Different Social Media Platforms
With new social media platforms being created daily, it has become a daunting task to know which ones suit the needs of your business best. From Facebook to LinkedIn, Yelp to Reddit, and Howcast to Bizsugar, social media platforms have expanded to contain a variety of ways to share content and connect with people, but choosing which ones will prove most useful for your business can seem overwhelming. Therefore, I will be outlining the main social media platforms, with a handful of lesser-known ones, that are used for sharing content, connecting with customers, and even managing your social media portfolio.
An important thing to remember before I continue, the primary goal of setting up social media platforms for your business should be to maintain and build relationships with customers you already have, while also learning about new ways to improve your business practices. Gaining new customers is valuable for a business, but should not be the main focus of using social media. By building and maintaining strong relationships with customers you already have, they will, in turn, do the outreach for you, due to your business having a good reputation.
Well-known Social Media Platforms
These sites include ones that are the most commonly used, and usually the first sites that pop into people’s heads when they think of social media.
Might as well begin with the goliath of all social media platforms — Facebook. Facebook is simply a social network site where people connect to one another and share content. With over 2 billion people using Facebook, it can be claimed that no other social media platform can possibly compete with its reach all over the globe.
Since it is a global social networking platform, depending on what business you are running, a lot of users on Facebook will probably not be included in your potential customer base; however, it is arguably one of the most important tools when it comes to providing details about your business, posting interesting content to attract customers, advertising, building relationships with customers, and especially maintaining those relationships with customers. In this way, you will not only be able to acquire new customers through actively sharing content and promotions, but will more easily retain customers you already have.
Since this post is meant to help businesses find social media platforms that are useful for their business, I can’t exaggerate enough how important LinkedIn is for any business, big or small. Essentially, it is a social media site for professional businesses to network. It is the most widely used social media platform for business owners, and workers alike, to build professional relationships and a business profile.
Even though it is not as big as Facebook, Twitter is still used by millions of people every day. Depending on your business’s needs for outreach, Twitter can be useful for quick, short informational posts about upcoming news and promotions for your business. It can also serve as a good way to link to your other social media accounts and your official website.
If posting pictures with short descriptions is easier for you than putting out full written posts on social media, then Instagram can be a useful tool for your business. It is arguably the most popular photo sharing website. However, unless you have a strong customer base willing to follow you, it can be a hard social media platform for outreach and connecting with customers.
Reddit is a site where people can post pretty much anything: articles, photos, videos, questions, and anything else one’s mind can dream up. It is then voted and commented on by the community, sending the most liked posts to the top of the front page.
These are like smaller, more individualized communities within the larger community of Reddit itself. You can find a subreddit that will cater to any profession, special interest, or hobby. Even though it might not provide as much help with drawing in new customers, it can be a great place to communicate with people from all over the world about things you’re interested in, potentially gaining new information that will help your business.
Yelp is a site where people rate businesses and give reviews about their service.Yelp might be the most important social media platform for maintaining a positive reputation amongst previous customers. It is possibly the most used site when someone is deciding what the best service is for their needs. Therefore, maintaining a constant presence on Yelp, while answering reviews, is crucial in retaining customers, and especially for gaining new ones.
Much like Facebook, Google+ is a standard social networking site, where people connect with one another and share content. However, the use of Google+ compared to other social networking sites has rapidly decreased since its beginning, so it might not be the most helpful on this list.
Youtube is the most popular video-sharing site. Depending on your business, and its offered services, Youtube can serve as a good platform to share “How To” videos, or videos of the services you provide. But, given the large quantity of videos being constantly uploaded every day, it can be hard for your video to get any views. Therefore, it might be more productive to focus your energy on improving your other social media platforms first.
Lesser-known Social Media Platforms
- Blogging Platforms
Like Youtube, Howcast is a video sharing site. It focuses specifically on “How To” videos though. So, if you run a business that could easily provide “How To” videos that are related to the services you provide, Howcast can be a great tool for getting people interested in your field of work, while also showing your expertise in a said field.
Bizsugar is a social sharing and networking site meant specifically for small businesses. It is a great site to use for small business owners since you won’t have to compete as much to get views on your posts and information.
If you don’t have a blog setup on your official business website or are simply looking for other blogging outlets, there are many options available. Blogging can be an amazing tool for marketing your business and its website, while also getting your customer base interested in the possible services you can provide.
Aguropulse is essentially a social media management tool. If maintaining multiple different types of social media platforms seems overwhelming, Agorapulse is here to lend a helping hand. It allows you to manage all of your different social media platforms all at once. While using its service, you can do things such as schedule posts, post the same thing on multiple platforms at once, and even receive statistics and reports of important data related to your social media pages. So, if you’re planning to expand your social media platform use to multiple different types, Agorapulse can act as a huge asset in the maintenance of those pages.
Of course, there are many more social media platforms available to help market your business than are listed in this post, but overall, I focused on these because they are the most popular, helpful, and will provide a good start to any business attempting to expand its social media use.
In the Internet age, establishing a solid and expansive social media presence for your business is an essential tool in marketing and building a positive reputation. Even if you believe you are inexperienced in the realm of social media marketing at first, with time and practice it will become much simpler, and you will hopefully begin to see how much marketing success it can create for your business.
I wish you luck with your digital endeavors.