When there seems to be an infinite amount of social media sites on the internet, how do you choose the best ones to use for your business? Do you join and make an account on every social media site that you know? Or do you just listen to the hype and only consider those that are popular? Either way, you have to take a look at the benefits a social media site can offer for your online marketing and business goals as well as their drawbacks.
To help you with your decision, here’s a summary of the pros and cons of five of the most popular social media sites online – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+.
Facebook is the most widely used social media tool on the web, making it the undisputed kings of social networking sites. It is mostly used for conversations or two-way communications, mostly on a personal level.
- It has over 1.11 billion users of all ages worldwide as of May 2, 2013, so it has a very broad audience reach.
- It offers Facebook advertising. You can target potential clients with this platform. As an administrator, you can specify the specific age bracket, sex, location, and interests that you can target making your paid ad more efficient.
- It supports multiple kinds of contents, including events.
- It makes it easier to promote posts with the like, comment, and share features.
- It has an abundance of free and paid applications that can help boost your reach.
- You can schedule your posts.
- It takes time and resources to gain followers and to maintain the page.
- There needs to be a reasonable advertising budget for the page and campaign to be successful.
- You will need a dedicated member of the organization or staff who can monitor your page’s statistics and respond to posts on a regular basis.
Twitter is primarily used for one-way communication by delivering short and real time information online. Twitter is the favorite of #mediaEntities considering the speed a single tweet can spread and be considered trending.
- You can choose to auto-follow people interested in your niche.
- Twitter statistical data shows you what is happening as it’s happening.
- Offers location-based search which you can use to build your network locally or in a specific region.
- You can automate your tweets.
- Posts can be very limited, with just 140 characters to use.
- It can be hard to track conversations.
- Your tweets can get buried in your follower’s feed, especially the feeds of those who follow over a hundred people.
LinkedIn is primarily used for creating connections for professional networking and it is widely used for business-to-business interactions.
- Offers extremely rich content, from company details to individual backgrounds.
- You can research company information without spending anything.
- Provides access to company contacts.
- Sales people of offshore countries are flooding accounts with “connect” requests.
- Connections are required for you to be able to communicate with people who are not in your network.
- Paid subscription is expensive.
YouTube relies heavily on videos for outbound communication, which makes it a very effective way of sending a message.
- Largest viewership of any video site.
- YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine next to Google.
- It is owned by Google, so all of its contents are indexed into Google’s search engine.
- YouTube makes it easier to share content both on other major social sites and for embedding into blogs.
- Video thumbnail option is limited to 3 auto generated thumbnails.
- You have to rely on a programming language to be able to customize your player embeds.
- You cannot use your own ad network.
- Each video is limited to less than 15 minutes of content (without undergoing their verification process)
Google+ is a lot like Facebook in that it supports a wide range of content and offers the same level of interactivity for users.
- You can get an SEO boost since Google+ is owned by Google.
- You can host a hangout with your clients or with your team.
- You can select content to share to specific audiences.
- Administration is difficult since the page needs to be created from an individual’s Google account, and you cannot offer admin privileges to any other users.
- There’s not much Google+ integration in many social dashboards, so you have to update your page directly from your Google+ account.
- Growth is small compared to Facebook and Twitter.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding this information or our services. We would like to hear from you and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your business specific needs. Please visit our website at iGenMedia.com or call our offices at 630 930 0900