How to Choose the Right Social Media Sites for Your Business
Unless you’ve hired a social media marketing company or designated staff to handle your profiles, you’re likely trying to figure out where you can get the most bang for your buck. After all, you’ll quickly eat up a large percentage of each day if you try to maintain profiles on all the sites available to you, and even then you might not be building the relationships that will really benefit your business!
Below I’m going to go over some of the most popular social networking sites, and describe the types of businesses will have the best results. If you have the time, you can make many sites work for you, but today we’ll focus on picking the best sites for each small business.
- Facebook works for the greatest percentage of small businesses, because with over 1 billion people using the site, your customers are already using the site. Therefore, you can create a page to share tips and news with your clients, as well as somewhere to address their questions. However, you need to let your clients know the page exists by putting buttons on your site, and sending around a promotional email once the page is set up. It’s also a good idea to invite friends from your personal page to like your new business page.
- Twitter is also rather general, but customer service can be more difficult because of the character limits on responses. Not that it isn’t possible, but if you have limited time, and your goal is customer service, I’d pick Facebook. However, Twitter is great if you want to share news, tips, and other content with your clients. Even though this is true with most social networks, you’ll need to be especially careful to be too self-promotional, since any tweets with images, videos, etc. have to be expanded before the content appears. If you’re being too self-promotional, your feed will start to look like a wall of the same thing over and over again.
- Google+ has become one of the most visual social networking sites, so this is a great place to share everything from holiday parties to visual inspirational quotes to infographics. If you’re hoping to rely solely on text posts and links to your articles, I wouldn’t count on gaining a large audience on Google+.
- LinkedIn is the place for professionals, making it a great places for tax exports looking to work with small businesses, financial planners looking to connect with executives, and anyone else looking to connect their businesses with professionals who need it. It is not a great place to dispense relationship advice, fitness tips, recipes, and the like.
- Pinterest is extremely popular, but has a very particular lifestyle niche. If you’re a fitness expert, real estate agent, chef, or anyone else in lifestyle field that offers a lot of visual inspiration, Pinterest will be a great fit! Less visual fields, like retirement planning or tax experts, aren’t going to work as well, because Pinterest users aren’t going to the site for information on those topics. You’d have to share the types of content that are most popular on the site (recipes, fitness, home décor, and style are a few examples), and then slip in your advice in occasionally and hope your followers are interested.
- YouTube can be a great way to share your advice with people searching for your expertise, but it is more time-consuming than many of the others site, although you can get away with not posting as often. But if you’re willing to create at least one video a week, it’s a great way to share your knowledge (and increase your expert status)!
- Tumbr is, in some ways, a combination of a long-form Twitter and Pinterest. You can create short blogs to share with your followers, although much of the content is created and shared is visual. The key is to keep blogs brief, and make sure most of your content has a great visual with it. If you’re a life coach, fitness expert, or relationship expert ("love" is one of the most popular tags on the site), Tumblr would be perfect for you.
- Instagram is one of the newest "it" sites for social media, but it really shouldn’t be your main target in most cases. However, if you’re in fashion, photography, or any other artistic field, Instagram could offer a great boost to your business.
- Quora allows you to post both your own blogs, and answer questions from other users. You can answer questions submitted to the general public on the site, or individuals can submit questions straight to you, which is a great way to share your knowledge (although answering specific questions can get time-consuming). It’s perfect for retirement planners, tax experts, and anyone trying to share written expertise on a topic. It would be less useful for anyone whose product is mostly visual, like a photographer, unless you’re wanting to share tips on technique.
So there’s a brief overview of several of the different social networks to help you determine which might be the best fit. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!