Do you know which social media sites are the best for promoting your business?

Have you launched marketing initiatives without considering the subtle and not so subtle differences between the platforms?

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As social media evolves respective sites take on varying features and functions that for some, like Facebook and Twitter, may see similar developments whilst others such as Snapchat keep themselves distinct.

It might seem obvious but we really do need to note these differences to make sure we’re not heading in the wrong direction.  From the stark 10 second or less Snapchat experience to the Twitter poll these variances are impacting on the behaviour and attraction for users.

In very basic terms there are strengths and weaknesses of these social media platforms and our awareness of them will help shape our strategy.

To determine which best suits your business, ask yourself these questions,

 “Where do my customers go when they’re online?”

“What do they do when they’re there?”

Main activities by media type:

  • LinkedIn – B2b & B2c, growing online networks, sharing content, raising personal and business profile, getting a new job, recruiting
  • Facebook – Primarily B2c personal & social, chatting with friends and keeping up with what’s going on, leisure activities, business users can brand build and advertise to a specific demographic with FB
  • Twitter – B2b & B2c, news, search, trends, less chat with friends more customer service focus, business users
  • Instagram – B2c growing B2b engagement used for sharing personal and business photos/ videos and following accounts
  • Snapchat – B2c sharing quirky photos/videos using filters (face swap), telling stories, product placement opportunities.
  • Vine – B2c high impact when well produced, sharing 6 second videos to convey a message
  • Google+ – B2b & B2c Hard to see beyond the SEO advantage
  • Periscope – B2c & B2b mainly used by consumer brand marketers and a few professional service marketers. Live streaming has risks bus is becoming increasingly popular. Too early to offer a definitive view but worth trialling

Here comes the disclaimer…the above is a generalised view of 8 popular social media platforms.  Your business may have a product or service which is more likely to use Pinterest, Tumblr or of course YouTube.  The important factor here is to differentiate between the sites by applying your needs, customer behaviour and the all important creativity to engage effectively.

It’s also worth considering how users interact with the sites.  Increasingly we’re accessing them via smartphone and tablet.  The age of our customers may also play a significant role in our targeting and there are clear generational divides forming over the preference for apps used e.g. Snapchat and Instagram are the preferred choice of Generation Y or Millennials (those born 1980’s to early 2000’s).

Whatever your target audience you should ensure that you choose the correct platform to launch your marketing activity.  By heading in the right direction you’ll save time and effort by concentrating on those key sites to grow your business.

How to Choose the Right Platform
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