Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are great ways to promote your business and find an audience for your website. However, with so many different options available, realizing the potential of social media can be difficult for those with limited time or resources.
Focusing on one platform can often be the best option for those starting out with social media.
If being everywhere all the time isn’t a viable option for you and your business, focusing on one platform to master can be the best choice for getting the most out of social media.
In this post we will take a look at the different social media platforms to help you decide which one is the best fit for your business. This will allow you to focus on the platform that will deliver the greatest results for your website and business.
Have you Already Started?
While one form of social media might be a better match for your business and target audience, if you are already using a different social network and getting results, then the best option for you might be just to keep going with what is working.
Any prior experience should be harnessed to help promote your business.
Also, if you already use Facebook, for example, to keep in touch with friends and family, it might be worth leveraging your knowledge and experience of that platform to start promoting your business.
This is even if Facebook might not be the best form of social media for your type of business. If you are already on a platform and know how to use it, and aren’t overjoyed by the thought of picking up another one, then for the sake of efficiency and motivation, it might be best to stick with what you know.
But if you’ve yet to start using social media, or are excited by the prospect of trying a new platform to promote their business, here’s a bit to know about the main options, and which type of audience and business they’re best suited to.
Facebook: Good All-rounder for All Businesses
With 71% of online adults using Facebook, this platform remains the most popular social network out there. If you aren’t sure which one to pick, or only plan to make use of one service then Facebook is a safe bet.
Building a successful Facebook presence requires ongoing, regular interaction.
The ability to create a Facebook page for your business and then interact with your fans and followers through that page, as well as network with other businesses in your field, all make Facebook very appealing. Some businesses even go as far as making Facebook their sole or main online presence, even in favor of a website.
If you do create a presence on Facebook for your business, you will need to ensure you can devote enough time into posting regularly on your page and being available to your visitors. Due to the timeline format of Facebook, neglected pages are easy to spot, and could give the impression to visitors you are no longer in business.
Creating a professional and useful Facebook page can take some effort.
Almost any type of business can find an audience on Facebook, but if you do want to make the most of this social media platform, you will need to put the effort into setting up an attractive page, adding content, and posting updates on a regular basis, not to mention being online to answer queries from your visitors.
Facebook has a great reach which can’t be beaten, and its interactive features make it great for building a community to support your business.
Twitter: Easy to Get Started and Great for Listening
Twitter has a particular appeal to younger adults, and with 18% of online adults currently using Twitter, depending on your business and target audience, it might be a good option to focus on. Twitter also has a few unique features that make it well worth establishing a presence on.
Twitter can serve as a great listening post for your brand.
One of these features is the ability to listen out for mentions of your business or service.
As Twitter will notify you if another user has featured your username in one of their Tweets – a popular practice in Twitter – it’s the perfect way to get real time updates of what people are saying about your brand.
Whether another user is asking you a question directly, generally enquiring about your service, or even posting a negative review,a it will be easy to find out and then respond accordingly. Just be aware that for the most part, any correspondence will be public and available to all, so remember to act diplomatically when replying.
Even if your business is in its early stages or isn’t yet drawing much attention on Twitter, other features of this network make it a good choice for your business.
Twitter is ideal for following industry news and keeping tabs on your competitors.
Being able to follow key figures in your industry, as well as your competitors, allows you to easily keep up to date with what the latest developments. As well as sharing your own content, re-Tweeting and sharing the content of others is a good way to catch their attention and start building a following of your own.
Due to the fewer features of Twitter, compared to Facebook, setting up and maintaining an active Twitter profile for your business is a lot less work. The fact that messages are limited to 140 characters also helps.
For a social media option with a low barrier to entry, lots of networking and communication potential, and a great way to find out what your audience is saying about you, Twitter is a good choice.
Pinterest: Visual Network Popular with Women
80% of the 70 million Pinterest users are women. So if your target audience falls into this group, choosing Pinterest as your social media channel of choice could be a great decision.
High quality images get the most traction on Pinterest.
However, due to the visual nature of Pinterest and the fact it is widely used to share photos, with the best quality images generally being the most popular, it’s important to determine whether your business or brand can provide a steady stream of this type of content.
Images from visual categories are the most shared on Pinterest.
The top categories of pins, or content shared on Pinterest, includes food & drink, DIY & crafts, and home décor. This should give you some idea of the type of businesses that will find it easier to gain a following on this platform.
With women posting 92% of all pins on the site, if your content doesn’t appeal to this gender, and isn’t highly visual, then your time will be better spent elsewhere.
However, if you can produce a constant source of high quality sharable images that will appeal to the Pinterest demographic, then the growing potential of this network is well worth tapping into.
LinkedIn: Publish your Credentials and Professional Networking
LinkedIn could be a good choice for networking with other businesses in your field or finding your next employee. However, in terms of generating interest for customer-facing business, it’s probably not your best choice.
LinkedIn can be used to build legitimacy for yourself and your brand.
If you want to establish your credibility, and by association, that of your business or brand, then creating a fully completed profile showcasing your relevant achievements and credentials can be a great way to use LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is also good for business to business networking and documenting the legitimacy of your business. If that appeals to you then it’s a low maintenance option to consider, but probably not one that will bring many customers to your door.
Each of the four main social networks covered here have their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as their individual aspects which make them better suited towards specific types of businesses and the audiences they are seeking.
Social media requires an ongoing investment of your time,
The fast-paced nature of social media means that it’s necessary to interact with your chosen network on a regular basis. This will ensure you will not only get the most from your profile, but also to avoid negatively portraying your brand with an out-of-date, deserted social profile.
Facebook. For those who want a good all-rounder that can handle all types of content, from images, videos, and text, as well as being used by all sectors of society, then Facebook is the best choice, providing you have the time to invest on setting up and managing your page.
Creating a Twitter profile is very easy to get started with.
Twitter. Twitter meanwhile is easy to get started with and content can be created very efficiently. The networking and news sharing features cannot be overlooked either, and the notifications and listening abilities make it easy to keep track of how your brand is being talked about.
For certain sectors and demographics, Pinterest has huge potential.
Pinterest. If your business allows you to produce high quality sharable images, that fall into the most popular categories of content posted on Pinterest, then Pinterest has great potential. However, if you can’t imagine where your images will come from, then it’s not the best choice.
LinkedIn. Finally LinkedIn has its uses, such as connecting with other professionals, creating a socially verifiable online resume, and even finding your next employee, but promoting your business to potential customers is best left to another channel.
Hopefully you now have a clearer idea of which form of social media you should be on to best grow your business. If you have any questions or tips, please leave a comment below.