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Which Social Media Platform? Part 1

There is a multitude of social media platforms to choose from, but from a business point of view, you have to decide which ones are going to be most beneficial in helping you reach your target audience and be most successful in promoting your business. It is always better to choose a few platforms that are more specific to your needs and will optimize your presence, rather than spending precious time and energy being spread too thinly.

So let’s take a look at a few of the most popular platforms in order to ascertain their usefulness as a business tool, in relation to their individual characteristics.

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social network site and therefore has extensive reach. Having a Facebook business page enables you to connect and interact with your target audience. The benefits:

  • Extensive search capability.

  • Good for sharing information.

  • Photo and video sharing.

  • Good for engagement and building a brand personality.

  • Useful for customer service.

Twitter

Twitter enables you to grow an audience quickly. Speed is the optimum word when describing Twitter. Everything moves at a fast pace, conversations move quickly and there is a constant flow of information. Activity therefore has to be regular in order to stay visible. Conversations due to word limitation are short and brief, however Twitter cards can be used to extend the word usage.

  • Great for breaking news and real time announcements.

  • Good for increased visibility.

  • Useful for driving traffic to a certain destination, for example your website

 LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social network for businesses, the overall feel is a professional one. It is an excellent place to search and target specific audiences and groups, due to it’s advanced search capability. It is also an amazing data base. With now over 15 million UK business people active on LinkedIn, representing a range of business sectors, the ability to use and search this data base effectively has benefits for any business sector.

  • Good for B2B and B2C networking.

  • Promotes you and your brand.

  • The advanced search enables the targeting of specific professionals, individuals or groups.

  • Accommodates large or small businesses and individuals.

  • Good for information sharing, blog posting, relationship building and driving traffic back to your website

  • Group membership is good for sharing ideas and discussions or asking questions.

Instagram

Beneficial for photo-sharing good for creatives. It has a useful search tool facility and like Twitter searches can be conducted through hashtags.  Enables engagement by following others and sending likes.

  • Promotes the visual element of brands

  • Can be linked to other social media sites.

  • Creates a visual element to posts.

  • Can create short videos for post integration.

  • Less about selling more about creating a brand personality

Vine

Vine is a mobile video sharing  app owned by Twitter, allowing short videos of 6 seconds duration on a loop system and is one of the fastest growing sites. Videos are produced through an in-app camera and once completed can be saved or shared on Vine, Twitter and Facebook. The popularity of a Vine can be accessed through a loop count.  Vine suggests that every month 100million people watch Vines across the web and there are more than 1 million loops per day!

  • The visual element is great for advertising your brand .

  • Good for introducing a new product.

  • Looping provides continuity of presence.

  • Used by large brands such as Orio, Xbox, McDonalds.

  • Reaches a wide audience.

Pinterest

Pinterest is basically a scrapbook of ideas and enables members to pin images to their pinboards, these can be shared, liked and commented on. It is a way of promoting ideas and allows the user to save, sort and categorise. Images are linked to profiles and provide access to websites, so that activity can be directed back to your brand.

  • Good for visual representation.

  • Good to promote creativity.

  • Useful tool to promote brand awareness

YouTube

Video based marketing which enables creativity and visual capture. Excellent means of having world wide reach.

  • Allows users to view, upload and share videos.

  • Personalised channels can be created. Brands can be promoted by incorporating company logos and banners etc.

  • Videos can be shared on most social media sites in order to create more interest.

  • Can be embedded into websites. Good for webinars, webcasts, tutorials,product demonstrations and client testimonials.

  • Videos are categorised and enables searches by phrases, keywords and tags.

Keep a look out for Part 2 when we shall examine Google +

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