January 5, 2017
Facebook is hugely popular around the world, with 1.79 billion active users. This means a huge chance of connecting with both existing and prospective customers alike, as well as enhancing your brand presence online!
Facebook’s features such as media sharing, direct messaging and the ability to market with paid ads mean you can really push your services to the public, and liaise with them easily.
Facebook is very much a B2C arena, so whilst B2B does have its place here, it’s unlikely to be a huge traffic and prospect driver in the same way it may be to a B2C company.
Also, with the sheer amount of businesses in both arenas competing for space on Facebook, the paid Ads feature is more expensive than perhaps the ROI is worth. In addition, a lot of complaints are made on this platform because users know it is an open forum for others to see, and they are more likely to get a response quicker here than by email or telephone. Keep someone monitoring your page, especially at busy times!
LinkedIn is primarily a B2B network and used by many to make business connections around the world. This is great for individuals who wish to connect with others in similar sectors and is a good platform for recruitment, head hunting and networking.
You’re unlikely to get a lot of social interaction on LinkedIn, as this isn’t the purpose of the network, so you’re better off marketing on a platform like Facebook if it’s your customers you want to interact with. Whilst you can grow your sales leads and connections with LinkedIn, this is primarily a business tool for business individuals.
Twitter is great for short, snappy messages (Tweets) that can combine plain text with media and hashtags to capitalise on current trends and keep your business relevant – for example, #christmas2016 is a current hashtag you could use should you be promoting your line of gifts for the holiday season. With over 974 million Twitter accounts out there (not all are active, however), you’re in with a good shot of some promotion should you choose this platform to market your business on.
Twitter currently limits the number of characters you can have in any one Tweet, so anything past this limit will be sent as 2 separate Tweets. This can look a bit disjointed.
Also, as a business, if you want to direct message a user, they have to be a Follower of yours first. So if they’ve contacted you and you want to message them, you’ll need to ask them publicly to Follow you first, which can be a big frustrating, especially if it’s a complaint you’re trying to deal with quickly and efficiently.
Pinterest is the virtual pinboard of the online world and allows users a space to create their own boards around different themes. As a business, this is a great network to use if you are in the creative sector and/or have some quirky topics to pin about, as Pinterest users can “repin” your posts to their own boards.
This is primarily a good tool for B2C companies because they can showcase their product range and group it into different boards accordingly, with each pin then linking back to their website.
B2B companies will struggle more to use Pinterest as there is less to “pin”, especially as it’s important to pin images other people will want to search for and “re-pin”. If you find you’re not getting a lot of interaction or struggling to keep the account relevant to your business, then Pinterest probably isn’t the network for you!
There are also some copyright issues that have been flagged in the past surrounding the publication of others work without credit – so be sure you want your imagery to be used before uploading it!
This is Google’s own social media network so from a “keeping Google happy” perspective, having a presence on this platform is definitely a good idea! You can create an account for free for your business and optimise it to include your URL, logo, contact details etc.
The features on Google+ work to set it apart from the others, such as Hangouts, Google My Business, Collections and Circles to segment your Connections.
It hasn’t been overly successful here in the UK and you won’t find a lot of opportunities to network here. There are some, but depending on your available time, Google+ may be one best left for another time!