Social media and your business – where to start

Over the past couple of years social media has become very difficult to ignore, the majority of regular internet users have dipped their toe in at one point or another and there are plenty of great opportunities for business to capitalise on this. The question is where do you start, with an ever growing list […]

Over the past couple of years social media has become very difficult to ignore, the majority of regular internet users have dipped their toe in at one point or another and there are plenty of great opportunities for business to capitalise on this. The question is where do you start, with an ever growing list of popular social media websites which is best for your company? That is the goal of this article, to give you some idea of which social media website to focus your efforts on to enable you to merge social media and your business.

It is important to understand that for each social media website there will be significant differences in the demographics and interaction. It is in these differences you will find your ideal audience and what should be the focus of your social media marketing campaign.

Facebook

Facebook is by far the largest social community on the internet, with a staggering 845 million active users you may be tempted to jump straight in and get started with your social media marketing. Combine this with an average visit time of 20-23 minutes Facebook just keeps getting more and more tempting. With effective use of business pages, news feeds, events and the ability to connect with customers there is no doubt Facebook can be a very valuable resources for any company looking to connect with their customers. Facebook is great for showcasing your products and services to a wide audience, it is not as simple as just creating a profile however you need to set up your business page right to make the most out of the social media giant.

Twitter

Twitter has quickly taken off and proven itself to be an invaluable tool for business and consumers alike. For brands looking to provide up to the minute news on their latest products, offers and industry news it is the best tool available. With an active audience 127 million people it is a force to be reckoned with. With a limit of 140 characters its a great way to spark conversations with clients as well as generating brand recognition.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the grown up social media service for business, employees and job seekers. With 75% of people using LinkedIn for business purposes it is a great way to stay connected with fellow employees and more importantly clients. With similar features as Facebook in terms of groups, events and answers it can be a great resources for companies. With 150 million registered users and a strong business focus LinkedIn can be a very useful tool to stay connected with clients and potentially meet some new ones.

Google+

With the appearance of Google + a couple of years ago it caused quite a stir, however as time went on it failed to draw the attention of the public when compared to its larger rivals such as Facebook and Twitter. Whilst it didn’t take off it evolved into something else, large numbers of Business moved over to the social network. The advantage of Google + is that it is run by Google, this is inself is a big deal as they are the largest search engine on the web and the activity that goes on Google+ can influence what show up in the SERPs (Search engine results pages). Whilst it doesn’t have the user base of the larger sites at 90 million it still has a vast amount of potential for business and I would recommend making a business profile for the SEO advantages it provides.

Pinterest

Pinterest is an anomaly in the world of the internet, with a user base comprised of 82% females this is the woman’s very own corner of the internet. Upon browsing the website you will be confronted with a variety of images of different clothes, foods and a variety of other feminine things. This is by no means at all a bad thing, infact for the right businesses this is a great opportunity to show off your products to your target market. For most business Pinterest will provide no value at all, but for those in the right niche Pinterest can be invaluable.

StumbleUpon

Again stumbleupon may seem like a bizarre choice to use for marketing however if you have some fun, interesting content to show off stumbleupon can be an excellent resource. Whilst it can be hit and miss at times a little bit of experimentation with stumbleupon could expand your reach and is very low maintenance.

Reddit

As far as social bookmarking goes Reddit is right up there, if you have some interesting article, video, picture or whatever other content you want to share Reddit is a good option. If you get it right you could get a significant amount of referral traffic heading your way.

Conclusion

With any social marketing there are something you need to be cautious of, mainly having a bad social profile could be worse than have none at all. If you really want to get involved in social marketing you have to be sure to put the time into if you want to see any results, it is not a quick win, it is something that will need nurturing.

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