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Picking a Social Media Winner

As a business, which social media horse do you bet on when it comes to marketing your company? That is a tough question. While some people might simply say, “All of them,” for smaller businesses that isn’t exactly the most practical idea. Proper use and integration of social media takes time and shouldn’t be done half-assed.

So what is the best option for you?

The Social Media Players

Social media does have a role in the success of your business whether it is online or brick and mortar. Let’s review the social media options and then try and pick a winner.

Facebook – It’s almost a no-brainer right? For the most part everyone uses Facebook. Sure they have a somewhat questionable privacy policy and weird ideas about updates, but the big selling point is over 1 billion users. Plus they keep looking at new ways to work advertising programs.

Twitter – Hashtag heaven for some people and a waste of time for others. Where does Twitter fit in? #Doesanyoneknow? It is a great way to send out messages and ensures that you stick to the essentials, because with 140 characters you aren’t sending out a book. It is also a great way to interact easily with customers; however that can also backfire if you do it inappropriately.

Google+ – Ahh the new kid on the block with the richest dad on the planet. While it doesn’t have the same options like Facebook or Twitter yet, or anywhere near the reach of Facebook, how can you not be intrigued by anything name Google? Seriously, they seem unstoppable (mainly due to integration of all the stuff of theirs we do love like maps, email, calendar, and docs). It seems pretty obvious that if you want people to find your business than having something set up on the world’s most popular search engine is a good idea.

Pinterest – Oh look, a picture. Do you sense the disdain? Some merchants love this site and it is understandable; the ability to share pictures of merchandise is cool. Pictures are the newest craze and getting a few good re-pins can really boost traffic. But, you can’t buy products off Pinterest. There are a few steps to follow a link so for now it is more like window shopping.

Other Options – Yelp, Foursquare, YouTube, etc… These all are options, but more specialized ones. Obviously if you don’t make vides then you won’t use YouTube. If you aren’t a retail business then Yelp might not serve much of a purpose.

The Bottom Line

So how should you focus your attention? The smartest strategy should be to utilize two social media options at a minimum with a third player getting whatever time you have left.

Facebook is a must for your business. With over 1 billion people you simply cannot miss out on that opportunity. Making a business page is not hard and it offers a great place to post sales, deals, share articles and blogs, and so much more.

By the same token Google+ is now a must. As people keep getting more mobile with tablets and smart phones, searching for businesses and services will become more of a localized affair. That means you NEED Google to know about your business and where it is so you need to have your business profile complete and accurate. Why would you not want to show up on the world’s most popular search engine?

Then there is your “plus one”. Pick a third service based on what you do and need. If you are a cute little consignment store then obviously Pinterest is your go-to option to share charming new items as you get them. However if your business is customer service based then Twitter might be the way to go for questions and answers in a simple manner. But, if you are a restaurant then Yelp should be there for you as a way to interact with potential customers and deal with complaints.

It isn’t feasible for smaller businesses to do everything; so don’t. Focus your attention on getting the two basics up and running then add a third option as time dictates. Provide quality to your chosen social media sites and it will pay much higher dividends than sporadic usage of everything. Remember, the idea behind social media is to connect with people which means being active.

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