Facebook: 1 billion users | Twitter: 500 million users | Google+: 400 million users
LinkedIn: 175 million users | Pinterest: 25 million users

Clearly, we live in a world of social media. What may not be as evident is how the various platforms are distinct, and how you can use each differently to your business’ advantage.

Facebook for Businesses

Sorry folks, but simply having a Facebook page isn’t enough. Conversely, overusing your Facebook page isn’t ideal either. Businesses must find a delicate balance between being noticeable and being obnoxious. Try to post between once and four times a week, and post things that are engaging, interesting and entertaining. Contrary to instincts, you should avoid too much business-related content. Facebook is intended to be informal and personal, so don’t be afraid to show your brand’s great personality.

Whatever you say or do, make sure you are consistent with your overall brand image. This is crucial for companies using Facebook or any social platform. You have a unique opportunity to promote, bring awareness to, and position your brand in a highly personal way. Make sure you do it the right way.

Twitter for Businesses

Twitter and Facebook are both used to distribute content, engage an audience and strengthen brands. However, there are differences that significantly influence the way they can and should be used. Twitter can function as an important medium for customer service and public relations. It provides great opportunities not only to receive customer feedback but to address any issues and possibly mend a damaged relationship. To make this process successful, businesses must constantly monitor their feed so they don’t miss an opportunity to interact with customers. Ideally, businesses should send out tweets at least once a day. These can be original messages or retweets, but fresh content is essential for success.

Another key distinction about Twitter is the hash tag. Don’t underestimate its popularity and power. Not only can it make your business relatable, it has great campaign potential to bring even more positive attention to your brand #weloveit.

Google+ for Businesses

The popularity of Google+ cannot be denied, but many businesses misunderstand its role in the social media mix. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Google+ has a “circles” feature that allows users to segment their audiences. This allows users to share specific information with a specific group of people, making it easier to establish and maintain positive relationships with various target audiences. Just be careful not to veer from your brand image.

Another unique feature of Google+ platform is the +1. The +1 functions as a social stamp of approval. The more +1’s that your company gets, the better you look and the more your search engine optimization efforts can benefit. This makes Google+ an effective platform for establishing brand credibility while lending itself to referral marketing.

LinkedIn for Businesses

Maintaining a LinkedIn profile is important for every company. Like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, it can be used for content distribution. It also can play an important role in sales and recruiting. For business development, LinkedIn allows your company to build an active referral network and keep your brand visible. However, don’t spam your connections with sales information or over-promote your business. LinkedIn is also a terrific recruiting tool, allowing you to describe your company’s products and services in detail, announce job openings (LinkedIn Premium) and expand your recruiting network.

Pinterest for Businesses

Pinterest is a relatively new social media platform, and being visual in nature, you might wonder how you can use it to benefit your business. With Pinterest, you engage with others by sharing images that can link to your website, making Pinterest a powerful source of traffic referrals. It’s important to pin original images, but don’t forget this is social media. Re-pinning, commenting on and liking others’ pinned images are all essential to engagement and bringing awareness to your brand. When doing this, be cognizant that what you pin to your company’s board is a reflection of your brand personality. Displaying your brand personality visually helps humanize your brand, but make sure you are being consistent with the brand image you want to portray. A final word to the wise regarding Pinterest: Don’t use fuzzy, low-quality images. They will reflect poorly on your brand.

What does this mean for your business?

Each social media platform offers something different to your business. It is important to recognize and consider these differences when developing a social media strategy and deciding which platforms are best for your company. For help developing an effective social media strategy on any of these platforms, contact ZAG Interactive.