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Choosing the Perfect Social Network for Your Company

02.25.2013
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Analysts and experts encourage businesses to join the bandwagon of social media for enhancing their marketing options. While this might sound like solid advice, carrying it out is not always easy. This is because there are different types of social networks to work with, but it is important to note that they don’t offer the same benefits. Some of these social networks include Google +, Facebook and Twitter among others. Social media integration is not an easy task to undertake and regardless of this fact, you can make things a lot easier by knowing what to look for in a social media network and what you intend to achieve in the long term. Consequently, there are a couple of things you need to bear in mind.

Establish your Resources

For any social network marketing campaign to pick off the ground, it requires resources. For this reason, you should ask yourself a couple of questions. For starters, consider whether you have a team that is dedicated towards carrying out your marketing campaign. Secondly, if you have a marketing team, make sure they have the resources needed in order to carry out an effective marketing campaign. Lastly, consider whether you are going to carry the campaign out on your own or hire someone to take care of the details on your behalf.

Consider following your Audience

There is no doubt that a large number of your audience uses social media regularly. You need to find out the networks they prefer. In case you are not aware, carry out thorough research and find out. This should not be easy to determine since all you have to do is visit the different social networks until you identify one that is used by your target market. When carrying out your search, make sure you identify who your audience is. They could be members of a specific gender, special labor or industry. Social networks differ in many aspects and as such, you should identify where your clients fit in perfectly. For instance, men tend to use Google + more while women prefer Pinterest. There are others who prefer Facebook while for others LinkedIn is better. By analyzing all the networks, you know the most preferred sites.

Establish your Objectives

Different businesses choose to invest in social networks for various reasons. In order to ensure you have your priorities right, it is essential to come up with your own list of objectives and can include any or all of the following:

  • Are you interested in increasing your SEO rankings?
  • Are you interested in increasing the rate of traffic that flows through your site?
  • Will the social network you choose give you the chance to enjoy the best interaction with your audience?

Each of the social networks mentioned earlier plays an important role in helping you achieve the above mentioned things. For instance, Google + is ideal for increasing your search engine ranking and it also helps with social referencing. The contacts you will have on this social network will play an important role in determining your search results in accordance to what is liked and what is not liked. Twitter on the other hand can give your business a face or brand recognition.

Choose Wisely

With the high number of social network sites to choose from, you have to make a well informed decision. There are a couple of things you need to consider when choosing a network such as its popularity and size. Furthermore, the following are some of the common social networks as well as the features they have to offer:

   Twitter

Twitter is a networking tool that gives you the chance to enjoy the benefits of social media at a quicker pace. It gives you the chance to convey short marketing messages. If you manage to create impactful tweets, your message is passed across quickly and this increases the returns enjoyed by your business. In addition, it also gives you the chance to deliver quality customer service, eavesdrop on what your competition is doing, and monitor the kind of influence you have in the market.

   Facebook

This is one of the most recognizable social network sites and it is the perfect place for anyone interested in laying their foundation. If you want to engage your customers, this is an ideal choice for the simple reason it gives you features that make it possible to achieve this end. With Facebook, you can share simple updates, photos and videos. Since it ranks at the very top of the social mountain, it is the perfect tool for lead generation.

   Google +

Google + is the only platform that comes close to the benefits offered by Facebook. This is especially true in terms of functionality and presentation. While this is the case, there are certain attributes that make Google + stand out and they are not found on Facebook. These include Circles, a social friendship system that makes it easy to target specific groups through communication, Hangouts and a chat tool that is group based. With Google + you can bring together groups that share the same interests for discussion and proper interaction that in turn boosts the performance of your business.

   Pinterest

This is a social network site that often deals with fashion and it targets the female audience. In addition, it often deals with aspects such as cooking, fashion and decorating. It is more of a visual network and it allows you to create images and store them for use on other networks at a later date. 

   LinkedIn

For majority of business, this is often the first choice. It is best suited for digital professionals and is one of the most powerful tools for generation of leads, communicating with clients, and establishing new partnerships. It is also perfect for recruitment of new candidates who match up to the standards of your business.

Play with your goals

All the social network sites work differently for various businesses and it is advisable to sample them out first before establishing which one match your business needs. Whether you want to generate new leads or sales, it is essential to settle with a network that meets your goals. Look at how the networks accommodate different goals. For instance, Facebook might be perfect for building brand awareness, Twitter for managing reputation, Pinterest and LinkedIn for driving and securing leads. By figuring out what you need first, you stand a better chance of picking the right social network for your business.

This article was written by the Imaginovation team.  They are a Raleigh web design and software development company who uses .NET, PHP, HTML5, JavaScript, and jQuery technologies.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Michael Georgiou.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)