With hundreds of  social media outlets, it can sometimes be hard to figure out which platform is best suited for your business. People are tempted to dabble into all of them in order to reach the maxium potential for their business. However, some platforms are not necessarily suitable for your brand or reputation and could actually turn off your audience and negatively impact your brand. To become a successful social media marketer, you must know which platform is the best vehicle for your message.

When choosing a platform, you must ask yourself three questions;

WHY?
Why are you launching a social media campaign and what are your goals and objectives?

WHO?
Who is the target demographic?

HOW?
 How will the success of the campaign be measured?

SkillPath Seminars breaks social media into three main categories: Networking, Promoting & Sharing.

 


Networking Platforms

Choosing the right social media platform for your business

Networking Platforms are designed to help build stronger relationships with your customers. It is also a way to link up with other people in your industry and share useful ideas.

The strength of networking platforms lies in your interconnectivity which helps you build up the web of contacts that eventually serve as your customers, prospects and promoters.

Facebook– Facebook is the most used social networking service today. Users create a profile and interact with other networks or friends and can join common interest groups.

Twitter– Is a social sounding board and microblogging service where users post ‘Tweets’ or messages to their followers. Tweets are only limited to 140 characters. Since their are millions of conversations each day on Twitter, it is extremely easy to jump from topic to topic.

Linkedin– Linkedin is more for business professionals where colleagues can make business connections with their peers. One of Linkedin’s most distinctive feature is Connections. Connections maps members to each other via their common contacts/ It is strictly for business and there are groups for almost any profession.


Promotional Platforms

Choosing the right social media platform for your business

YouTube– YouTube is the most popular mainstream video sharing service. People upload and share all types of videos. These include, commercials, music videos, how-to videos, movie clips, home movies and more.

Vine– Vine is one of the newest social media platforms. When Vine first came onto the scene it was originally an app used to share photo slideshows with your friends. It quickly turned from photos to videos as users began uploading 6 second funny video clips.

Promotional Platforms are used exactly as the name describes, for promotions or awareness. These can be seen as an extension of your e-mail marketing. Promotional platforms can be used to create stunning videos about your product or business.

The multimedia aspect allows for a great range of creativity and helps raise brand awareness through visuals. Video is said to be the next big advertising agent, so it is a good idea to become familiar with platforms such as YouTube and Vine.


Sharing Platforms

Choosing the right social media platform for your business Sharing platforms are the most user-friendly and interactive type of platform.  These sites provide a place for sharing and learning with your networks as you discuss  your interests and opinions.

Some examples of a sharing platform are blogging and review based sites such as Blogger and Yelp. The tools that are included in this group allows you to tag helpful articles, recommend content to other users and add a great amount keyword-rich content that will help establish and stronger online presence and a higher search engine ranking.

Blogger: Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. Blogs are a great way to increase visitors to your website by SEO. The more content that you have on your blog, the better your chances are on having your site on the main page of search engine websites such as Google.

Yelp: Yelp publishes crowd-sourced reviews about local businesses. Users can share their reviews about a certain business with other users.


Choosing the right social media platform for your business

Social Media platforms serve as the newsstands, video monitors and the storefronts of your brand. Choosing the right platform is not hard as long you have a clear strategy and objectives of what you are trying to achieve through that platform.

There are other social media outlets other than Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Linkedin. Below is a list of some additional platforms to consider for your marketing efforts:

StumbleUpon– a Discovery engine that finds the best of the Web, recommended by each unqie user. It allows users to discover popular web content that are suitable to their tastes and interests.

MySpace– MySpace without a doubt began the Social Media movement. MySpace has turned into a place where people can talk about pop culture and music.

Technorati– This is the leading blog search engine and directory. It collects and distributes  online conversations. By indexing 100 million blogs, Technorati is a comprehensive source for what is being said and by whom.

Scribd– Upload your speeches, e-books or PowerPoint presentations to this site for others to read. This allows the possibly of getting your content seen by thousands of readers.

Flickr– This is a photo sharing site which can be used to organize and edit photos.

REFERENCE

The Social Media Marketing Conference. SkillPath Seminars, Mission, KS.

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