Social media is a tool that everyone uses, but not all brands need a Twitter, Instagram or YouTube page. If you’re a small business trying to get started in social media, so What Social Networks Should Your Business Be On?, here’s what to consider before signing up.
YouTube: A Video Classroom
Despite having about one billion visits a month, YouTube is still seen as an entertainment and video blogging platform that happens to have brand and product promotion capabilities. While some marketers and advertisers choose to show their company’s products and services with in-stream commercial slots before a video plays, most of the time these ads are skipped by viewers.
The YouTube page for Modcloth, a clothing retailer
Instagram and Pinterest: A Retail Dream
Although a bit different, Instagram and Pinterest are networking tools that have one central focus: the photo. With Instagram, users can use it alone or alongside other sites like Twitter to show a new product, promote a contest or show scenes from a company event, while with Pinterest, users can browse a particular topic and connect with businesses whose products they enjoy.
Instagram and Pinterest should be used by retailers or businesses that have physical products as that’s what users commonly look for on these sites. Popular items on both Pinterest and Instagram include food, clothing, crafts and do-it-yourself items and home décor.
Twitter: For the Frequently Updated
With 140 characters, Twitter is limited in what it can do for marketers even with promoted tweets, video and photo attachment capabilities.
Twitter is centered around the idea that information can be spread quickly and easily and is used to monitor particular topics and trends by its 200 million users. Those who use the microblogging service are looking for ‘current’ or new information about topics that is engaging, but quickly understood, as a person’s feed is constantly updated with new information.
While every business may think they need Twitter, this isn’t the case. Twitter should be used by a business that has frequent company or product updates. Companies that spend a few months to a year creating new stock and can’t update Twitter with new information shouldn’t use it. If you don’t frequently tweet, users may unfollow the account, which will hurt a brand’s social media presence and cause customers to miss important updates when they do happen.
LinkedIn: B2B Networking
LinkedIn isn’t like the other social networks. Not all of its features are geared toward the the everyday consumer, but rather businesses and business professionals. As a network LinkedIn acts much like a business directory providing individuals and companies with a platform in which to network, seek out potential hires and let users have an online resume.
As a result, LinkedIn’s usefulness is more focused on B2B marketing then B2C. LinkedIn would be an ideal platform for a new business trying to figure out if it would survive in its market and for companies that want to see what products its competitors are releasing. It’s also a key social platform to keep professionals updated on products and servicesthey might use (or want to use) in their organization.