There are so many social media tools out there for businesses and consumers that many just don’t even know where to start, especially from a business standpoint. So if you’re just starting a business, how do you know what social media sites will be best for you and your customers?
I have a list here of a few sites that are tailored to either businesses and consumers or just business. I will then list features or benefits to businesses.
- Facebook: Most people know about Facebook and what you can all use it for. So this social networking site can be used for both business and consumers. A business can create a page that includes photos, videos, updates, etc about products or services offered to consumers. It’s a fairly easy and quick way to communicate with customers about any problems or questions they may have. It’s also a good avenue to promote products or special events to consumers.
- Twitter: Twitter is a social networking and microblogging tool. This site again is extremely popular and can be used for both consumers and businesses. The “tweets” are very short, only 140 characters so you have to be creative in the way you want messages brought out to consumers. But this is again a great way to promote and update consumers about products and services.
- WordPress: Well it’s a blogging site, obviously, what we are all using now. This again is business and consumer related. For businesses they can blog about current events, specials, promotions, their company and what they offer to consumers. It’s another great avenue for consumers to give feedback and make comments.
- LinkedIn: This is a professional social networking site used by consumers and businesses, but because of the type of networking, I’m classifying this as business related. To me, I consider this site to be a “professional Facebook”. In that you can build profiles about yourself and include a picture, but then your information includes past jobs, experience, your resume, and whatever else you need to include for future employers to learn about you. Businesses can post job openings and search for potential employers through this site.
- YouTube: Most of you, again, know about YouTube, but it is a video sharing site used by businesses and consumers. For a business, they can use it to post videos displaying ads, virtual tours, and other promotions. I find that
- Ning: This site is a custom social networking site used by businesses. Here businesses can create their own social networks instead of using one such as Twitter or Facebook. It’s a better way for them to customize the site to what their business offers and brings to consumers.
- Mynewsdesk: Mynewsdesk is a news exchange site used by business professionals. News releases and public relation materials are available on this site for businesses, journalists, or bloggers. This site provides quick and easy access to relevant press releases and news related to a business or company.
- Sitetrail: This site offers website analyses for businesses. This shows specific news related to a company’s website and tracks any websites, where companies can view related analytics. They can also view the analytics of competitors’ websites.
- SimplyMeasured: This is a business platform used for social media analysis. So instead of tracking the analytics of a company’s website, this site tracks the social media sites being used by the company.
When I worked for a university’s marketing department, we used Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Because our audience was college students, we knew that these sites are what college students are using today. That’s another important feature of picking a social media site. Find out what sites your audience is on and target them through those sites.
With the hundreds of social media sites available, starting somewhere is all you need to do to get the word out about your business and products. Although these are just a few social media tools, hopefully this provides a little more detail on what certain social media sites can do for businesses! What sites are you using and why do you find them beneficial to your company? Please share any experiences you have with choosing a social media site for you business. Online tools are meant for feedback and any business out there will appreciate feedback that will help them be successful as well.