October 02, 2012

Choosing the right social media platform

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Just about anyone who's been on the internet recently will tell you to take your business online to reach new users and to stay connected with existing users. More specifically, they'll tell you to be on Facebook and Twitter.

But why those two?

Facebook and Twitter have the general, broad appeal that it takes to reach a wide variety of users and increase your company's clout. However, only using those services may be limiting yourself to just a slice of the social media pie. That isn't to say that Facebook and Twitter aren't great platforms, but there are other more targeted platforms out there you can use. Why would you not want to be where your customer base is?

The first thing you must figure out is who your user base is.

LinkedIn




LinkedIn is the obvious one that can get overlooked. It certainly is more intimidating than Facebook and Twitter, but its active user base is incredibly concentrated around productivity seekers. And if that's your user base, then you have yourself a goldmine.

The one thing you have to take into consideration is that unlike Twitter and Facebook, promoting your product is a big faux pas. LinkedIn users aren't going to take that, so tread lightly. The best way to approach this conundrum is by reacting to discussions, whether it be discussions out of the site or within the site.

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Pinterest




Pinterest is an interesting beast unto its own. If you were unaware of what Pinterest is, it's a content sharing platform, wherein users can pin photos, videos, or other things onto pinboards. So that means it works incredibly well with multimedia content. And if that's your wheelhouse, then this is where you need to be.

Design and showing things off in pictures is what Pinterest is all about. So if you're in the field of fashion, architecture, crafts, or even real estate, you can make a case to use Pinterest for all its worth to reach your fans.

Like LinkedIn, the key is knowing whether your customer and user base lives there. That isn't to say that Facebook or Twitter aren't viable platforms -- however, casting a wide net is more likely to help than to hurt.

Instagram




Instagram is a simple photo-sharing service, but when used correctly, it's a great way to engage your fans. One of the best examples is National Geographic, who posts photos from its photographers of interesting things around the world. Now, you don't need to be as large as Nat Geo to your fans to enjoy your work. Try posting interesting pictures from your day, such as dogs (people love dogs!). Leveraging your presence on Facebook and Twitter to drive fans over to your feed is also a great idea.

These are just a few examples from our experiences, but the point is knowing where your customers are spending time online. That comes with a little bit of patience, testing, and a bit of luck.