It seems to be that a success of a modern business lies in the ability to manipulate and utilise social media. However, when confronted with the numerous and varying types of social networking sites out there, it can be hard to decipher which network is best suited to your business.
Different social media can reach out to different target markets. As a business, knowing how to best reach your clientele could be pivotal to your marketing success.
When it comes to choosing where to focus your efforts, in terms of Social Media Marketing (SMM), it is crucial to be aware of the main users of each particular network and also the mode of advertising that can be achieved through the use of each media.
What different types of social media networks are out there?
News based networks
If customer service is an important aspect of your business, be it retail or hospitality, you’re business could benefit from news based networks such as Twitter. These networks spread news far and wide at the push of a button, conveying messages to millions of users.
Image based networks
Instagram and Pinterest are centred around “re-posting” and “re-blogging” images. In this way, images can reach groups of people with similar interests or from a similar demographic. These networks are very effective in promoting a visually appealing product or brand and allow marketing to defy communication and language barriers.
If your business aims to reach a wide variety of people, then networks such as Google+ and Facebook are ideal. They are widely used by the general population and provide a media through which businesses can voice important and up to date messages.
Business to business
If your business relies upon forming associations in a professional manner then Business to Business (B2B) networks, such as LinkedIn, could be an appropriate media.
Which social media best suits your business’ product or service message?
Depending on the product or service a business provides, the marketing strategies can be quite different.
Service based businesses
Twitter and Facebook are used by astronomical numbers of people. They allow direct communication between businesses and customers through posts or via “hashtagging”, which links directly to the business’ page. News can spread like wild-fire, be it positive or negative. Businesses which focus on providing a service can promote and update their posts at the touch of a button and respond to customer feedback with ease.
Brands and products
Capturing your business’ message in an image is an effective way to establish your product or brand. Instagram and Pinterest are the perfect media to use when promoting your product visually. Twitter is also a means of first establishing your brand on the market and increasing product awareness.
LinkedIn provides opportunities to connect with similar businesses, suppliers and brand developers in order to solidify your credibility and business relationships.
Trends and fashions
Pinterest and Instagram are centred around “following” particular bloggers. As a result of one person “re-blogging” your image, their followers will gain access to the image too, which is effective in establishing trends. Pinterest can also provide backlinks to the business’ website, where the consumer can then click on a link to your website from viewing the image.
Facebook enables friends and groups to communicate. This means that if your Facebook page or advert is “liked” by an individual or group, their friends will in turn gain access to your post. If your business is focussed on spreading a message far and wide and reaching a diverse range of people then Facebook could be the ideal media to focus on.
So, when it comes to determining which social media is best used to convey your business’ message the answer may not be straight forward. In some cases the utilisation of several networks may play to your advantage.
It is however important to remember that social media require time and perseverance. Constant updating, posting and promoting is necessary in order to establish your business and really convey the desired message to the specific target audience.
Social Media Marketing is a dynamic and effective way of promoting your business and if successfully achieved can promote positive brand identity and build lasting engagement with your target market.