Getting started in social media doesn’t have to be scary or bring back memories of what MySpace used to be. These days, social media is a fantastic way to create a dialogue and connect with people all over the world. Specifically, it’s a great way to connect with your target audience. With all of the different social media platforms, though, just where do you start?
Well, let’s start our explanation with donuts. I mean, couldn’t you use a snack, too?
Every social media platform has a specific purpose: no one platform is all-encompassing, so it’s important to target your efforts in the right places for your business. So now, let’s talk about the most commonly frequented social media sites.
Twitter (and text messaging) has forever changed the way in which people type. Limited to 140 characters, it’s a real-time platform that uses hashtags (also known as number signs, sharps, or the symbol for “pounds”) to tag and target specific phrases, slogans, or campaigns.
What’s great about hashtags is that they’re easy to follow. Let’s say you’re wanting to follow a trend on camping – you’d search for #camping, #camp, or #outdoors. Twitter will even suggest common hashtags once you start typing it in for the search, which is great because there are so many different tags.
Is Twitter for you? Most Twitter users are younger, but it’s a great place to get instantaneous feedback.
Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms for a couple of reasons. First, it’s easy to use. Second, it’s been around for years and has been evolving the entire time. With so many users worldwide, most companies see the wisdom in at least having a presence on Facebook.
There is one disadvantage of Facebook, though. Their algorithm changes almost as frequently as does Google’s! As such, it can be hard to keep up with making sure that your content gets the shared, liked, and commented on. Their most recent change made it more necessary to pay them to boost your posts in order to get a good amount of quality exposure.
Is Facebook for you? Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s at least worth it to set up a page so people know your company exists!
Google+ is what happened when Google decided to make its own version of Facebook. You add friends, colleagues, associates, and whoever else into various circles (you get to organize them however you want, which is nice). Then, you can target your content towards specific circles, everyone, or the public.
Is Google+ for you? Guess what: Google owns Google+. As such, Google values the posts and content you share on its social media network. In other words, if you want to be found on a Google search (and you do!), you’ll want to be on Google+.
Is Google+ for you? Yes. Now go make a page. Plus, it integrates with Google Hangouts and YouTube, which is nice.
With Pinterest, you’re going to be using high-quality photos, linked up with content, and “pinning” it to your boards. Thankfully, you get to organize the boards. Other people can then “pin” your posts to their own boards, making it easier for even more people to find your content.
Is Pinterest for you? YES. Pinterest isn’t just for housewives, people. Pinterest has an amazingly diverse demographic of loyal users. It’s a great way to get visual exposure and marketing for your company. Pretty much, if you have a service or product that you can take a photo of, you’re going to want to be on Pinterest.
Pinterest users are fanatically loyal: they pin things all over the place, so it’s a great way to create a viral marketing campaign through word of mouth, well, through typing and pinning, at least.
Other Social Media Platforms
Well, we’ll go over those next time. I’m sure you’re chomping at the bit to go make a new social media account! Stay tuned – and let us know which social media platforms you’re on by commenting below.