Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn – Which is Best for your business?

If you’re in business for yourself, then you’re likely painfully aware of the importance of social media in your marketing strategy.

  • “Your business needs a Twitter account!”
  • “Is your business on Facebook?”
  • “Connect with customers on LinkedIn!”

Makes you wanna reach for the earplugs sometimes, doesn’t it? If you’re like most small business owners, you eat, sleep, and breathe your company 24/7. Who has time to spend on social networks? To further complicate this issue, there are multiple social networks from which to choose today. The big guys that most business owners see as practical candidates include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Wondering which platform is the best for yourbusiness, here’s the short answer, it depends on your goals.

What are your online business goals?

Yes, it is important to have some type of presence on most of the more popular social networks. In my opinion you should have an account on every network. But, keeping an eye on the accounts and maintaining a unified online presence is a full-time job – and you still have a business to run. Instead, try picking one social network to serve as your main point of contact. Defining your goals is imperative to choosing the right one for your business. It helps to ask yourself a few key questions before you decide: 1. Do you want to get your business on a social network to attract new customers? 2. Are you looking for a way to increase the number of professional contacts for your business? 3. Do you want to build a relationship with your existing customers? 4. Do you want a way to announce breaking news and updates about your company and your industry? 5. Are you looking for a way to collaborate more easily with your staff and streamline other internal functions? Once you have the answer to these questions pinned down, you’ll begin to understand which social network will best serve your small business.

The advantages of Google+

Google+ was once looked at as the the black sheep of the social network scene, but lately it seems that Big G’s added an assortment of new features that are simply too good to keep ignoring. The in addition of G+  will be the mindboggling collaborative capability the platform will offer you and your team. According to Google, the tools are great to use, and “whether you’re across the street or across the world, you can hold face-to-face meetings, share updates with colleagues and friends and work on a presentation together in real-time.” Google+ prides itself as a private sharing for the users of your organization through a function called Restricted Posts. You can furthermore conduct unlimited hangouts and video gatherings that are fully integrated with Yahoo and google Calendar, Gmail, and Google Docs. Not to mention, there are promises of more great benefits to come.

Facebook for Business

Facebook, of course, is the most popular of the social media platforms. If your goal is to build a long-term relationships with your clients and customers, convert 1 time buyers into loyal repeat buyers, and reach new customers, Facebook is where you should invest your time. Facebook has more than 900 million people that are active on their website – Facebook users like & comment 3.2 billion times every single day. A strong presence on Facebook will ensure that your business will get a piece of that action. How exactly? When your business has become part of the Facebook network, you’re getting 1 of the strongest types of advertising, viral “word-of-mouth”.

You can create unique ads (similar to Google Adwords) or post offers that fans can claim to engage fans to participate on your page. Facebook tries to help your business create exposure by making friends eligible to view other fans’ interaction on your page. The cool thing about Facebook is that the recent IPO has caused Zuckerberg and Co. to ramp up the tools, advertising options, and customer service offered to business advertisers. This gives the advertiser the sweet end of that deal, and you can expect more goodies to come in the next couple of months.

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Twitter is a microblogging platform. By its very design, it’s meant to be a tool for breaking news. Look to Twitter as your platform of choice if you run the kind of company that works off of its reputation, its “coolness,” or its ability to break news in real-time. If any of these characteristics describe your business, you should jump on the T-train pronto. When you join Twitter, begin by searching for and following people in your niche. Don’t forget to promote your presence on Twitter offline as well. Keep your profile active by snapping some behind-the-scenes shots of developing projects, news, and events and share them with your followers. Remember, when people follow your company, they want the inside scoop on your business – and you should think of every follower as a potential customer just waiting for you to sell them on your wares. Twitter is also a spectacular way to coax honest feedback from your followers in real-time. All the biggest brands have turned to the platform to get the opinions of their customers, and many are reporting great results from doing the legwork to gauge the pulse of their client base. Ask questions about your existing and upcoming products and services, and be sure to reply to all of your followers’ questions and concerns in a timely manner. Twitter is also a great way to advertise time-sensitive specials and deals for your customers.

Should You Get LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a professional social network designed to help you develop key partnerships with other businesses in your niche. It may sound counterintuitive, but forming alliances with your competition is actually vital for getting ahead. The more connections you make in your industry, the higher the potential to grow and expand your business. For example, imagine you have a crackerjack idea for a partnership with a competing company. All you need to do is perform a “People Search” to quickly hunt down the right point of contact for the company you wish to proposition. You can contact the person right within the platform and take things from there. If you are seeking a professional network that can grow your biz through alliances and professional partnerships, LinkedIn is the platform for you.

Measuring Success

Once you have selected your social network or networks of choice, dedicate time to developing relationships with people on the platform you’ve chosen. Tend to your account daily & be relentlessly responsive to your customers. If your social media presence begins to become a monster of a task that you can no longer handle, it’s probably time to hire help. If you’re seeing significant ROI for the time you put into your social media account, consider hiring an agency, like PRM Ad Group Inc. to handle things. The money you spend on an agency stands to pay dividends for your company’s bottom line.

Interested in hearing more about how PRM Ad Group Inc. can help you with your Social Media Exposure?

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