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What social platform is best for my business?

Published on 10th February 2013

So I’m just going to come out and say it, none of us have time to be active on all the social platforms.

If you listen to the marketing hype and social media evangelists you’d be forgiven for thinking that we all need to be on every platform at least daily. This is just not true.

There are 6 key social platforms and for me they all have different target audiences so I’m going to give you my take on what each offers.  There is some overlap so you may need to be on more than one for best coverage but you can be the judge. They are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube.

facebook-25x25FACEBOOK

Facebook is about PEOPLE, period.  It’s a social network where people can stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues without having to physically be there.  It’s like a permanently running reunion.

As Mark Zuckerberg famously said “Facebook is where people go to waste time”.

Is Facebook right for  your business?

If people like your product or service enough they may be motivated enough to discuss it with or recommend it to their friends.  They might also want to get more information on what you offer in an easy to receive and digest form, so following your business on Facebook gives them this. To help this along you can run competitions, give stuff away, offer deals, or pretty much anything you believe people will be interested in.  But remember it’s not about you!  Make it fun and rewarding and you’ll be onto a winner.

What types of businesses work best in Facebook?

Consumer focussed business, large consumer brands, local retail, national retail, all hospitality based business and all “socially” based businesses.

twitter-25x25TWITTER

Twitter is about immediacy and perceptions.  Twitter started as an event based service. For example if you were at the motor show you could follow the hash tag #motorshow to get instant information about what happening directly to your mobile device. We now get news through Twitter before the TV news channels have got it on air.  If you really want information in real time Twitter is incredible.

Is Twitter right for  your business?

If you want to tell the world about your business and you believe what you have to say is valuable, this is a great platform. Examples;  “Get a free coffee with any muffin for the next 60 minutes and my coffee shop”.  “We’ve just baked a fresh tray of scones, get them while they’re hot”.  If you’ve got something to say that’s relevant to now then Twitter is for you.

What types of businesses work best on Twitter?

Consumer focussed business, large consumer brands, local retail, national retail, all hospitality based business and all “socially” based businesses.

linkedin-25x25LINKEDIN

LinkedIn is about connecting with professionals. It started as a social network for professionals and has stayed true to that goal since its inception. It has been a little overwhelmed by recruiters but it still has great value for businesses.

Is LinkedIn right for your business?

If you are mainly business to business then LinkedIn can offer huge benefits. For example you may have a service or product aimed at a specific industry, let’s say this is in the oil industry and you are looking for people based in operations.  Using the ADVANCED SEARCH option you can specify these parameters, and many others, and bring up a list of possible people you could approach.  They have a premium service starting at £25 per month that allows you to get in touch through InMail so you don’t even need to be connected.

What types of businesses work best in LinkedIn?

All businesses should have a LinkedIn Company Page and a list of Products and Services as these are indexed by Google.  All business people should have a LinkedIn profile.

Pinterest-25x25PINTEREST

Pinterest is about pictures and is the new kid on the block. It’s grown faster than any other social network and as of last year has more than 13 million users but I’m sure this is now much higher. At the end of last year they announced business accounts opening up a new channel for getting your content online.  Interestingly Pinterest active users are more female than male so if you have a female audience this one’s for you.

Pinterest is simply about pinning images onto a public notice board for others to find and enjoy.

Is Pinterest right for  your business?

If images are important to you then of course. That said bear in mind copyright an usage issues.  You can setup “secret boards” that are not public and then invite users by email.  This might work if you have a project and you need a place to add images that’s accessible to everyone.

What types of businesses work best in Pinterest?

If you are a business that uses imagery then this is for you. Fashion, hospitality, events, the list is a long one.

g-plus-25x25GOOGLE+

Google+ is about interests and shared passions. This is still a young platform and although it has over 400 million registered users then number using it regularly is a lot less.  That said I believe Google+ will eventually out gun Facebook and Twitter.  Why? Because it’s got some great features, you can add people to areas (circles) and interact with each circle differently, but most importantly it’s owned by Google who have the money and talent to make it work.

Is Google+ right for your business?

At the moment you should at least open and account and try and get a username that describes you or your business.

What types of businesses work best in Google+?

If your business focusses on a niche area, for example Kayaking, then Google+ is a great way to find people with an interest and keep them up to speed on your offerings. Please bear in mind this is NOT a sales channel.  Add value with your content, details on kayaking trips, new kit reviews, and stuff that’s going to be of interest, if not like all other social channels you’ll lose the people you are trying to engage with.

youtube-25x25YOUTUBE

YouTube is about video. Owned by Google YouTube is the place for free delivery of video.  It’s the 3rd largest search engine on the internet after Google and Facebook so it can deliver spectacular results if you have good content.

Is YouTube right for your business?

It’s great for being found providing you use the descriptions and tags correctly. You can embed video on your web site and not have to worry about data transfer issues. If you have video this is a great platform.

What types of businesses work best in YouTube?

All business can use YouTube, just make a video and get it online.

Categories: Social Media

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