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Choosing a Social Media Platform For Your Business

There are countless social media websites aimed at reaching a wide variety of customers. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. can all be useful in a social media strategy aimed at engagement. But with so many options, which ones will be most effective for your organization? Here is a quick guide to the pros and cons of a few of the major social sites and how they can work for you.

Facebook: Facebook is the largest social media site on the internet and it continues to grow. With new features such as edgerank the news feed is becoming more specialized and thus, more relevant. Facebook allows users to interact with your content whether they like, comment or post, this will pop up in the news feed, increasing visibility and allowing others to discover your organization too.

Pros

  • volume of users and posts

  • people check Facebook a lot, it is the most well known social platform

  • PPC ads available

Cons

  • time commitment

  • consistent posting is necessary

  • slower growth generally

Twitter: This fairly new social platform is transforming how businesses and users interact with one another. With only 140 characters, a tweet must get to the gist of it and fly. Twitter’s concise content may be easier to digest for users and therefore easier to interact with as well.

Pros

  • short and sweet

  • sent directly to followers

  • huge population that continues to grow

Cons

  • tweets can get lost in the feed

  • not great for posting photos (only links out to where the image is online)

  • 140 characters is confining

G+: Google’s attempt at social media created a site with a wide range of usability. From Hangouts to posted content to circles, G+ allows users to interact on a more personal level with their audience and creating lasting impressions.

Pros

  • Hangouts allow face to face interactions, building relationships and trust

  • circles segment your audience for better content management and targeting

  • a great place to connect with early adopters and the tech savvy

  • makes your business more searchable online

Cons

  • only one admin per page, created from a Google account

  • still functions on the fringe of social media

  • mobile functionality is not great

Pinterest: Photos and videos are fast becoming the key to engagement on social media which is why Pinterest is seeing so much success. Simple images linked out to more content allows users to browse without much thought until a photo catches their eye. By “pinning” a photo they can then save the link and find the information, recipe or design the next time they need it.

Pros

  • women love Pinterest, so it is a great place to reach them (between 85-97% of users are women)

  • visual appeal can have huge pull

  • very easy to create an attractive product or service pin to gain visibility

Cons

  • not the place to reach men

  • no way to control who sees your pin, only when a pin goes viral does it show up on a larger number of subject boards

  • some products are not visually appealing, this would make pinning less effective

Reddit: This new social platform hosts user generated content under hundreds of sub-reddit categories. The simple interface means greater usability and less clutter to sift through when searching for content.

Pros

  • categorization allows posts to be more targeted

  • ease of use

  • larger focus on fringe news and products as opposed to more mainstream

Cons

  • if a post is not voted up enough is it quickly buried

  • little monitoring, lots of spam-y/irrelevant content on various sub-reddits

  • almost to simple, boring to look at

YouTube: Facebook may have over 1 billion users total but YouTube boasts 1 billion individual users each month and these users are watching 6 billion hours of video on the site. Those numbers alone should tell you the opportunities in social video sharing. Like Pinterest, YouTube provides the visual aids to enhance any users experience and allows users to share this with their favorite social platform too.

Pros

  • visual is engaging

  • customizeable business channels and pages for content aggregation

  • ad opportunities and promoted videos

Cons

  • quality variance in videos (professional to camera phone)

  • suggested videos may not be applicable, easy to get lost

  • advertosing overlap is a possibilty ( competitors ads will show up with your content or as a suggestion on the right side bar)

Now that you have a little bit of information about each of these paltforms it is time to investigate and decide what combination will be best for your organization. Social media has the potential to grow your business exponentially. By entering the game on the right platforms with a strategy, you are one step closer to maximizing its potential. Just make sure that you are strategic in how you select and post content. Read more about this in our blog post Social Media is Like a Loaded Gun.

Already using social media sites? What made you choose the platforms you are on now? Do you use a site we did not list above? Why? As always, leave your comments below, we want to hear from you!