Social media is no longer a questionable way to promote your business; it's tried and true. But every social platform is not equally effective for every business. With new platforms popping up regularly, you really can't cover all of the social media bases with the same effort, especially if you have a small business (and a small budget). These summaries of three of the most popular platforms will help you determine which social network is the best fit for your business so you can invest your time and energy wisely:
With more than a billion users, Facebook is one of the smartest choices when it comes to marketing your business on social media. There is a significant chance that at least a portion of your target audience is using Facebook to some extent, so marketing your business on Facebook is likely to get your messaging in front of the right people. Two key components of using Facebook as a marketing tool are the creation of a page and using Facebook ads. Doing these two things in tandem will help you leverage Facebook to reach your audience.
Because of its size and reach, almost every type of business can benefit from having a Facebook presence. If you are just starting with social media, Facebook is a great option.
Twitter has more than 300 million monthly active users sharing links, news, photos, videos and other types of content on a daily basis. The most noteworthy aspect of Twitter is that it allows your business to connect with customers in real-time in a number of ways. You can use Twitter to promote your products and services, provide customer service, and research your audience and network with other businesses. Relationships are vital when it comes to using Twitter for business. To maximize your presence, it's important to take time to cultivate a relevant following and be open to direct conversations.
Twitter is a great fit for businesses with a lot of content to share every day. Review this guide to getting started on Twitter to refine your strategy.
Pinterest has more than 100 million monthly active users that upload, save, sort, manage and share images (called pins), through collections known as pinboards. Your pins appear in the Pinterest feed and are viewable by your followers, as well as in Google search, which is useful for search engine optimization. When used for business promotion, Pinterest provides the opportunity to showcase products and services while establishing credibility for your business.
Pinterest is a great fit for businesses with a strong visual component such as product photos, examples of completed work, behind the scenes or retail shop images, videos and other visually-rich content.
Of course there are many other social platforms that can be effective promotional tools for your business including LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Vine and a growing number of others. Take time to explore the pros and cons of each network before choosing one or two to focus on.
Most platforms also include some form of analytics for business users so you can track and measure your success. Use the data available to refine your activity and find for the most effective and engaging social media marketing strategy possible.
Want to learn more? Read more tips from Alyssa Gregory.