It has been frequently said that in order to increase brand awareness or generate online attention, small businesses should be active on social media. However when you’re a small business, who has the time to spend hours on these different platforms updating profiles and engaging customers? While it is true that building relationships with clients online is important not all of us can hire a dedicated social media coordinator to sort out this type of online presence. The solution is to pick certain networks and make the most out of them.
This feels like a cop-out suggestion but everybody and their grandma is on Facebook and you should be too. With 1.4 billion active users per month, this network is undoubtedly the biggest social media platform in the planet today. Starting a business page is easy and lets you tap into the power of Facebook. Their interface is easy to use. Just get other users to like you and your posts will be seen on their news feed. They can then share your post or interact with you. Small businesses can use this to keep in touch with their customers or potential customers and allows them to put their brand in front of their audience.
The Twitter microblogging site has been around since 2004 and has approximately 300 million active users with 500 million tweets being sent every day. This site provides an easy way to connect with brands and customers. The big difference with Twitter is that fans “follow” you and you can follow them. Therefore it is easy to gain a following. The downside is that the followers are not as targeted as Facebook. However by using the hashtag for events, products or services it becomes easy to connect with other people and businesses.
YouTube does not have a lot of active users but it is one of the most often visited website in the planet. Brands that have video content or services and products that need explanation have to take advantage of this website. They are owned by Google and it treats one of their own very well. Businesses can take advantage of YouTube by posting relevant videos regularly as their search results feature prominently on Google.
Brands with visual content should use Instagram. It is a good site to share photographs and short videos. They have integrated sharing functions with Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter so that your IG posts can be transformed into viewable posts in these other networks. Include a relevant hashtag to become more discoverable.
This site is best for DIY, as it is a board style photo sharing social network. The trick to Pinterest is to get people to pin and share things they find interesting. While some sites favor recent content, Pinterest needs user to pin and have others re-pin the post in order to appear with current results. The trick to this is to create visually stunning pins so that other people will like to re-pin them. Aside from DIY, fashion, food and travel related businesses will do well in this social networking platform.