When launching your business online and thinking about your marketing strategy, social media should be at the very top of your list. The results can be astounding if you put some real thought into what you want from your social media presence and what your strategy might be to achieve this.
Do you want to boost your sales? Extend your client/ customer base? Other things to consider might be: What services are you offering? What platform are you trying to sell it on? Video, images, long-form text, short-form text? And finally, what is your demographic?
People assume that having social media accounts across all platforms is the best way to go – and if you’ve got the human and financial resources to achieve this you might be right – but as a general rule, it is better to be successful on a couple, than average on all.
PROS – Facebook is the largest online social media platform with over 1.5 billion users, and so it provides a customer base for businesses to really thrive. The demographic is wide-ranging and varied and you have the ability to post a wide-range of content which means that as a platform it is great for every kind of business.
CONS – With Facebook, your content needs to be well-developed, fresh and targeted which can be time-consuming and call for specialized staff. Advertising can be a real issue as it is expensive, but without it, your business could struggle to compete with the vast majority of businesses that choose to use it.
PROS – Twitter great for businesses because it offers a chance for businesses to both connect with and observe customers. By creating an account on Twitter you can simply use it for research purposes; look at what your customers are talking about, see what’s trending through hashtags and use it to your advantage. It’s also a great platform for developing your customer service skills and connecting with customers in general through retweets, comments and sharing. Use Twitter as a social media platform if you’re business is tied to on-the-go developments such as news organizations, marketing companies, sports and entertainment businesses.
CONS – The worst thing about Twitter is that it’s incredibly high maintenance; a successful business will constantly be updating on Twitter a few times every day because news travels and dates so quickly. Overall, it’s not great for sharing video. You’re also limited to 140 characters and so people need to actually click on and follow your links to see your larger style content.
PROS – Instagram is a branding/ marketing dream. It also helps that it has the 2nd highest user base of all of the platforms. Use Instagram if your business is image-friendly like restaurants, retail store, fashion, architecture and design. It’s great for a business looking to humanize their image. Refine and market your image by posting beautiful images in-line with your company’s branding. It’s great for businesses looking to diversify their marketing content. It’s a mobile application that’s available across all major services.
CONS – It’s only really available on mobile devices and specifically suited to visual marketing, so it is not recommended for businesses that only wish to use written or editorial content. It’s also got quite a specific market or young female users which limits your businesses reach. Whoever’s running the account must have an eye for detail, design and a basic understanding of photography which could means training or hiring staff.
PROS- LinkedIn can be an exceptional tool for business owners looking to build their professional network. It allows businesses to connect with industry professionals and boost their professional reputation. In building your network, you potentially open yourself up to new customer bases and boost sales. It can really be used by any kind of business, but it’s mostly tailored to individuals such as consultants.
CONS – It’s demographic is 35+ s it’s not exactly ideal for everyone. Also, it’s not a place for social interaction between a business and customers so consider whether it’s right for your business.
PROS – It’s owned by Google,so successful SEO in YouTube means successful SEO in Google. The market is huge, with over 1 billion unique visitors every month and so it is extremely valuable for businesses producing video content. Videos can incorporate written content, and well as spoken and it’s great for diversifying your marketing content. It’s also a platform suited to everyone, as long as you can create good online videos. Follow this link to discover some tips and tricks for creating quality online videos. http://blog.yondo.com/?p=889
CONS – The issue with YouTube is that the market is extremely competitive and it is very difficult to get your content seen. In order to produce great video content, you need to invest a lot of time and effort.
Pros – Foursquare is a great social media platform because it allows users to generate your businesses advertising for you, simply by sharing where they are located and what their experience is with your business through reviews and recommendations. This means that when compared to other social media sites, it’s incredibly low-maintenance. You can use it to generate new customers and connect with and interact with current ones through conversations and promotions.
Cons – Foursquare sounds like an ideal platform for businesses, but in comparison to other social media platforms, it hasn’t really taken off and so while it may be low maintenance, it can also be comparatively ineffective.