April 22, 2013
Selecting the Right Social Media Channel for Your Business
Social media has rapidly become one the most effective ways to increase awareness and gain new customers. However, social media is often overlooked by small businesses because it can seem overwhelming. But with a little planning social media marketing can actually be a simple process. Rather than jumping on the bandwagon each time a new social media channel is released, you need to identify which social network is the right fit for your business. You should also determine which channel will achieve the best return on investment (ROI). To help you select the right social media channel(s) for your business, here is a brief overview of some of the most popular social media tools.
Facebook is the reigning king of social media. It is an absolute must for every business and here’s why: Facebook has huge reach compared to other social media channels, is easy to use, and is extremely accessible thanks to the wide availability of its mobile app. Joining and sharing content on Facebook is simple and accessible on almost every mobile or tablet. No other channel has yet to provide the same massive exposure that Facebook does. Establishing a presence on Facebook is worth the time and investment.
Just like Facebook, Twitter is an essential platform for marketing your business, especially if your target audience is under the age of 50. Twitter is a micro-blogging network that allows users to send short Tweets (maximum of 140 characters in length). Twitter is a great platform for small businesses. Unlike most other social media platforms, Twitter is an open forum. This means Twitter users can follow and be followed by anyone else with an account. Twitter is more powerful than any other platform because you can gain immediate access to users since no request is needed to follow someone.
Pinterest has become increasingly popular within the last year. On Pinterest, you primarily share images instead of sharing words. The channel offers great potential for retail or online sales businesses because of its visual focus. You should seriously consider Pinterest if your target audience is dominated by women. Females represent about 65% of all Pinterest users. Pinterest is rapidly gaining ground on Twitter in the US market, so this channel is definitely worth exploring.
Instagram is another social network tool that helps you connect with your audience in a visual way primarily through sharing mobile photos. Users can edit and post their photos using a wide selection of different filters. Use Instagram to show off your products and demonstrate your expertise. Creating a hashtag specifically for your business will help users find your business in searches.
LinkedIn is not a traditional social media network because it does not target people the same way as Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B oriented businesses. LinkedIn Groups offer a great way to connect and network with referral partners and prospective clients. You can ask and answer questions on LinkedIn plus share relevant information to help establish your business as a trusted advisor in your field.
To avoid being overwhelmed by social media, we always advise our clients to take it one step at a time. Start with one channel and get comfortable with it before expanding into the next one.
“The decision to manage a presence on social media, for most businesses, is a necessary one. Get involved or get left behind,”
~ Firefly Legal Marketing and Communications Director, Stephanie Irvine