Which social media networks are right for your small business?

When you are setting up your marekting strategy, it’s essential to pick the social media networks that you will focus on. Social media marketing is time consuming and as not all networks work for all businesses, picking the ones that are most likely to generate return on investment is important. Here is a short overview of some of the most popular social networks to help you decide:

1. Google+

Like all other social networks, Google+ is a platform where you can build an online community, but unlike others, it has a significant impact on your SEO and website traffic. Google+ is a powerful search engine marketing tool for businesses of all sizes, bloggers and influencers. Sharing your content on the social network is a great way to drive traffic to your page and then to your website or blog. It also positively impacts your keywords rankings. The search engine indexes and crawls your content posted to Google+ quicker. It is more likely to show up in search results, because Google ranks its own social network higher. So even if you don’t have many followers, it will boost your content visibility.  It works for both B2B and B2C and there are many ways you can interact with other users. The “Plus” function helps Google to identify content you like and makes the content they present to you more relevant. Users can also share their own content, re-share existing posts and engage in conversations within groups. As a user, you can set up as many pages as you like and you can co-manage them with other users.

2. LinkedIn

LinkedIn represents one of the most effective platforms for connecting with your peers as well as promoting you personal brand and business. It provides you with easy access to people you want to build business relationships with and helps you to keep in touch with those you know.  The place to be for all professionals is a great place for your business and yourself to be seen at as it is your virtual marketplace where you can connect with your peers and potential clients, join relevant groups and is a great way to keep in touch with your target audience. If you are targeting senior decision makers, this is definitely the type of social media that you should be using daily. Even if you don’t have your own content to share, you can build up your influence by re-sharing useful insights– your connections will associate the quality of the content you share with you and your business.

3. Twitter

With over 328 million monthly active users, Twitter can be a very powerful tool to boost and build a community around your brand, engage with potential new customers. Twitter also plays an important role in search engine optimisation as Google uses Twitter to discover new content. The process of indexing web pages is complex and timely. With the amount of content being produced daily and the popularity of certain posts, such as how many tweets, retweets and the time frame of when the content was shared are all taken into consideration when indexing your content. Twitter is a social network that works well for all businesses, irrespective of size or industry. The key fact to remember is its high velocity which means that updates get lost very quickly. You can form some great networks with fellow tweeters. There is no need to approve connections and users follow each other based on the interest in the other person’s tweets.

4. Facebook

With over 2.01 billion monthly  active Facebook users (source: Facebook 7/26/17), Facebook as a social network should definitely be considered as a critical part of your social media marketing strategy. One for B2C, but always helpful if you can get your friends help to promote your brand even if it’s in the B2B space. For your B2C campaigns, you can get your audience to like, re-share or tag a friend as part of your content strategy. That way you are extending your brand’s presence onto their connections. Visuals work well with Facebook, even better if supported by catchy wording to go with it. You can start a page and ask people to like it. On your page, use relevant wording and keep your updates regular. Even if you don’t see much social interaction, it is a great reminder about your brand.

5. SlideShare

Ideal for B2B and businesses who use thought leadership as part of their marketing strategy and have presentations and PDF documents to share. It’s a great resource that can help you promote your expertise by simply uploading your documents and adding relevant tags. Great for learning too!

6. YouTube

For any business who uses video to market themselves, there is no better place to be than YouTube – no matter if you are targeting consumers or businesses. Videos are a very powerful tool to get your brand noticed and this platform provides an easy way to create your profile and upload videos. As always, tagging them with the most relevant terms is key. It’s quite a lot going on in there, so you will need to make sure your profile stands out.

7. Pinterest

Given its visual nature, it is more effective with B2C, but you can’t go wrong with using it for visual demonstration of data such as infographics or e-books for your B2B audience. You will need to download a plugin and then start pinning things to your boards. Creating clear and accurate descriptions for your boards will make it easier for other users to find your content.

8. Instagram

Like Pinterest, Instagram is set for visual content. With over 600 million users globally, Instagram is the fastest growing social media network and one with the highest interaction rate per follower. Over 300 million people use it daily,  making the platform an ideal place for brands to interact with their potential and existing customers. Instagram’s visual nature and mobile functionality is great for digital storytelling, allowing you to share in-the-moment experiences and tell your brand’s story.

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