Are you confused and overwhelmed by social media? Face-what? Twit-who? You-how? In this post, I’m going to lay out a few of the best social media sites for small business owners, and why.
First off, when considering your online marketing strategy, your website MUST come first. Think of it as sort of a “base camp” that you will connect to/from any number of external points. Your website is property owned by you, whereas social media pages are the property of someone else. Look at social media sites as merely a vehicle to get your message out there and drive traffic back to what you have control over. Still, getting “social” is an important component of any marketing plan.
Did you know… there are more than 100 thriving social media sites online right now and more popping up every single day. It’s enough to make a person’s head spin!
Where do you start when deciding what sites to include in your marketing strategy?
Choosing the right social media site for your business depends first on these factors:
- Audience type and size in your area and niche. Are your ideal clients in this network? in your location? what are they using?
- Does the platform match your products or services. Visual products sells better in visual social platforms.
- Competitors. What are they doing? How are they performing?
- Influencers. Who are the influencers in my industry and your Community? What are they using?
- Rates? Can I start from free? How much do I need to invest to get my first X amount of followers?
- Terms and Conditions. Can I market my products in this platform?
In order to figure it out you should explore all the options, here are the main Social Network Platforms this 2017:
This is by far the most popular social media website, boasting more than 1.5 billion active monthly users. This platform is particularly great for small business that are looking to advertise products or events.
Yelp is the king of reviews. While it might not be structured like may other social networking sites, Yelp has more than 140 million active users. It is widely trusted and having positive reviews and ratings on the site might actually see you acquire lots of new business.
While it’s no Facebook, the fact that it is a Google product makes it quite attractive. Google has also put in more and more resources into the platform. Its SEO value makes it a must-use tool for any small business.
Looking to raise some extra funds for your startup? Well you need to try out AngleList, a social network that connects startups with investors.
Twitter’s value lies in its ability for your posts to go viral. You can use the platform to post your business updates, recent news and more. Hashtags play an important role in building your posts momentum so ensure you use relevant hashtags.
Consider this as your online resume. You can list your business history, core objectives and skill as well as a recommendations from customers. A sound LinkedIn profile might see you win incredible business offers.
This platform helps you to eliminate clutter, highlighting your products and services in a very visual way. While it works best with products, you can still use the website to show business accomplishments such as involvement in charity, travel, parties and so on. Use the platform as a push tool to other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is another interesting visual sharing platform. Pin clickable images that lead back to your website. With more than 100 million users, you don’t want to ignore its marketing power.
Though a bit confusing for first timers, Tumblr is a truly interesting tool that allows you to post videos, photos, chats, audio messages and quotes. You can also reblog your favorite posts.
Foursquare is a location “check-in” service that allows your customers to tell the world that they are in your place of business. They can as well share this info with their friends. Like Yelp, this is a must use platform for all small local businesses.
Besides being the second largest search engine, this site is also owned by Google and so when it comes to search engine optimization, their videos are more likely to appear on Google’s top search results. Use it also as a feedback platform.
Are you an accomplished businessman looking to connect with other industry experts, then you need Affluence. This is more of a private social network where industry experts connect, share information and engage in meaningful conversations.
This question and answer platform allows you to set yourself as an expert in your field. Offer consistent, credible answers and see traffic to your website increase.
Are you trying to extend your event marketing campaigns, network with industry professionals or launch new products? Well, you need Meetup. With millions of users, Meetup is a powerful local networking and organizing tool for small businesses.
This is an online community that’s specifically designed for entrepreneurs. It is the largest network of entrepreneurs and boasts over 25,000 vetted investors.
Biznik is a community of small businesses and entrepreneurs dedicated to helping each other succeed. It is one of the very few online communities that advocate for collaboration rather than competition.
This is network is dedicated to businesses that are looking to create contacts and share knowledge. It offers offline and online networking events as well as global networking groups. The platform has been around since 1998.
This site is solely dedicated to professional investor relations right from pitch all the way to exit. The platform provides the right infrastructure for identifying opportunities and managing the investment relationship.
Looking for a business partner? JASEzone is the right platform for you. This platform makes it easy to find both potential customers and business partners.
Like JASEzone, PartnerUp is an online networking community that allows small business owners and entrepreneurs to find the resources and expertise they need to grow their business. Use the platform to connect with potential advisers and partners.
This website focuses on helping businesses to make decisions as well as share expertise in functional areas of business.
This is a social news and entertainment platform where you can submit content such as text posts and direct link. The site users also to determine the best posts by voting submissions up or down. The best submissions appear on the main page.
Snapchat is an image processing application that has quickly grown in popularity. You can use this application to share promo codes, demo your products or even partner with influencers as a strategy to increasing your brand awareness.
Use this widely popular instant messaging client as a customer service tool. Use it to quickly pass on internal communication or create a group as a way to advertise your products or services.
This is a live video streaming app. Use it to advertise your products, announce new products or as a means to collect feedback from viewers. You can as well use it for tutorials.
BizSugar is niche resource as well as a social networking site for small business owners, entrepreneurs and managers. Use the platform to share blog posts, podcasts, videos and articles among other content. (In the interest of full disclosure, BizSugar is owned by Small Business Trends LLC.)
This is a social media bookmarking site that allows users to “like” websites and add them to their profile. This site could help you generate good traffic but you have to make sure you deliver great content that will earn you likes.
This is a social bookmarking web service for discovering, storing and sharing web bookmarks. It could prove to be a highly reliable site for tracking all mentions of you or your business in the press or even monitoring competitors.
This is a news aggregator with a curated front page that selects stories specifically for the Internet audience. Use it to get business news that directly impacts your business. Digg also supports sharing of content to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
This is an enhanced address book tool for networking and staying in contact. Use it to grow your business contacts.