Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, social media is vital to success in the competitive business market. However, navigating the ins and outs of social media can be stressful, especially if you are trying to maintain different accounts at the same time. There are a variety of social media platforms available, so it’s important you know the function of each platform, and which ones are best for delivering your online marketing campaigns. 

Blogging – Blogging allows for easy posting of relevant content on your website, and gives your visitors an opportunity to comment and share ideas. It is best to integrate a blog into your own site, but there are also many websites like WordPress and Wix which offer free hosting. Blogging can increase search engine optimization (SEO) and boost your online traffic, as long as you consistently post fresh and relevant posts. Microblogs, such as Twitter, allow users to send out real-time updates to their followers. For example, Twitter allows business owners to tweet about current events at their company and is a great tool for engaging directly with individual customers. 

Social Networking – Social network sites are great resources for connecting with your customers and sharing content like photos, advertisements, and videos. Sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Google+ are an indispensable part of any business’ marketing campaign, and are an easy way to reach a target audience. These sites are interest-based and allow your business to informally communicate with followers. Social networking sites like these also help your business’s organic SEO efforts, as social media links direct to your site. If you use these sites, you will find fantastic opportunities to reach a global audience, source feedback, and test ideas. 

Professional Networking – You can increase your credibility by creating a professional profile on a networking site like LinkedIn or Xing. These sites allow individuals and businesses to share their credentials, network with professionals, and answer questions in forums related to their industry. Through professional networking sites, users can recommend and introduce you to new clients or customers. Unlike social networking sites, professional networking is used primarily to gain new business connections. Not only does your profile serve as an extension of your resume, but there is always a chance you and your potential boss have a shared connection. 

Social Curation Sites – Social curating is a way for people to organize, store, manage, and search for online resources. Tagging information enables users to organize their posts in a flexible way and share them with friends. Websites like Digg and Reddit focus news-related items or current events in categories such as politics and technology. Sites like Pinterest are dedicated to quality images, design trends, and do-it-yourself (DIY) inspiration. Posting images relevant to your brand on image-based platforms can inspire your customers and also allow you to drive traffic to your website with backlinking, increasing your SEO rankings. By utilizing these sites, you can curate content, staying current with relevant information. Also, if you contribute an engaging post to these sites, it has the potential to gain momentum (i.e. go viral), in turn boosting your site rankings and increasing post visibility.

Social media is an integral part of any business’s marketing campaign. Finding the most effective social media platform for your business is essential, and can be determined by narrowing down your business’s target audience. Getting involved in impactful, emerging social media platforms can drive your business’s success and increase your loyal customer following. Which platforms work best for your business?