These days it’s difficult to find a person who doesn’t have a single social media account. What does that mean for your business? That means that nearly ALL customers you are targeting are available in this or that social network, and that’s where your business has to go to connect with them.
Now, how do you decide which social media outlets you will be using? The more the better is not the answer. It’s much wiser to invest your time and effort into building a strong presence on 2-3 social networking sites rather than creating 15 various accounts, none of which is effective. With that in mind, let’s have a closer look at the most popular social media outlets. They all have their pros and cons, and how effective each of them can be for boosting your business depends on the specifics of your products and target customers.
The “father” of social media, Facebook is a pretty informal network that provides good opportunities for interaction. On the other hand, users are not always eager to follow people – or brands – they don’t know. So with Facebook, the most important things are:
- to stir communication and interaction (comment and repost your friends’ posts, always reply to comments to your own photos and posts);
- to be informal (you can allow a little insight into the everyday life of your business, post fun and creative things, even if they are not really about your company);
- to drive attention (Facebook users are more likely to react to posts with photos, contests, jokes, and other engaging elements).
Although these days nearly any business is present on Facebook and people of any age use it, it’s safe to assume that “sexy” brands that target the younger audience are the ones that will benefit from this social networking site more.
Twitter users are also mostly informal, but the nature of this network is very different from Facebook. Sure, you can post photos and videos here, too, but it’s your short message that hits the target – or doesn’t. Plus, Twitter users are more open to following people and companies they are not yet familiar with, so it’s a bit easier to grow an audience here. To succeed on Twitter you should:
- post regularly, but not flood your followers with meaningless updates;
- nail the art of writing tweets: they should be short, attention-grabbing, and click-provoking;
- constantly find things of interest and value to tweet about.
Twitter is a find for a business that is always “on the run”, with exciting things happening every day. If you just try to spam your followers with your products over and over again, it won’t work.
Unlike the previous two, LinkedIn was originally created as a business network, so it’s more formal and offers more opportunities for a business. It’s ideal for building useful connections, establishing a reputation within your industry, and reaching out to the exact audience you have been looking for.
For example, if your product is a software tool for marketers, on LinkedIn it is much easier to identify and reach marketing managers or directors than it is on Facebook. On the other hand, LinkedIn is not that good with images, so your new catalogues or infographics won’t shine here.
To use LinkedIn effectively, you should:
- interact with your audience in industry groups;
- establish yourself and your business as an expert in your industry by posting valuable information;
- personally connect with your target customers and grow your network.
No matter which social media outlets you pick – and, of course, they are not limited to these three – a good tip is to share what your friends and followers find interesting and useful. Constantly pushing your products is not going to build you a loyal network, and after all, the network is what it’s all about.
Now, what social networking sites work best for your business? Why do you think they work? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.