Finding the most effective social media platform, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ is an important part of your marketing plan. Getting it right will allow you to stand out from the crowd and reach your desired target audience. Although the majority of small businesses do not have any forms of social media, this could be the reason why they are not getting the results they need.

Creating a social media platform doesn’t need to be taxing or time consuming. However, choosing the right one is key. Just because you created a platform does not mean that success will not happen overnight as there are a lot of factors to consider. On the flip-side, some businesses that use social media can often be overwhelmed with the volume of traffic, so time management is important.

With the market being saturated with different social media platforms, choosing the right one to suit your brand and business objectives is crucial. Social media platforms are an important way of getting your point across and in some cases it may be the only way to reach a target audience.

Things to consider when choosing the right platform:

  • How will you use social media to achieve your business objectives?
  • Listen carefully to the needs of your customers.
  • What are your competitors and influencers doing?
  • Make a note of what works and what doesn’t and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Understand your market and what the consumer wants.

Let’s look at the most popular business marketing platforms:

Facebook is a targeted platform and focuses mostly on advertising and social networking Business to Consumer (B2C). This is useful if you want to engage with your customers, grow your brand and sales or to improve your customer service.

Twitter is good for B2C and Business to Business (B2B). It’s great for networking, customer engagement, news real times, following conferences, trends, and PR. You can also use it for live broadcasting (using Periscope) and micro video (using Vine).

LinkedIn is primarily for B2B it is often referred to as the ‘Facebook of the corporate world’. It is very versatile and can be used as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, for intelligence, sales, marketing, news and networking.

YouTube is owned by Google and is the second most visited search engine in the world; YouTube will help to maximise your business exposure.

Instagram focuses on photo and video sharing. It is good to engage with your audience which will and raise the profile of your products.

Pinterest is a B2C site and allows users to ‘pin’ videos, images ideas, and links to a virtual ‘board’. It is endorsed by creative professionals.

Google+ has been created by Google and targets B2C AND B2B customers. It allows the user to engage with different audiences by using circles. It also features online ‘hangouts’ and it can be linked to your YouTube account.

Using social media will allow you to listen to your customers, prospects, peers, competitors and will allow you to listen to the industry. You can generate leads through most of the social networking sites. This will allow you to attract more customer building relationships and driving loyalty.

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