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What Social Media Should I Use For My Business?

What social media should I use for my business? If you are a small business owner, you are probably considering which will best help you reach your goals. If you know anything about social media, you know that it is an effective marketing tool. You also know that there are hundreds if not thousands of different platforms, all with different purposes, sizes and audiences, to choose from. With so many to choose from, you have probably asked yourself, “What social media should I use for my business?” In this article, you will learn what social networking is, the types of social media, and the benefits of social media.

What social media should I use for my business

What Is Social Networking?

First, what is social networking? Social networking is defined as the use of social media to connect with friends, family, or users with similar interests. You communicate with, follow or friend, read posts, and have posts read by others. The more you interact with others on a social media platform, the more you engage in social networking. Whole communities emerge online because of social networking. Fashion, books, cars, and many more, many niche interests connect people online through social networking. As a small business owner, you can use social networking to create a community surrounding your brand. 

For whichever social media platform you choose, you will want to create a profile for your business. Consistently post relevant information. These can be updates regarding your business, advertisements for new products, content marketing materials like blog posts, or replies to customers or other industry professionals. 

Social networking can be just like networking in real life, the only difference being that social networking is only online. Network with others in your industry or complementary industries. You might find an opportunity for a partnership or learn something new. Either way, your business will be better off. You should also network with potential customers. If you see a conversation about your brand happening, take note and reply if the opportunity presents itself. If someone says something good about your product, make sure they know that you are glad. Even if they have an issue, make sure they know that you will make it right. Not only will this help you create a relationship with that specific customer, but it will also help spread the word about your business’s great customer service. With social networking, you can build credibility and a genuine community.

what is social networking

Types of Social Media

If you are going to answer, “What social media should I use for my business?” You will need to understand the different types of social media.

Social Networks

The first type of social media are the social networks. These include popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These are the go-to sites for networking as they emphasize interpersonal communication. You should use these sites to build social awareness, establish branding, build customer relationships, customer service, and lead generation. These platforms encourage people to interact with businesses and vice versa to share opinions and help build effective relationships.

Media Sharing Networks

The second type of social media are the media sharing networks. Media includes images and video. The most popular media sharing networks include Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Like social networks, media sharing networks will also help you build your brand, find and convert leads, and build customer relationships. Unlike social networks, media sharing networks always include some type of media. Content that includes images or video garner 650% more engagement than text only advertisements. For media sharing networks, the media is the main star and text is only secondary. As such, the bulk of your message needs to be contained in the media and supported by the text.

Discussion Forums

The third type of social media are discussion forums. These include popular sites like Reddit and Quora. As the name suggests, discussion forums attract discussion. People ask questions, tell stories, or share opinions that encourage conversation and or debate. Businesses can use these platforms for marketing research. Scouring through these forums for mentions of your business and industry can help you understand public sentiment as well as gaps in the market your business can fill. 

types of social media

Content Curation

The fourth type of social media are the content curation platforms. The most popular of these sites is Pinterest. You can find trending media on this platform and push brand awareness. While it might seem unusual, you can create a successful marketing campaign for a site like Pinterest. Your target customers can bookmark your content and share it with their friends. Like the other types of social media, your content needs to be eye-catching and engaging to be effective.

Review Platforms

The fifth type of social media are the review boards. Some of the most popular review boards are Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Zomato. These networks are specifically for customers to leave reviews, both good and bad, for businesses. Although you cannot control customer reviews, it is imperative that your business has good reviews. More or as many bad reviews as good reviews will push customers away from your business. If they feel they can not trust your business, they will not buy from your business. To avoid bad reviews, you will need to have excellent customer service. Resolve issues as fast as you can. If you make a mistake, make it right. Customers are usually forgiving if you own up to and fix mistakes. 

Blogging Platforms

Blogging is an essential part of content marketing. WordPress is popular among businesses, but Tumblr’s blogging features are popular amongst consumers and useful to businesses as well. When writing a blog post, make it useful. It should not be a 1,000 word advertisement. Teach your customers how to use your products. Update them on some big news in your industry. There are thousands of topics you can choose from in every industry. Be creative, engaging, and helpful to reap the benefits of blogging.

Interest Based Platforms

This type of social media platform is for specific interests. For example, Goodreads is a platform for book reviews. These platforms tend to be smaller and only serve people with a very specific interest. If you understand your customer base well, utilizing an interest based platform will be beneficial. You know exactly what the people using an interest specific platform like. Use that to your advantage.

benefits of social media

Benefits of Social Media

So now that you know the types of social media platforms you can answer, “What social media should I use for my business.” But why should you use social media anyway? What kind of benefits can social media offer your business? There are many benefits of social media that can help you grow your business.

Reach and Build Your Audience

As discussed earlier, social media provides an opportunity to create a community around your brand. Billions of people use social media, millions are active every day. It is a great way to reach your target market and build your audience. Using both organic and paid advertisements and content marketing, you can reach these people and introduce them to your brand. Social media also creates an easy way for your customers to contact you. The more available you are to your customers, the more approachable and trustworthy your brand seems. The more contact you have with your customers, the more you learn about them as well. Finally, the more you know about them, the more effective your marketing campaigns can be. The communication benefits of social media cannot be overstated. 

Build Your Brand

One of the main benefits of social media is building your brand. Post content that reflects what you want your brand to be. Social media can help you shape your audiences’ perceptions right from when they are first introduced to it. You can also establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry. This will make you a business that can be trusted both for the information you share as well as the products you offer.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Social media is an easy way to drive traffic to your website. Include links to your website in your posts. Engaging content can entice your target customers to click the link and explore your website

Join for Free

Almost all social media platforms are free to join and post. While you can pay for ads, organic posting is free and can be just as effective if done correctly. 

social media for small business

Learn Something New

There are many benefits of social media that are not directly linked to trying to sell products as well. With so many social media users, you will find someone with something new and interesting to say. They might spark an idea that leads to a new product or marketing idea. They might spark a conversation that leads to a professional relationship. Or, they might just teach you something in general. Social media creates the opportunity to learn new things both within your industry and outside of it.

Pick Your Platforms

So now to answer, “What social media should I use?” Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all for every business. Choose the platform whose user-base matches your target market most closely. Use a combination of large platforms and small, specific platforms to reach as many people as possible. Soon enough you will create a successful social media marketing strategy and find yourself with an audience of people who love your brand.

FAQ:

  • What is social networking?
  • What are the types of social media platforms?
  • How do I engage in content marketing?
  • What are the benefits of social media marketing?
  • How do I build an audience online?

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