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These days, social media is an integral part of many businesses marketing mix. Not only can it be used to reach existing and potential customers, it's also an essential part of building credibility and establishing communication with your audience. Choosing the right combination of platforms can be challenging, but if you focus on your business purpose and look for ways to further that purpose through social media, it can be a highly cost-effective marketing tool.
What type of social media is right for me?
When it comes to social media platforms, businesses are really spoiled for choice. Of course, there are the household names like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube, but on top of that there are many useful tools available depending what type of business you run, including Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Flickr and Reddit. It's also likely that there are niche social media sites available which are specifically designed for businesses like yours!
When choosing your social media platforms and how to use them, it's important to look at what your business offers. If your business is highly visual and can easily offer appealing images then platforms like Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest are a fantastic way to garner attention. Whether you are making delicious food, taking beautiful photos, or creating artwork, these websites offer an opportunity to display images to a huge audience and build a following.
Alternatively, if your business services a niche community, like a specialised field or a particular hobby, websites like Reddit, Google+ and Tumblr can offer an opportunity to connect with your audience and be part of their conversation. By sharing worthwhile content on these websites, rather than just bombarding them with ads, you can become a valuable part of their community and through that you are likely to gain customers and clients.
If you just want to reach the widest audience possible, you can't go past Twitter and Facebook. Combined these websites have over 2 billion monthly active users. These sites have tools available for businesses that help you grow your presence and target the audience you want most, and if you combine them with interesting content you are sure to make a splash.
Finally, the work-focused platforms LinkedIn and this website, SavvySME, are a fantastic networking tools for any business – especially if you work in the B2B space. LinkedIn focuses on connecting professionals based on their mutual contacts and their skill-sets, whereas SavvySME focuses on educating business owners and connecting them with valuable partners and service providers. As a business owner, both can be incredibly versatile and useful tools in running and growing your business.
Things to keep in mind when using social media: