It is overwhelming to a small business owner to choose what social medial channel(s) they should use to share content, create a following and effectively market their business. They ask should I use Twitter, create a Facebook Page, set up a business profile on LinkedIn, write a blog? Should I use them all? Are there some that are more effective for one kind of business than for others.
Kevin Jorgensen, in his blog post “Choose The Best Social Media Marketing Channel for Your Small Business“ suggests if you are new to marketing on social networks you should initially focus on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.
In addition to providing the link to the blog post by Mr. Jorgensen, I am also summarizing his thoughts on why he suggests these four to start with, and how you can best use them for your business, no matter what product or service you are offering. I have also added my experience using the ones Jorgensen suggests.
(1) Facebook – It’s the sheer number of visitors on Facebook that make it a dream for promoting your business. According to Jorgensen’s blog post, a company can reach over 900 million users, each who spend an average of 24 minutes a day on the network. And the thing about Facebook that makes it so beneficial, is the friends and connections of friends and connections. If you’ve ever been involved in any kind of multi-level marketing program, you understand the exponential growth and Facebook allows for this in massive numbers. I just created my Facebook business page, and through friends of friends, I am starting to get views from folks I don’t know. Once you have 30 likes on your page, Facebook provides you with analytics that give you information such as weekly reach, people talking about your page, etc.
(2) Twitter – Twitter also has lots of users; about 6 hundred million who spend an average of 7 minutes a day on the site. Jorgensen advises you to use Tweets to “create and share small, concise, yet engaging pieces of content – including links to your website and blog content – that are information rich and socially relevant”. According to Jorgensen, you can use Twitter to develop relationships with your followers and increase your reach on Twitter. I just started actively using Twitter about a month ago. I started out with less than 10 followers, and I have increased that significantly in the past month. I follow those who have similar interests and/or businesses. It takes effort, but I try to thank any new followers, and also to name different followers in the Follow Friday mentions. I also Retweet anything I feel my followers might find interesting or useful. And I have directed some new followers to my business blog through my Twitter activity.
(3) LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 160 million users who spend an average of 7 minutes a day on the network. Even though I tend to think of LinkedIn as more a site to use when looking for a career, Jorgensen suggests using it to direct your connections to your business website content and other related information. He also says to make use of the Slideshare application to showcase content. I do have a very strong LinkedIn profile, and have been using it an lot more to share articles and ideas related to Social Media Marketing. I also updated my profile to emphasize the skills others would look for when searching me out as a possible business partner. And I have my LinkedIn Profile address on my Facebook page.
(4) Google+ - This is the one I’m least familiar with, but since Jorgensen states it’s the “most highly trafficked website in the world, attracting over a billion users each month”, I intend to put it on my priority list to learn and add to my social media marketing channels soon. I’ll share how that works once I have some experience with it. According to Jorgensen, it’s important to share useful, informative content with keywords and links, but since Google+ is very image-centric, it’s also important to share plenty of engaging photos that spotlight your business.
It is overwhelming to try to do all of these at once, especially if you are new to social media. I suggest you start with one and master it, then move on to another channel. Some social media consultants suggest starting with Twitter, but you can start with whichever you think is best for your business. Experiment, but remember what Jorgensen says. “Effective social network marketing is informative, entertaining, engaging and responsive. Sharing interesting, information-rich content is essential.”