Understanding the benefits of using social media and how to use it are just the basics in promoting your business via social media. Knowing what social media platform to use is what makes the difference.
There are hundreds of social media sites available today, and ideally, you would want to leverage on all of them. In our last article, we explored 5 reasons why businesses should use social media. However, as a small business, you have very limited time and your advertising budget is already stretched thin. In order to help you make a shortlist, we put together a list of 5 of the biggest social media platforms available today. Let us help you decide which of the 5 is best fit for your business by looking at the following criteria:
- Useful Tools
- Pros and Cons
- Perfect for What Brand
Let’s start with the king of the hill…
- Useful Tools – The power of Bitly is not only limited to shortening links, but it also provides you relevant statistics. Bitly sends you a data of how much traffic is generated every time a user clicks on the link that you share on Facebook. It is as convenient as that.
- Pros – Facebook’s biggest advantage is its number of monthly active users. Not only that, it is also the most frequently used social media which gives you the opportunity to increase your level of engagement with your audience. When you post a question or start a conversation via Facebook, your friends’ responses also appear on their news feeds, making it faster to spread your word.
- Cons – Facebook is not made for selling products, rather, its primary purpose is to be able to connect with family and friends. Because of this, it may not be easy for you to convey your business message. Use it instead as your lead generator by acquiring loyal followers. Check out How to Use the Social Media to Promote Your Business to learn how.
- Perfect for What Brand – 93% of Facebook users agree that photos are the most engaging posts. With that in mind, businesses with visually driven products are the best candidates. It may include photographers, travel agencies, event planners, e-commerce retailers and caterers.
- Useful Tools – Twitter uses the “Promoted Tweet” feature wherein your tweet would appear in everyone’s timeline even if the user is not yet following you. You can also add hashtags to your tweets and include links that direct to your website. Another useful tool is Buffer where you can create contents in advance and schedule their time of release. It lets you post around-the-clock for the benefit of your followers beyond your time zone.
- Pros – Because of Facebook’s algorithm, only some of your fans would be able to see your posts. One advantage of Twitter is that it is an open network which means all of your updates will appear on your followers’ timelines and anyone can read them.
- Cons – Twitter can become a challenge if you want to express your thoughts in a more elaborate manner since you are only limited to 140 characters. Its user-base may be small with respect to global reach, but Twitter users generate at least 300 million tweets daily. This means that you have to tweet from time-to-time or else your tweets will be buried in your followers’ timeline.
- Perfect for What Brand – Since Twitter is primarily text-based, it is mostly advantageous for businesses in the information and communication sector, as well as B2B service providers.
- Useful Tools – What makes LinkedIn different from other social media platforms is that it can provide you statistics such as the number of people who viewed your profile. Paid users can even get to see the names of their profile viewers.
- Pros – For some people, LinkedIn is traditionally viewed as a classified ads site. But, over the past 12 years, LinkedIn has grown to be more than that. If you are in B2B, it is the perfect site for finding business connections.
- Cons – For small business owners (especially those on tight budget), LinkedIn’s paid subscription may not be a good choice since it is quite expensive.
- Perfect for What Brand – B2B service providers and recruiters can make the most out of LinkedIn.
- Useful Tools – Google Authorship is helpful for bloggers in achieving greater visibility for their contents. It allows them to verify content ownership in order to rank higher in search engines. Google+ also allows their users to integrate their profile with Google’s other products such as Gmail and YouTube. It’s like a one-stop shop for Google products.
- Pros – Since Google is the leading search engine company, then Google+ is the perfect place to get an SEO boost. Any activities done within Google+ such as sharing content, building a network and hosting Hangouts can affect your search engine ranking.
- Cons – The biggest drawback to Google+ is its number of monthly active users. Compared to Facebook and Twitter, its user base is relatively small, which makes it hard for business owners to maintain engaged audiences.
- Perfect for What Brand – Basically, any brand that relies on SEO for customer acquisition may find Google+ the most useful. B2B brands such as Cisco and HP agree that Google+ has successfully helped them in their social media campaigns.
- Useful Tools – Convert a single view to long-term influence through the use of YouTube’s subscription widget.
- Pros – The best thing about YouTube is that it is watched worldwide. On top of that, it gives you the chance to be unique and creative when making videos about your brand or business. You also have the liberty to share or embed your YouTube videos on other social media sites. If you are lucky enough and your videos become viral, then your brand may just become the next big hit!
- Cons – The thing about YouTube is that it plays ads before the start of a video. Ads are also overlaid on all YouTube videos that could be distracting viewers from your content.
- Perfect for What Brand – Obviously, any visually-driven brand would consider YouTube as the best social media platform for promoting their content.