How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

So you realize that you need to be social. But where do you start?

It can be overwhelming. There are numerous platforms and every social media advice website will tell you something different. Here is what it comes down to – you need to evaluate your brand message and your marketing goals and find platforms that match the “persona” of your business.

“But how do I know which platforms match my business?” Luckily, I am here as a social media expert to break it down the main platforms for you.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Facebook. Many say Facebook marketing is as dead as paper marketing, which, if you follow my posts, you know is not the case. It is good to have some Facebook presence no matter what your business is (however retail, restaurants, and local businesses do the best). It’s a numbers game – there are over 1.2 billion active users as of January 2014. You can’t ignore that big of platform. Granted, Facebook’s algorithms make it hard for your messages to reach that platform, but if you do a little bit of research you can greatly use organic reach Facebook to your advantage.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Twitter. With the right hashtags, you can do anything on Twitter. Yet the best businesses on Twitter are the opposite of the best businesses on Facebook. This is because retail, restaurants, and local businesses have a dedicated customer base while other businesses have more casual relationships with the audience. This is where Twitter comes in. Twitter allows you to connect with other businesses, prospective customers, and industry enthusiasts who will promote you for free – as long as you use the right hashtags. I insist the majority of my clients get both a Twitter and Facebook. They are the two powerhouse platforms you can’t ignore.

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is THE platform for B2B marketing. Yet LinkedIn can be tricky. You need to have one employee be the “face” of the company, meaning they create, manage, discuss, and make connections on the company’s behalf. It can be tricky to outsource your LinkedIn marketing. Usually it is best to do in house after researching the best way to use LinkedIn as a connector tool, not as a spam marketing robot.

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Google+. I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with Google+. There is a lot to be desired and I don’t see its use as a social media platform – outside of its affiliation with Google. With Google’s search engine rules, having a Google+ page is practically a must. With a Google+ page, you get higher search engine rankings and more credibility in Google’s (AKA – Internet God’s) eyes. If you rely on high search engine rankings for your business, get a Google+ page.

Via Flickr marioanima

Via Flickr marioanima

YouTube. YouTube is more of a supplemental platform for your marketing plan. Only certain brands are good for YouTube. If you have the opportunity to make instructional videos, product reviews/highlights, or “commercials” online with your product or service, then YouTube is a great platform for you. Just make sure your videos are professional and high quality!

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Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform if your business is highly visual. If you have high quality product photos or offer services that are eye-catching, get your boards started! The pinning platform is best for craft, home decor, home improvement, wedding, food-related, and retail businesses.

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram is great for highly visual businesses. The difference in Instagram – you need to be very interactive as well. On Pinterest, you can get away with throwing up content without a whole lot of interaction. On Instagram, you have to be involved. You have to know the best filters, know the hashtags, and know your audience as well as constantly communicating with your audience.

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Blog. Bottom line – blogs are important for pretty much every business. Blogs are your opportunity to showcase your knowledge about your industry. The golden rule is to never write an entire blog post as self-promotion. You should always blog to give away “free samples” of information to your audience so they want more.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

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Infographic Week! Blogging Stats and Facts

For this week, I am going to give you some great infographics about every weekly subject that you can share with clients, coworkers, or just learn from yourself! The first one is about blogging stats and facts. For more amazing information, visit the article the infographic appeared on at Social Media Today!

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The Stats Don’t Lie – Blogs Are A Powerful Revenue Generator

Social media is very popular for marketing right now. There is a lot of debate about which social media platform is the best to market one, but the debate overlooks the importance of blogs. Blogs allow a business to produce content that is worthwhile to their consumers. Your marketing strategies should incorporate blogging for business to get higher SEO ranks.

Via Flickr Maria Reyes-McDavis

Via Flickr Maria Reyes-McDavis

The numbers themselves speak for how important it is for a business to keep and maintain a blog that produces high quality and industry relevant content with proper SEO keyword placement.

  • 88% of companies who blog get more leads every month than companies who do not.
  • 55% of companies that blog will get more traffic to their website.
  • 57% of companies that blog will most likely get a customer from their blog.
  • 78% of companies that blog daily get customers strictly from their blog.
  • 92% of companies that blog multiple times a day will receive the most new customers directly from their blog.

There are many free and popular blogger websites, such as WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, and TypePad. They let you create your own blog with various customizable options. Some blogs do a better job appearing in search results than others, do your research to find the hosting platform that is best for your company.

Whenever a business blogs, it allows them to get involved in their community, create great content that will be shared, and start conversations that are time relevant. Other social media platforms can be utilized to spread the blog to reach new audiences. There are three major benefits of blogging for business – thought leadership, SEO increase, and accumulate social media followings.

Via Flickr Rosaura Ochoa

Via Flickr Rosaura Ochoa

Thought Leadership

Whenever businesses take the initiative to spread valuable content about their niche to consumers, they slowly become the leaders in this train of thought. When you position yourself as an expert on the field, visitors understand your authority on the subject. All it takes is for you to be yourself and share the wealth of knowledge you have gained in the industry. Material for blog posts can contain frequently asked questions, opinions on issues in your field, and problems you solved at work that week.

Via Flickr SEOPlanter

Via Flickr SEOPlanter

SEO Increase

New content gets way higher search engine rankings than static pages on your website. In order to get high SEO rankings, you need to know how to use SEO keywords properly. You can research this online, buy textbooks on the subject, or hire a company who specializes in SEO keywords. What is nice about SEO is, if you figure out how to do it right, then you don’t have to pay for Google AdWords or sponsored links to get more views on your blog. Instead, an SEO-optimized blog will get views, comments, and shares on its own. It takes some time for a blog to get popular, so be patient and use SEO keywords correctly.

Via Flickr Nicole Yeary

Via Flickr Nicole Yeary

Accumulate Social Media Followers

When you create a blog with high quality content, you need to share it on all social media sites you use. This provides your customers with value. Providing value in social media will help you accumulate more followers on these platforms. When you create your own content, you can integrate easily with your social media and people will share it to give more exposure to your website.

What are your favorite business blogs? Let me know in comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!