So you’ve finally decided to take the Social Media plunge for your small business, and you’re suddenly feeling a surge of panic as you realize there are hundreds of social networks out there, how do you choose?
Take a deep breath and relax, it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming. The key to choosing the right social networks for your small business is to first take the time to do some research on each network and then decide if it’s the right fit for your overall Social Media strategy.
That being said, there are some social networks that are essential for your small business to join as part of your Social Media strategy, think of them as the foundation of your overall Social Media presence –by joining these networks you’ll be well on your way to becoming a socially savvy small biz:
Facebook: Ok be honest, don’t you find it strange when you find out that someone doesn’t have a Facebook profile? What do you think your customers will think when they try to find your business on Facebook and can’t? With over 1 billion users and counting, regardless of your industry or target markets, your small business needs a Facebook fan page!
Twitter: Tied with Facebook for the most popular social network, this micro-blogging site has redefined the way brands and consumers communicate. As a small business, having a Twitter account is essential to your Social Media strategy as it will help you to build relationships with customers, share your expertise, and drive traffic to your website.
Google+: One of the fastest growing social networks, according to Google there are over 5 billion “+1” per day –the fastest growing social share feature ever. Also, if someone likes a brand in your Google+ circles and you’re logged into Google, that brand will rise to the top of your search results, and sharing content on your Google+ page will make Google’s search engines love you!
LinkedIn: As the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn is one Social Media platform that you should definitely be using to promote your small business. Having a LinkedIn presence is an excellent way to build your brand, network and connect with fellow small business owners, and market your business to new prospects.
Pinterest: In today’s social world, visual content is key to any content marketing strategy, enter Pinterest, the king of visual Social Media channels! Most small business owners think that Pinterest will only work for them if they have physical products suited to a visual medium; this is not necessarily the case at all. For example, if your business provides a service you can create a board on your personal Pinterest account for your business interests where you can pin things that tie into your business. You can also pin your blog articles to your business page, and you can create boards showing people utilizing your services – use Pinterest as an opportunity to show the creative side of your small business!
Now that you know what social networks are essential to your small business Social Media strategy, it’s important to keep two things in mind: first, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are all different social networks with different etiquette and different communities, so make sure you tailor your posts and content to each network.
And secondly, these networks are only the tip of the Social Media iceberg, there are hundreds of social networks out there, some are a better fit for certain businesses than others, so make sure you do your research to find the networks best suited to your small business, your target markets, and your Social Media goals.