Subscribe to Making Money Magazine

UK Startup Business - Focus On Business Opportunites

Experts in helping new & seasoned entrepreneurs start new businesses since 1997

Start a Business

Which platform is best for your business?

Paul Rigby examines a range of popular services to help you decide Which platform is best for your business?

If you are running a business, the thought of tackling social media as a platform, as an entity to publicise and market your company, is bad enough (you’ve got enough on your plate already, I’m sure) but then having to tippy toe around each and every social media platform to see which might be best for your business will surely have you throwing up your arms in frustration. Well, I’m here to help on that score. It’s actually worth taking a moment to think about that. It can save you time and wasted resources in the long run. Using your time to do some basic research is actually a worthy investment.

When it comes to choosing which social media platforms is best for you, select those that offer the best potential for reaching your ideal audience and broadcast the type of media you’ve decided is best suited for your company. Most people and companies have trouble maximising their resources and efforts on every single platform. Doing so will take a huge amount of bandwidth and resources. Instead of spreading yourself thinly over a range of social media platforms, try to filter and target those that suit you best and do well on your selected choices.

How do you decide which platforms are best for your needs?

Here’s a brief overview of the most significant platforms.

Pinterest

Let’s start with a social media platform that is often ignored or is less often in the headlines. Pinterest is billed as a content-sharing service that allows members to pin or post photos, videos and other images to their so-called pinboards.

The site, which has a predominantly female audience, is ideal for businesses for which visual imagery is a main feature or selling point. If you focus on wedding planning, travel destinations, interior decorating, fashion or foods, you can say a great deal about your products and services through your stunning photos or videos.

And they do need to be noticeable and eye-catching, large and high resolution. Posting images spanning the height and width of a postage stamp, grainy and uninteresting in terms of image content is not what you want to post on Pinterest. In essence, Pinterest has a niche market and, as such, the platform serves it very well. You can comment on people’s boards, share imagery and click onto the webpages from which the images came. You can also like what you see or ‘pin it’. Each board is linked to the pinner’s profile page so people can see the person, business or brand behind the photos or videos.

LinkedIn

This site has always been known as the ‘business’ social media platform. LinkedIn is the consummate networking site. Even before the term social media became fashionable, we had social networking and that clearly defines LinkedIn. It’s a way of growing connections in the business world and utilising them as necessary.

It’s great for reaching out to people and getting into their Contacts list, so that when they need your services, there you are. It also includes groups and discussions where you can politely discuss your interests, show that you’re transparent, solicit advice, ask questions and answer questions, letting your expertise impress others. Service providers are more prevalent than manufacturers or retailers, because it’s easier to talk about what you do or what your business does and it’s not a very visual medium. Like many others, I post links to my articles or blogs so people can read more about who I am and what I do.

YouTube

YouTube is a very powerful tool which is mostly visual in its interaction. It has become synonymous with homemade or company-made videos. It’s watched worldwide and people post videos with hopes of going viral (i.e. catching hold of the zeitgeist and spreading the same video around the platform like digital wild fire).

The key to using YouTube effectively is to feature your product or service in an unforgettable way. With millions of people now using YouTube, the bar is set very high. No one will watch a boring video.

Like Pinterest, you can use YouTube to capitalise on our innate love of visuals. It’s a good idea to watch a number of YouTube videos and see which generate hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of hits. Videos that show people how to do something, demonstrate your product or service or introduce a new or unusual (visual) product can help you benefit from YouTube.

Twitter

Twitter is an ongoing conversation that, like text messaging, has become widely popular. Unlike Facebook and other social media platforms, where people can choose what to look at on your site or respond later, Twitter is more ‘in the moment’.

It’s a marvellous tool for businesses that want to reach out to people now and expect and are ready for people to reply. If you have breaking news, updates, questions for your followers or if you want opinions now or even need to announce a recall, Twitter is the way to reach out to people. It’s for the business that has things to say frequently and prefers to reach people directly.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most powerful social platforms in the world. It’s size alone is a positive for any business, because you can assume most people are on it.

Unlike Twitter, you can choose what to look at and what to share. This gives businesses more opportunities to represent themselves in various ways. Facebook is about a long-term commitment and building relationships, although there’s some immediacy as you can reply directly to people’s comments or questions.

Almost any business can benefit from having a Facebook page. But Facebook isn’t about selling. Your goal in using Facebook for business is to let customers get to know the people behind the logo. You’ll want to portray your business in a friendly, sociable manner, as a place where customers are treated well and ‘everybody knows your name’.

How you do this is up to you. For example, some individuals enjoy posting photos that illustrate not just the boss at their desk but their dog at a company event or the staff all teaming up to work at a local charity. If done correctly, your fans become loyal followers and Facebook can be a very significant lead generator.

You can go too far with Facebook and get caught up in the moment by posting what you’re having for dinner, your holiday snaps and maybe even your political and religious opinions.

I tend not to work like that. I go the other route and keep it professional. You will never see my own personal information of Facebook because I like to keep the image professional. Friendly, yes but I also want to project myself as someone who is not too distracted from the job in hand. Before you post, look around at other company’s pages and find the right balance for you.

Overmatter

It’s hard to be on all platforms so choose those that best meet your needs and monitor or hire someone to monitor them closely. Social media only works if you stay involved.

About the author

Paul Rigby is a journalist in the fields of music and hi-fi. He runs his own blog at http://www.theaudiophileman.com and Facebook Group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/theaudiophileman/ Read more like this

< Back