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Which Social Media Platform is Right for Marketing Your Business?

Which Social Media Platform is Right for Marketing Your Business?

Getting Started

Social media can do a lot to improve your sales, raise awareness, build community, and establish credibility, but it can also be overwhelming to learn on your own.  If you’ve been avoiding social media for your business, you’re missing out on a lot of potential. In this article, we’re going to summarize some pros and cons of the top social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn) so you can get a sense of where they fit and which one(s) might be best for your business.

Facebook

With over a billion active users, Facebook is the most common choice of social media for businesses as well as individuals.  Here’s what you need to know about Facebook:

Pros:

  • Excellent for user engagement, sharing posts, and quickly spreading news about your business.
  • Great platform for B2C (Business to Consumer) businesses such as retail.
  • Engage in conversations directly with your fans.
  • Testimonials can be included on your page.
  • View analytics of how well your page and posts are doing.
  • Track contests or campaigns with hashtags.
  • Research customer psychographics & keep tabs on things like customer birthdays, etc.
  • Promote events and advertise it by targeting a specific group of people or a specific location.
  • Facebook has the most users, meaning a bigger audience.

Cons:

  • Can be time consuming to create and schedule regular posts.
  • Posts lose their value with time, so you have to post regularly to maintain engagement.
  • Requires commitment to maintain and respond to comments and to update.
  • Appears “free“, but requires investment – primarily in your time or your staff’s time.
  • Requires additional ad-spend (paid to Facebook) for additional, targeted reach.
  • Not as powerful for reaching a B2B (Business to Business) audience
  • Can be confusing as there are many options to leverage such as: Profiles, Pages, Events, Groups.

Follow nine10 on Facebook and check out what we’re doing

Twitter

Twitter is great for conversations in real-time, especially if you’re holding a big event. It might sound similar to Facebook, but it’s good to have both. Here’s what you need to know about Twitter:

Pros:

  • Short and sweet. The 140 character limit forces everyone to get to the point.
  • Great for engagement and you can see what people are saying about your business.
  • Start conversations directly with your followers. You can resolve unhappy customers or clients directly and everyone can see how well you handled the situation, or you can thank the ones that give positive feedback.
  • Track contests or campaigns with hashtags.
  • Excellent platform for quick viral spread of content.
  • Make new contacts and connections that might be hard to reach otherwise.

Cons:

  • It can sometimes be tricky to fit everything you want to say in 140 characters.
  • Not ideal for tweeting photos or anything visually driven.
  • Requires more posting / tweeting / re-tweeting to gain mind-share.
  • The symbols used can be confusing at first (eg: “DM“, “#” or “@”)
[social_list twitter_url=”https://www.twitter.com/nine10inc”]

Follow nine10 on Twitter and check out what we’re doing

Pinterest

Pinterest is great for saving ideas and things you like for later. It’s kind of like saving bookmarks in your internet browser, but with images. Here’s what you need to know about Pinterest:

Pros:

  • Most Pinterest users are women.
  • Pins don’t lose their value with time like Facebook does. It’s okay to share pins that were pinned months or years ago (warning: you’ll creep people out if you do this on Facebook).
  • Track contests or campaigns with hashtags.
  • Strong for visual industries such as retail, fashion, food.
  • You don’t have to pin as regularly on Pinterest as you do Facebook or Twitter, and your reach can still expand.

Cons:

  • Pinterest may not be a good strategy for male-targeted businesses.
  • Not great for user engagement/conversations.
  • Less prominent than Facebook, but growing.
  • Requires dedicated resources and initiatives to drive traffic to your Pinterest Boards.

Interested in learning more about whether your brand should be on Pinterest? Check this out.

Follow nine10 on Pinterest and check out what we’re doing

Instagram

Instagram is a lot of photo and video fun and a chance for you to show it, not say it. If you’re a Realtor interested in using Instagram, check this out. Here’s what you need to know about Instagram:

Pros:

  • If you have a lot to communicate visually for your business, Instagram is perfect.
  • Track contests or campaigns with hashtags.
  • See what people are saying about your business with locations.
  • Super easy to use, and provides filters to make your photos even nicer.
  • Instagram was created for mobile, so you or your customers can capture images on-the-spot and share instantly.

Cons:

  • If your type of business doesn’t have interesting things to show visually, this might not be a good strategy.
  • Mostly popular with younger audiences and may not be an ideal fit if your target audience is older, less tech savvy.
  • Can be confusing on how to cross-post Instagram photos to your Facebook page or website.  Don’t worry, we can help!

Linkedin

Linkedin is a professional social site that allows users to network within in their specific industries. In a lot of ways, it’s like Facebook for professionals. Here’s what you need to know about Linkedin:

Pros:

  • Best platform for B2B (Business to Business) marketing.
  • Excellent platform for cold-mailing / direct sales.
  • Great platform to start blogging or promoting your existing content.
  • Great for meeting other like-minded people in your industry.
  • Great platform to do highly targeted market research (B2B).
  • Great for targeted Pay-Per-Click advertising to businesses.
  • Great for recruiting employees. Post job listings and view applicant’s experience on their profile.
  • Read posts and participate in discussions about industry-related topics.
  • Stay in touch with current and past co-workers, employees, and employers.

Cons:

  • Can become overwhelming and time consuming when paired with a strong Facebook strategy.
  • Not the ideal platform for B2C (Business to Consumer) focused businesses such as retail.
  • Ad campaigns limited to large regions (e.g. Grande Prairie not available in list of regions at time of writing—filters up to Edmonton for the network.)
  • Not great for contests, keeping followers up-to-date, or interacting with customers/clients.

Follow nine10 on LinkedIn and check out what we’re doing

We’re Here for Support!

Starting out with Facebook is a great idea, and as your business evolves, you may begin to have a need for some of the value that the other social media platforms have to offer. Plus, if you’re building a website, you should strongly consider integrating social media into your new website. If you finding some challenges, or are just interested in learning more, just ask us! We’ll give you the knowledge and tools you need to get your business started on the social media strategy that makes the most sense for you.