Whether you are a seasoned social veteran or still wet behind the ears, the thought of creating or using social media profiles for your business can be daunting. As a general rule of thumb you don’t want to take on more than you can handle. While it may seem like a good idea to jump in head first, if you stop and make a concrete plan first you’ll thank yourself later. One of the major hurdles companies face when creating social media profiles is deciding which platforms to use which can open up a whole host of other questions and concerns. To cut through the fog of confusion we’ve compiled a handy guide to the most commonly used social platforms with information to help everyone from novice to expert.
Facebook still holds the crown for the largest social media platform both in reach and usage with over 76% of users accessing the site on a daily basis. The site was originally founded on personal profiles but has continued to grow its business side capabilities with call to action buttons among others. That being said in terms of content and reach, Facebook reigns supreme for community updates but still has room to grow for the more technical product side.
Great for: Content of all shapes and sizes, companies that sell direct to consumers
Advertising Capabilities: Variety of targeting options to boost message posts based on demographic and geographic information as well as interests of users
The place that created the hashtag and retweet is the premiere platform for sharing information. Twitter’s recent changes have doubled the 140 character limit to 280, allowing businesses to give more fruitful business updates. The platform has also added more video support the past few years to be able to handle any content businesses usually create.
Great for: Viral content, sharing updates and spreading product, company or industry news
Advertising Capabilities: Promote mode (flat monthly fee to always be promoting content to specified users) and options to target users based on interests or similar accounts
The social media made for specifically businesses continues to be the platform of choice for Business to business companies in particular. Where LinkedIn sets itself apart from the competition is its ability to target users based on a variety of business related criteria to hone in on target consumers or end users better than any other social media platform can for B2B needs.
Great for: B2B Companies, Networking
Advertising Capabilities: Ability to target users based on industry, job title, experience and more business specific related factors
While Google Plus doesn’t have the name recognition of the rest of the social media community, it still boosts a variety of features that could be beneficial to your business. Putting your business on Google Plus will make it more visible in local search results, a big bonus for companies with a customer facing component like a storefront. Google Plus also plays nicely with the rest of Google offerings such as Gmail and Adwords to allow companies to easily concentrate their marketing strategy.
Great for: Businesses with a customer facing component, Businesses that need a leg up in SEO
Advertising Capabilities: Reach consumers through Google’s host of apps with Adwords