The 7 Social Media Platforms Your Small Business Needs to Engage

One of the best reasons for you to use social networking is to quickly gain access to amazing  customers and connections that would take years to make face-to-face — especially for small businesses. But with social media at your disposal, if you do it right you’ll have connections to virtually millions of people around the world. Do it badly, and you can waste time and effort and be ignored.

thinkstockphotos-513594442If you want your business to be successful in the modern world, you need to have a social media presence — this is not an option. But just jumping into social media without a plan can be worse than having no presence at all. You first need to know where your social media efforts should be directed. Here are the top 7 social media platforms your small business needs to be active on.

1. LinkedIn is an “online résumé service” based on the concept of six degrees of separation, where each one of us is connected to another person by six people or fewer. It’s widely used by business professionals.

2. Facebook is a “community phone” with a real-time running ticker of your friends’ activities. Stay in touch one-on-one or with groups with direct message functions and chat capability. Business success on Facebook is linked to users “liking” content and interacting with a business’s page.

Profession Continually Changes3. Instagram is a photos-on-the-go mobile application owned by Facebook. Its popularity is due to ease of use and visual appeal. People and brands use Instagram to show and share their story visually—with photos and videos. Content shared to Facebook has the opportunity to quickly go viral.

4. Twitter is a breadcrumb trail where users follow bite-sized pieces of interesting information back to your Web site. It’s used for staying in touch with a large number of followers with short bursts of information in SMS format.

5. Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that helps users collect, categorize, organize, store, retrieve and share data―in picture form. With Pinterest, users are only two clicks away from your Web site.

Like share follow bubble with clip hanging on the line with blue background.6. YouTube, owned by Google, is the second-largest search engine on the planet. YouTube is a video-sharing site with the majority of programming uploaded by individuals, although the major networks and most businesses have a YouTube presence. User-generated video content includes movie clips, TV clips and music videos, as well as amateur content, such as video blogging, short original videos and educational videos. How-to videos are the most widely searched terms. Users can find videos on almost any keyword entered into the search bar.

7. Google+ is more than a social network due to the multipurpose functionality of Google. Google+ offers personal features similar to Facebook: Social networking with friends, the sharing of photos and videos. But Google+ offers some key features to businesses that Facebook does not: Hangouts, live streaming, one-touch recording and email integration. Businesses using Google+ get the increased benefit of search engine rankings.

If your business isn’t taking advantage of these valuable marketing channels, then it’s time to join in on the social media rush — and the profits!

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