The adoption of social media has grown exponentially over the last few years and continues to do so into 2014. Both personal users and businesses alike are embracing a wide range of different social platforms to communicate and engage with others.
Social media is an extremely important and powerful tool for businesses and neglecting this channel for marketing and brand exposure would be a serious lapse of judgement. But with so many platforms out there, how can you know which ones are likely to be most beneficial for your business?
Here are my top five platforms; the five that all businesses across all manner of industries should be embracing.
The big one is of course Facebook. With more than 1.3 billion monthly active users, Facebook offers huge potential for businesses with a massive audience to reach out to and engage with.
By creating a business page for your business and regularly sharing interesting and relevant posts, you can build up a strong following and engage directly with your target audience. It’s also a great platform for promoting competitions and special offers.
You can also run Facebook advertising campaigns to get more likes and increase engagement. These campaigns can be extremely targeted and you can target only users that meet your specific search criteria.
Following closely behind is Twitter, the most popular way to share 140 characters with the world. Twitter is a great platform for B2B and B2C businesses alike and when used properly can be a great way to connect with your target audience.
By sharing interesting tweets and links related to your industry, you can build a collection of followers steadily over time. You can also increase the exposure of your tweets using related hashtags and tagging other users or businesses that you reference in your tweets.
You can further increase exposure and engagement with the use of scheduled Twitter chats where you can specifically reach out to your followers with questions or discussion points related to your industry.
Google+ is the Google’s own social media platform and as such offers additional benefits when it comes to search engine optimisation. While Google+ is less used than competitors Facebook and Twitter, having a complete profile on Google+ will see you fill out much more of the first search engine results page for brand search, with your profile displaying on the right-hand side:
This additional information with branded search greatly increases the chance of the user clicking through to either your website or your profile, so having a well optimised and regularly updated Google+ profile is extremely beneficial for all businesses.
LinkedIn is a great platform for business and is particularly important in B2B industries. Having your business set up with a strong and detailed profile on LinkedIn not only helps potential customers to find you and your website but also acts a hub for existing customers and employees to share their connection and experiences with your business. It’s also a great tool for recruitment, with user profiles resembling CVs.
If you work in a B2B industry, many businesses will look on platforms such as LinkedIn for details on suppliers before making a connection with you. If they can’t find a profile for you on this hugely popular platform, you could quickly lose potential clients.
Pinterest is an increasingly popular image sharing site and is especially beneficial for retail websites. By “pinning” interesting pictures to “Pinboards”, you can share collections of images from your site which actually links users straight back to the page the image came from.
For example, if you sell women’s shoes, you could create Pinboards for different types of shoes and pin images to the different boards. Users can then follow your account, check out your Pinboards and Pins and even click a picture of a particular pair of shoes to go straight through to your site to purchase.
Even if you don’t operate in a retail industry, it is definitely worth getting registered on Pinterest and starting some Pinboards related to your business and industry. This platform is growing quickly and could provide more value than you may first think.
And Many More…
These are only my top five and there many other social profiles out there that could add real value to your business.
If you would like more information on how to make social media work for your business, please get in touch or leave a comment below.