The Grand National is one of the most famous horse races in the world.
Since 1839 horses have raced the 7,242 metre course at Aintree, near Liverpool, UK.
Many factors will decide the winner including weight, speed, ground and endurance.
Very few horses are capable of the gruelling challenge proving there are “horses for courses”.
As with “horses for courses” there are many different social media networks.
Each with different user groups, features, benefits and potential results.
It’s important not to get overwhelmed by using too many social networks, you’ll sacrifice core business activities.
Not every social network will be suited to growing your small business and building customer relationships.
Which is best for you?
Facebook is the largest social network with 845 Million monthly active users at the end of December 2011.
People use Facebook in “me” time to keep in contact with their friends and family. Not as a place to buy products and services.
You can choose a unique link for your Facebook small business page. Please connect with me using mine: http://www.facebook.com/fresheyesconsultancy
Businesses that will do well on Facebook offer consumers an experience that they want to share with their friends. Examples include:
- hotels and venues
- beauty salons
Video is great for building trust.
Viewers see what you look like and how you sound.
In a crowded niche, YouTube can help you stand out and offers an alternative to those who prefer watching to reading.
Viewers can view and subscribe to your channel. Please connect with me at mine: http://www.youtube.com/fresheyestv
Small businesses that share knowledge or can demonstrate a product are perfect for YouTube. Examples include:
- marketing consultants
- software developers
A fast moving social network where updates are shared in a maximum of 140 characters.
Twitter is good for building contacts, engaging with users, sharing links to your content and demonstrating knowledge.
You get a Twitter ID in the format @fresheyesconsul but the link to your profile would look like this: https://twitter.com/FreshEyesConsul (note there is no @ symbol in the link).
Twitter suits most types of small businesses due to it’s variety of users but be selective – if you’re a takeaway restaurant in London you won’t grow your small business by following people from Boston.
LinkedIn is the “professional network”.
You connect with business associates, suppliers, ex-colleagues, and customers.
Joining groups and getting involved in discussions is an excellent way to show your knowledge and build authority in your subject area.
You can choose a custom link to your LinkedIn profile. Please connect with me using mine: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/robertcpeters
LinkedIn is used for recruitment and unlike Facebook is very much a network for people interested in doing business, there is little social element, which is why it suits small businesses such as:
- coaches and consultants
A new social network in 2011 with a growing usergroup.
Although still growing, definitely not one to ignore as it is an integral part of Google search.
The features of Google+ suit any small business but beware that you might not find many target customers using it at present, especially if your business is based on a small geographic location.
Google+ plan to launch a custom link function in the future. Please connect with me on Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/109159464954029722848/
Pinterest is fairly new as a popular social network although it’s been around since March 2010.
Using online pin boards you “pin” images and web pages with links to the original content.
Pinterest users can choose and change the custom link to their boards like mine: https://pinterest.com/fresheyes/
It’s highly visual nature makes it perfect for florists, artists, photographers, web designers and food producers.
Which Social Network Will Work For You?
You need to choose carefully, but you do need to choose.
Social media can increase your exposure, traffic to your website and help build your small business email marketing list.
But, spending too much time on the wrong social network will leave you frustrated at the lack of results.
Are you already using social media to grow your small business, are you struggling to choose which is best for you?
Please let me know in the comments, we can discuss and I’ll help you choose.