How to Choose the Right Social Networks for Your Brand

Social media is an integral component of nearly every modern business’s marketing strategy. Billions of people utilize social platforms everyday, allowing companies of every size to easily connect and engage with consumers at all hours of the day, every day.

Within the last decade, social media has evolved at a rapid pace. Facebook, the king of social platforms, has spearheaded our growing social addiction, allowing new, innovative platforms to prosper and flourish.

If you’re a small to medium sized business, odds are you’re operating a social media strategy with limited resources. It can be difficult, and sometimes stressful, deciding which platforms will yield the best results for your brand and customers.

If you’re hoping to save yourself time and money from a trial and error process, check out the following platforms and see which ones will best benefit your business.

Facebook

Facebook is the largest social platform, boasting more than 1.5 billion active users – a number that continues to grow with each passing year. Facebook users aren’t just connected to their friends and family, they’re actively following brands, businesses and people they find of interest.

As the most dominant and powerful social platform of today (and probably tomorrow), investing in a Facebook page is one of the best things you can do for your business. Regardless of your brand or product, Facebook is a channel that provides businesses of every industry with countless opportunities to connect, engage, and build meaningful relationships.

Twitter

Twitter is one of the best and most accessible platforms to engage in brief yet meaningful conversations. If you’re hoping to get the most out of Twitter as possible, studies show that content plays more of a deciding role than your actual business or brand: Twitter users are more likely to retweet images than videos, text-based tweets containing a link over images, and most popularly, list based articles above all other types of tweeted content.

With hundreds of millions of active users, this popular platform isn’t one you’ll want to miss out on; just be sure to do your homework and tweet content that your followers will find share-worthy.

Google+

A Google+ page is another social platform you’ll always want to ensure is active and up-to-date, regardless of your brand or industry. Not to be summed up or reduced to simply a social platform, Google+ is a powerful tool for establishing a public identity that’s integrated with the world’s biggest, most dominant search engine.

And while Google+ doesn’t boast as many users as Facebook, its 300+ million users actively search for products, services, product reviews, and other business information that’s readily available right on your business page. Its integration with Hangouts can also bolster your business, and can serve as a great platform for webinars, product announcements, and video engagement with fans.

LinkedIn

Comprised of a network of professionals, LinkedIn is a great social platform for businesses looking to advertise to B2B rather than B2C. A company page on LinkedIn can provide your business with increased visibility for your brand and products, and is a great outlet for sharing news and announcements with fellow professionals and companies.

Furthermore, customers also have the ability to recommend your business just as they would your personal LinkedIn page. This is a great way to enhance your brand and gain an edge over your competitors, who may not be harnessing the power of LinkedIn. Nonetheless, if your research shows that your customers aren’t using this platform, steer clear and focus your attention on the channels that matter the most.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a growing social platform that promotes and encourages creativity through their signature pins (aka images). This is the perfect platform for products that inspire or illustrate imagination and talent, such as food, beauty, home decor and fashion industries.

Organized and structured by themes/interests rather than personal networks, Pinterest is a unique platform for getting products in front of large audience actively looking to buy. They also boast one of the highest conversion rates – 87% of users have used Pinterest as a deciding factor for their purchasing decisions.

Instagram

Instagram is a highly visual platform that can yield major results for businesses that publish images and/or videos of high-quality. With hundreds of millions of daily active users, Instagram is a powerful, visceral platform for advertising products to a consumer-addicted audience.

If you’re unable to take attractive pictures of your products, or if your products are solely digital (e-books, webinars, etc.) in nature, Instagram may not be the best social platform for your business.

Tumblr

Tumblr is a fast growing social platform that can be a powerful marketing tool for a niche business. Considered more of a hybrid or microblogging platform, Tumblr maintains a large and growing younger demographic, with the majority of users between the ages of 18-34.

If your business is short on time or resources, Tumblr can be an incredibly convenient and fast channel for releasing content. Users can post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog, which can be easily shared across a wide audience through their re-blog feature. Furthermore, users can also link their Facebook and Twitter accounts, which will sync content released on Tumblr automatically across all three platforms. Who doesn’t love a time-saver?

Reddit

Reddit isn’t a traditional social platform, but is does maintain a gigantic online presence and one of the highest percentages of news-readers. This growing online platform features one of the largest, most active forums, with smaller topic-oriented forums referred to as “subreddits.”

The key to succeeding on a unique platform such as Reddit is entirely dependent upon your ability to discuss and share engaging, valuable information. Whatever your brand or product, odds are there’s a subreddit for it. To benefit from Reddit, your presence must benefit its users. So take careful thought and time to ensure you content matches the rules and demands of its users. Your hard work is sure to be richly rewarded.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the more popular social networks making waves in today’s market. Feel free to explore and utilize any networks that you feel will benefit and bolster your business, including smaller niche-focused platforms that may not boast a large community.

As you continue to join and participate in online communities, be sure to never stretch yourself too thin. It’s better to be an active participant of two platforms where you’re constantly engaging than a member of six or more platforms that receive little attention.

What are you waiting for? Get to joining, publishing, and growing your business, one post or image at a time.

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