Social Media

What five social media platforms should your small business be using?

Martin Kovacs /

Amid the proliferation of social media platforms, how do you know which ones your business should be using?

Maintaining a presence across multiple platforms is important, and increasing your business’s presence online will in turn create more opportunities for consumer discovery and interaction.

In a video published by Entrepreneur last month, Hard Money Bankers’ Jason Balin and Corner Unit Media’s Glenn Younes provide an overview of the five social media platforms that small businesses should be focusing on.

Facebook

At the top of the list is Facebook — described by Younes as “wildly powerful”. He observes there are 2 billion people on the platform so “if you’re not hitting people there, you’re not hitting them”.

“It’s the new White Pages, Yellow Pages, times 10,” he says.

Among Facebook’s applications, Younes says businesses should consider running targeted ads and lead-generation campaigns, saying Facebook is “the biggest dog in the building, the most targeted and easily the best bang for your buck”.

“What you can spend on an ad to target direct people on Facebook is a fraction of what it would cost in traditional TV, radio, magazine, newspapers — and it’s quantifiable,” he says.

Twitter

Younes says while Twitter has about 300 million users compared to Facebook’s 2 billion, it is still a very powerful news platform.

He stresses the importance of maintaining a presence on Twitter, which can be used to establish business credibility.

“If you have a business where you want to show that you are an expert and that you’re credible in the marketplace, you should be on Twitter,” he says.

Instagram

Younes emphasises the visual element of Instagram, saying it is suited for small businesses such as real estate agents, car dealerships and restaurants seeking “to draw eyeballs”.

He points to the importance of hashtags on the Facebook-owned platform “for tracking and for trending and for search engines”. Making use of hashtags means your content is populated in multiple places, rather than just the user’s feed, providing more opportunities for discovery.

“Put up beautiful pictures to draw people’s attention and then you draw them back to your business,” he says.

LinkedIn

Younes stresses the importance of LinkedIn for business-to-business use, and says in this arena, a quality over quantity approach works best.

While the temptation may be to develop as many connections as possible, more personal connections could provide greater value.

“For LinkedIn, where we’re seeing the most value is engaging with people and connecting with people that you really know or that have been recommended from somebody else that you really know — so your bucket is truly a really powerful inner circle,” he says.

Google+

While Google+ is no longer used as much as the other social media platforms for personal use, Balin believes “it’s really effective” for businesses.

He points to content being posted on Google+ going to other Google pages and showing up in Google’s search algorithm, increasing online visibility.

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Martin Kovacs

Martin Kovacs is a journalist with experience covering the IT, consumer electronics, retail, finance and energy sectors.

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