The Best Social Platforms for Your Business
Running a business can be hectic enough without dozens of social media accounts to maintain. Time and resources are limited, and social media platforms are evolving. Fortunately, the best social platforms for your business are all listed right here. From here, you can gauge which of the top social media networks you may want to begin using, depending on your customer base and product or service.
You do not need to be on every social media platform. In fact, it can be more beneficial for you to pick just one or two than to strive for being everywhere online. Some just are not worth the time and effort that you could be investing more effectively on other platforms. Some social media sites are best suited for personal use, or for use by a demographic that might not line up with your target customer, like teenagers. We have listed these as well.
Best Social Networks for Your Business
The top four social media sites for business include:
- Google+ and Google My Business
These sites have the largest base of customers looking to make professional connections or establish relationships with businesses. They are relatively simple to use and can be maximized even with little or no financial investment. With any of these networks, you can even set up a free blog or newsletter to engage with your audience, increasing the odds of turning your followers into customers.
Just because a social media site is not listed here does not mean you should necessarily stay away from it. It just means that you should examine whether your target audience uses these sites regularly and whether you have the time and resources to manage many social media accounts. The top four listed above, and described below, will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
LinkedIn subscribers are generally looking to make professional connections, so this platform is well-suited to the business professional looking to do some networking and the companies that can provide value to them, most specifically those providing business-to-business (B2B) products or services. Developing professional relationships through networking is just as important as targeting your customer base.
That being said, LinkedIn is the most important social media platform for B2B marketers. In 2015, LinkedIn even surpassed Facebook for B2B marketing. Business-to-business companies are more likely to develop relationships on social media in general, than business-to-consumer (B2C) companies.
Many professional connections, as leaders of other companies, do eventually become clients or customers, and most major businesses have a professional presence on LinkedIn. Having a LinkedIn profile shows authority of your company’s leadership in their field, shows off your company and its credentials, and helps to establish trust within your industry.
Facebook is the most popular social media network in the world. So far, in 2018, Facebook has an average of 2.19 billion active users every month throughout the world. This is too large an audience base to ignore. It is not just the size of your potential audience that makes Facebook one of the best social media platforms for your business, though.
Facebook also has intuitive, easy-to-use advertising options where you can target certain demographics within these billions of users. For instance, advertisements can be targeted according to age, profession, location, and more. You can even set up a free blog and place targeted advertisements on your page for followers of your page and blog.
You can research demographic characteristics about your followers using Facebook’s Audience Insights. Armed with this information, you can advertise with your current audience in mind. This will increase the chances of a follower becoming a customer (a conversion).
Google+ and Google My Business
Every business owner wants their business to be at the top of the results page when users type in a certain search term, especially if a user is looking for their business. Google+ and Google My Business allow you to create a business page for your company that will allow your page to be searchable by all of the major search engines, including Google and Bing, the two largest. You can even include a map of where your business is located if you are brick-and-mortar, customer reviews, contact information, hours of operation, and photographs of products or service sites. Google+ combines the best parts of SEO, social networking, and Yelp all in one place.
Twitter is not used for marketing so much as it is used for conversations. As a small business owner, Twitter may not be important as you start out. As people start talking about your business as it grows, though, you will want to be a part of the conversations about your company. On Twitter, you will have the opportunity to interact with people who talk about your brand. Use Mention or a similar application to monitor your company mentions so that you can keep up with the conversations, building trust as you engage and respond.
Other Social Media Sites
If you have the time and resources, you may want to consider adding one or more of the following popular sites to your social media mix:
Whether or not you use these social media platforms depends upon whether your business is large enough for video marketing, your customer base, and your product or service.
For instance, when you are just starting out, you likely will not need video marketing through YouTube or Vimeo. Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat tend to be social sites used mostly by teens and millennials, so, if that is your customer base, they may be worth considering. Pinterest is most useful if you are selling a product (as opposed to a service), especially a handmade or houseware type of craft.
Your social media strategy will evolve with your business and as social media evolves. Which platforms you choose and how you use them will depend on your target customer and on your industry. It may take time to make adjustments in your strategy to get the results you are after.
You may wish to enlist the help of a professional social media marketer or strategist to get you started. A good social media strategist can advise you on what is going to be engaging to your audience and help you maximize your resources for the most conversions for your time and money. In the meantime, though, get your feet wet with one of these four social media platforms for your business.