When choosing a suitable social media site for your business it is important that it is in fitting with the type of attention that you are hoping to attract to the site. As is the case with any product, service or promotional campaign it needs to be positioned in the right place, at the right time and to the right people in order for it to be a success.
To demonstrate this point further let us look at the example of the potential advertising campaigns of a business. The business in question will need to analyse what are the most effective ways of reaching their target audiences for their products and services. Depending on the type of business, the type of product or service being offered, the demographics of the target audience and the impression the business wants to make they will opt for different advertising tools. This can range from television ads, newspaper ads, billboards, sales promotions and the many options available online. It makes no sense for a business to advertise in a local newspaper if their target audience are mainly reached online and so on.
The same principle applies to social media sites. Some social media sites are more suited to particular types of businesses than others. A business will hold a clear advantage in the market if it is present on the correct social media sites, this being the same social media sites as their target audiences.
Facebook offers an excellent opportunity for businesses to avail of Business to Consumer (B2C) opportunities. The main audience that businesses target on Facebook are consumers or individuals who use the site. Facebook is an excellent means of developing awareness of a brand or product. Facebook also offers consumers the chance to interact with a brand or company by having the opportunity to post queries or observations about a brand or product online and have the unique experience of having their query answered directly by the company.
Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is a professional network and involves Business to Business (B2B) interaction. LinkedIn consists of purely professionals, therefore it is the perfect method to generate product, service or brand awareness among other businesses. LinkedIn offers the opportunity to create groups and this is an excellent way of involving customers and to advertise to people that you feel will benefit from your product or service.
Twitter can be used by businesses along with Facebook or LinkedIn or as a sole means of social media representation. Twitter allows business to keep consumers or other businesses up-to-date through short posts. A company’s presence on Twitter can be hugely beneficial if it is monitored correctly and updated regularity. It allows regular posts to be made and encourages interaction and feedback from customers. On the one hand, the very public domain of Twitter may not be advisable for businesses that do not respond well to negative posts. On the other hand, it is a priceless opportunity for businesses to respond successfully to negative posts and display their customer service skills.
As a general guideline of what social media sites to choose for different types of businesses the following examples will hopefully help to shed some light on the choice.
|TYPE OF BUSINESS||RECOMMENDED SOCIAL MEDIA SITE|
Small businesses… selling local produce, food, drink, services and so on
|Facebook / Twitter|
|Professional services companies
Web site designers… selling specialised highly skilled products to other businesses
|LinkedIn / Twitter|
|Businesses looking to promote their goods and create a buzz online while increasing their customer levels||Facebook / Twitter|
|Businesses looking to network, create contact lists, find suppliers and buyers|
Hopefully the above tips will help you to determine which social media sites are best suited to your business and help to successfully establish your business online.