+ page. You have a bio or description and the ability for reviews.
A major key to make these pages work for you is to find ways to encourage your customer to check in when they visit. Contests, promotions and just plain asking are great ways to get your customers to check in.
There are many more social media platforms available. But for the business just getting started, these are the basics. Once you have established these and have a better understanding of the social media habits of your customer, then you can begin to add some of the other platforms that might pertain to your business.
If social media for your business seems like a daunting task and you are not sure where to start, our Basic Strategy Plan is for you. For a set fee, our Certified Social Media Strategist will review your current social media platforms, conduct a detailed interview regarding your business and then prepare for you a step by step social media action plan to get you started.
We also offer other services such as platform setup, staff training and monitoring. Our strategist is qualifed to assist with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, Blogging, Video marketing and much more.
Contact us today! Or call