One of the best things about social media marketing is that you can run effective campaigns by using your time and creativity, instead of cold hard cash. While Google AdWords and other Internet advertising systems require you to spend money on clicks, social sites can bring you customers if you’re just willing to spend a bit of your schedule.
Of course, business owners and executives will all recognize that time is a finite resource, just as money is, and that managing effective social media campaigns can quickly eat up lots of it. That leaves them wondering: if we can’t do everything we would like to, where should we focus our efforts? Which social media sites are actually worth the time we put into them?
Today, we are going to give you a few quick guidelines you can use to find the social media platforms that are right for your business, audience, and marketing goals…
Facebook is a Good “Catch All” Social Media Site for First-Timers – most people have already used Facebook, and understand the basics of posting, shares, and likes. Plus, Facebook has the advantage of offering low-cost advertising that lets you target specific types of individuals if you decide you’d like to spend some of your budget to speed up results.
LinkedIn is Great for Reaching Executives and Big Companies – not only is LinkedIn devoted to business exclusively, but it’s the only social platform regularly used by C-level executives at bigger corporations. So, if you’re trying to land a huge account, it could be your best bet.
Twitter is Ideal for Rapid-Fire Messaging – you’d be surprised at what you can accomplish with 140 characters or less. To really make Twitter work, however, you need to develop an audience and compose tweets your followers will spread on your behalf.
Instagram is Fun, but Requires High-Quality Images – Instagram can be great for showing off product photos, silly random thoughts, and behind-the-scenes images of your team. Unless you have great visuals to work with, though, it’s unlikely anyone will take notice.
Pinterest is a Wonderful Avenue for Reaching Women – it’s no secret Pinterest is dominated by women, millions of whom love pinning and sharing image collections. As with Instagram, though, success here means having good creative content and a compelling message.
Google + is Perfect for Events and SEO – because Google + lets you host online hangouts and events, it can be the perfect vehicle for bringing followers together. Plus, a strong G+ profile can help you with search engine optimization, particularly if you’re trying to find local customers.
Looking down this list, it’s clear that each social media site has its own strengths and uses. So, if you don’t have time for them all (and who does?), focus your attention on the ones that best resonate with your marketing style and audience. You can always decide to reach out on other social channels later, but why not begin with the ones that are most likely to give you a positive return right away?