Social Media Platforms for Business - Choosing the Right One - Mad Lemmings

Social Media Platforms for Business – Choosing the Right One

choose social media platform

In this post I will provide you detailed information on choosing the right Social Media Platform for your Business or Blog.

 

After you have your website or blog all set up, getting on social media is probably next on your list.

Social media platforms can be great places to generate a new audience and get people to your site.

Each social media platform has their own benefits and downsides. And each has it’s own unique audience too.

Finding the right one for you and your business can be quite difficult. But don’t fret, I am here to help.

So what is the right social media platform for you?

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform

It is very important to choose the right social media platform for your brand and content from the very beginning.

There are so many things to consider, but it makes sense to first take into account:

  • the demographics of the platform’s audience
  • the content type used there
  • any skills needed to present content well
  • the number of users you can potentially reach

The infographic on the right shows all of these factors and will help you make some basic decisions when considering the main social media platforms for business.

Simply click on the image to expand it in a new window (I know it is a little small). –>

Details on the Social Media Platforms

Now we are going to go into a little more detail. I have highlighted some of the important elements and factors for each platform, and why you want to get involved in each.

I have not included all of the platforms here, but have instead one over all of the major ones I consider worth targeting.

Google+

Many people find Google+ to be a steeper learning curve than other platforms, but there are many rewards for those that make the effort.

It can be a little harder to connect with people (depending on your niche) however Google+ has all of the main benefits of any social media platform

  • connecting with people
  • sharing information with your audience
  • establishing expertise
  • finding an audience in your niche

So Google+ has you covered for all of the basics, but what about some of the special things it can do for you?

SEO Benefits

Unlike many of the other social media platforms, one of the main reasons you will want to get involved with Google+ is SEO.

Remember Google is a search engine, and they are obviously linking Google+ to the results they show in search.

So by sharing your posts on Google+ and getting involved on the site in general, you can help increase the SEO of your site.

For many, this is reason enough to get on Google+.

Google Authorship and Publisher Tags

Part of getting involved in Google+ means that you need to apply your Authorship to the blog posts that you write. Not only does this show that you have written it, It can also add a sexy little picture of you next to the post. This increases the click-through rates from search results for sure.

There are many plugins to help you do this, or you can simply apply authorship manually to each post.

If you want to learn how to add Authorship to your WordPress site, check out this post on CopyBlogger.

Similarly, if you have a Google+ Page, you can apply the publisher tag to your website. And if you want to really understand the difference between this and authorship, Ryan has a great post on that just for you.

Communities

Google+ Communities are a fantastic way to interact with like minded people on the platform and increase your standing and expertise. As such, you might want to check that there are relevant communities on the site before investing too heavily there (other relevant communities might be found on LinkedIn for example).

It also pays to make sure the community is active (ie. there are likes, shares and comments) otherwise it is just a blog post dumping ground and usually brings little traffic to your site.

Wide Range of Tools

As we all know there are loads of great tools in the Googlesphere. And when you are using Google+ you have to understand that all of these tools are linked into the platform, making it a very flexible Social Media Platform indeed.

For example:

  • you can host a weekly Hangout to increase your authority with your audience
  • Gmail is also heavily integrated into the platform making it easy to contact people

Local Business

One of the other areas where being on G+ really helps is with a business page and a local listing. If you want to learn how to set this up, Google has some helpful tips on this.

If you are also looking for some other strategies to connect with your audience on Google Plus, check out this post on Business Strategies on Google+.

Twitter

If you are going to get involved in Twitter, the first thing to be aware of is the very rapid pace.

Although it can make it harder to break through the noise and get noticed, there are a lot of benefits to this unique platform.

One of the first such benefits is: the ease with which you can connect to people.

Even if you want to contact an influencer (or someone else seemingly unreachable), Twitter is often the easiest route to achieving this.

After all, email will be ignored, and you don’t have their phone number. But Twitter is one place you might just break through.

Find New Leads and Connections

It is relatively easy to connect with new people on Twitter. Especially with the etiquette that exists where people often “follow back”

And by monitoring hashtags and terms relevant to your niche, you can also connect with potential new leads and customers very easily.

Another way to take advantage of the mass of tweets on Twitter, is to use Twitter search. Find people who are having issues you can solve. And before you know it, you can solve a person’s problem and make a friend for life (ie. a new and loyal customer).

Follow the Trends

Gary Vaynerchuck has popularised the idea of trend-jacking via hashtags. What this means is following trends that are happening (and have lots of eyes on them) and making your content relevant to them. This requires a little creativity, but the results can be amazing. One great example is the tweet from Oreo during the Super Bowl. You have probably already heard about this too.

Local Connections

Twitter also allows you to find people via location. So if you are a local business, searching based on location is a great was to connect with people in your area.

The Openness of Twitter

Anything you put out on Twitter is public and easily found. So as a business owner, you need to be aware that what your business writes on Twitter, anyone can read.

Also, if your customers complain to you via your Twitter account, their issues are out in the open.

The benefit however,  is ease of communication and fast responses. This also means the ability to see if something is going on you are not aware of, and resolve it quickly. Email and telephone customer service will never compete with the power of Twitter. When done correctly.

So for many businesses, Twitter is one of their best and cheapest, customer service channels.

What are your competition doing

The openness of Twitter can also work to your advantage in other ways.

For example you can see what issues your competition are having and help their customers too.

Alternatively,  you can see what kinds of content they are sharing, and how they are interacting with their audience.

That way, you can start to steal their audience too!

Facebook

Facebook has the largest audience of any social media platform. So for many it seems like an obvious place to start.

However, before you jump into Facebook expecting lots of traffic and some quick wins, take a little time to inform yourself of what is going on on Facebook.

Users Spend a lot of Time on Facebook

Of course it is true that the users of Facebook spend a lot of time there and you will get lots of eyes on your ads if you decide to go down that path. But there is no longer a guarantee that your audience will see any of the content that you post on the platform.

Unfortunately those easy days are long gone.

It’s a Fun Place

Another aspect of Facebook that you really need to be aware of is that people go there for fun. Posts are typically light hearted and very visual. Images often get the most attention.

So if you are in a niche that is very text oriented and/or very dry and professional, then perhaps Facebook is not the platform for you.

Many companies use it as a way to show the human face of their brand and share simple and fun content.

It is not a place to become known as an expert in your field.

Difficult to Gain an Audience

With the recent changes from Facebook regarding who can see your posts, it is becoming very difficult to reach your audience without paying.

This is probably one of the main gotchas of Facebook these days, and I would be careful if you are new.

Because even if you can create a large audience, your posts will not reach them unless you pay.

So it is perhaps not the best place to invest your time if you are starting out from scratch.

Pinterest

Pinterest has a bad name for many people because it is so visual. This scares a lot of people away because they believe they have nothing to offer because their niche is not very visual.

If you are one of those people, definitely keep reading because – it is NOT TRUE.

Pinterest is Not Just for Visual Niches

Pinterest is very well suited to visual niches. However, increasingly Pinterest is being by non-visual blogs and websites to share text based information.

This is done by sharing great images, with text on them – highlighting the content in their post. If you need an example, just head over to my Pinterest board to see what I mean.

Then, as with any Pin on Pinterest, the image links to their content and gets people to your site.

Share your Passion

People assume that on Pinterest, you just share images of the products you are selling. So people not selling anything don’t have a chance.

If you are selling something, of course you should do this, because such links have a high rate of conversion.

However, in order to build a great audience on Pinterest you should also create related boards to help share your passion on a specific topic. This is a great way to connect with your audience and customers by showing them the different sides of yourself or business, and build a better connection.

Build your Expertise

Similarly, by creating boards with links to great content in your niche, you can become an expert in your field. Of course you need a few followers, but the result of the hard work is that you become a goto person for information on a topic, which then builds your audience.

And, once you have an audience, you can sell then something. Even indirectly.

Group Boards

Again the community aspect of social media. It is on every social media platform in one way or another.

Chatting or commenting on Pinterest is not very common, but one of the best ways to build community and connect with people is via Group Boards. The difficult part is finding them, and being allowed to post on them. But once you can, it will significantly increase your following and expose you to a new audience (ie. the audience of the board, and perhaps their followers’ followers too).

LinkedIn

Many of you will know LinkedIn as a place to put your professional profile to help you find a job.

However, LinkedIn is also an extensive social media platform where like-minded people can connect in a variety of ways.

Connections

Connections are one of the key elements of LinkedIn, and obviously having more connections gives you a great network with which to interact.
Because LinkedIn is primarily a platform for professionals, it really is great place for B2B and B2C connections.

If that is Chinese to you, then think of it like this: a site full of professionals is a great place to find people to work with and work for.

So concentrate on finding people who can help your business, or potential customers.

Showcasing your Expertise

As an individual, even if you are not specifically in business, you can still benefit from LinkedIn by showcasing your expertise.

LinkedIn provides a wide range of elements in your profile to do this, including your work and education history, skills and projects, and references/endorsements.

Make sure your profile is completely filled out to get the most benefit from the platform. Here’s some tips to get you started.

Find Relevant Groups

Just like most Social Media Platforms, LinkedIn offers a community in the form of groups.

Groups are a great way of connecting with like-minded people by interacting and sharing relevant content.

You definitely want to take advantage of this to increase your connections and expertise in your niche. It is also a great way to extend your professional network.

Another benefit of groups is the ability to make relevant business contacts by connecting with experts you need.

If you are just getting started with groups, take a look at these posts by by Sarah Santacroce of Simplicity:

How to use LinkedIn Groups to Increase Leads For Your Business

Main Benefits of LinkedIn Groups

Summary

Choosing the best Social Media Platform for a Business or Blog can be difficult.

You need to take a good look at the kinds of audience you can reach and the benefits you can gain from each platform.

Don’t bite off too much in the beginning, even though it is tempting. Just focus on one or two platforms that will help you reach your audience.

 

And remember: if you need any professional help, get in touch because I can help you get started with my services.

 

What Social Media Platforms do you find most beneficial?

Are you also struggling with Social Media?

Add your two cents in the comments below!

About the Author Ashley Faulkes

Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).

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