Global domination? Maybe after tea…
Social media has taken over the world better than Pinky and the Brain ever could, but with it becoming such a pivotal part of modern life, it can be very important for the prosperity of your business for you to grasp which sites and apps are more useful than others. It is important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of every social media service and know how to use them correctly in order for you to get the most out of everyday applications. Some sites are generally used more recreationally (e.g. Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc.), with the services having a more casual, niche and less business-oriented feel to them, tending to be more about discussing celebrity drama or watching the kinds of clips that belong on You’ve Been Framed. However, some of the biggest social media brands online can be beneficial to drumming up business and become useful when looking for growth.

A portfolio in the making!
The first of the social media giants: Instagram. This site can enable you to show off images of your business easily and demonstrate to potential clients what your industry is about visually. Instagram also shares the hashtag feature with other large social media names such as Facebook, Twitter and pretty much every other site under the sun nowadays, meaning that it can be easier for people to find your business and give you what is essentially free advertising. However, if budget isn’t an issue, you can pay to have your post sponsored and to appear on user’s feeds to make sure that you get the exposure online.

Did anyone hear a bird?
Nope, it was just the next social media site on this list, Twitter. Having a Twitter account can massively boost your interactivity with customers, being easily accessible and allowing for conversational exchanges to take place when someone may need advice or guidance on a topic. Twitter also allows for you to upload videos and photographs similarly to Instagram. Despite this, the application isn’t only restricted to visual media, as you can post short 140 character-long messages that can function as updates or informational snippets to clients or individuals just looking to discover more about what it is you do. If people find these tweets useful or they just like them, they can “retweet” them and the tweet will show up on their account, as well as in the feed of anyone who is following them, which can lead to a butterfly effect of people being exposed to your business. As with a lot of the heavyweights of social media, Twitter also allows for you to “promote” your tweets as advertisements for a price so that they will appear on user’s feeds, as part of relevant search results and on user profiles.

The site, the app, the legend
Possibly the most well-known and even considered by some to be the first huge social media site, the infamous Facebook is often utilised by businesses to reach the vast variety and number of people that use the site every day, with Facebook themselves claiming that they have two billion users every month. This can obviously create a substantial incentive to use the social media site as an advertising service to harness for your business, as you can easily choose what demographic of users you would like your adverts to appear for, increasing the likelihood that potential clients will be shown your business. Even without using adverts, Facebook’s large-scale sense of community as well as the “share” feature can allow word of mouth (or in this instance, word of text) to be sufficient to advertise your company and what you’re all about, be it a restaurant or a pencil manufacturer.

Like peas in a pod
If you’re going for a more professional and corporate feel, a social media site that is designed specifically for businesses is LinkedIn, which can allow you to look for potential employees or set up communication networks within your business to share information and plans easily and privately, amongst other things. However, it isn’t the ideal service when looking for a social media site that can double as a digital billboard for your business. You’re probably better off sticking to the “big three” above.

Not all sunshine and rainbows…
Despite all of these outlets being available and providing many benefits, it’s necessary to take into account the risks of creating a social media for your business, namely complaints. If people end up unsatisfied by your company’s service and you have an account on any of the social media above, then people can comment on your posts, tweet in a thread or leave bad reviews on Facebook. People can also privately contact you to send you messages, which could just be to ask questions, but could also be to complain or rant to you. Because of this, you need to weight up risk vs reward and whether it is actually worth investing in a social media account.

Making sure that your business has the stability required to grow can be done by correctly using social media to your advantage, but choosing the right service isn’t always as clear as it may seem. If you want to find out more about the optimal social media sites to use for your business, contact us at [email protected] for more information.

Blog written by Ethan Thomason.

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