After a quick search on Google, you’ll find that the highest ranking social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the newest contender, Pinterest.
So how do you use these to promote your blog or your business?
The general benefit of social media is that it allows you to market your business and remain mobile. Meaning that you can be away from your desk or office and through your phone or laptop can quickly send out blast messages to the masses with an update of your company or product. Not only that, but your audience begins to expand through “word of Tweet” and soon your business or blog will see a surge of new traffic. One of the greatest benefits about social media is that it allows your blog or business to gain a global audience.
Here’s a breakdown as to Who (you should follow), Why (you should use it), the Pros & Cons (of the service) of the highest ranked social mediums.
Facebook is a social network that allows you to connect with friends worldwide through the exchange and sharing of public and private messages, images, and videos with friends or people within your network.
Why: You should use Facebook because it is the widest spread media to date. Here’s an example: You want to promote your business or blog. You go to your cousin “Tony’s” page and post on his wall a picture/video/message of your business. You privately ask your cousin to please “pass it along” to his friends and soon not only the visitors who come to his page will see it, but also anywhere that picture/video/message is posted. You should also consider opening an account exclusively for your blog or business so people who “like” it can remain updated with your content.
Pros: Facebook is very easy to use and fast to share with friends and family who want to support your business. When successful, it has the potential to expand fast but, most importantly, free!
Cons: Facebook requires constant monitoring and management. You have to log in almost daily to retain the attention of your audience or it will become pointless to have an account. It is also very difficult to make a direct track of the success of your business based on Facebook fans. Thousands of people may “like” your page, but if they are not purchasing the product or visiting your blog, it will fall short of its purpose.
Twitter is an online social network that is pretty much like texting. You are allowed the notorious “140 characters” to attract attention, say what’s on your mind and provide links.
Why: You should use Twitter because unlike Facebook, you can follow whomever you have in mind and message or “tweet” whomever you please. You like Maddona? Follow her. You want to sell her your latest gadget? Send her a tweet! Most likely she won’t respond, but her audience may click on the link you sent her and follow back to your store or blog!
Pros: My personal favorite is that it simply allows you to conduct business LIVE. It is highly addicting to be on Twitter following celebrities and watching them post images directly from their phone. It is equally addicting to add more and more followers.
Cons: The hardest thing about using Twitter as a social platform, is that people need to be told to follow you. In other words, you may have a Twitter account and be online all day posting about how great your blog or product is, but if you have no followers, who will read your message? If you gain an audience and it manages to grow, Twitter can be one of the most satisfying networks available.
YouTube is a video-sharing website that allows you to post your videos and share them worldwide.
Why: You should use YouTube if your product or blog requires you to showcase an item that otherwise falls flat. For example: Let’s say you sell non-stick pans. How do you demonstrate that they are non-stick if not through a LIVE presentation? YouTube. Let’s say you are a blogger and you like to show hair styling or make-up tricks. You could do it with photos, but why not with video?
Pros: YouTube videos, much like the content on Facebook, spreads worldwide faster than many other social media. It only takes a few minutes before successful videos do several laps around the world.
Cons: Creating a video takes a bit more skill than a photo or a blog post. It requires some editing and formatting … but guess what? There are videos on YouTube that teach you!
Pinterest is a pinboard-style website that allows you to create “pin-boards” with your ideas and pretty much anything visually-driven. You are able to share your boards with others as well as surf the website to see what others are pinning. If you like someone’s board, you are welcome to follow them or add their pins to your boards.
Why: Pinterest is the latest social media craze. Perhaps it wasn’t planned out to become a social network, but it has grown enormously and very rapidly. You should use Pinterest for a very basic reason: it is VISUAL. Pinterest has captivated millions of users because of the way you can visually surf the site by just scrolling around. This means that people will spend hours surfing Pinterest because it doesn’t require any reading or require much action on the part of the user.
Pros: The best thing about Pinterest is that just as Twitter, it becomes addicting. If you make a small banner promoting your blog or your website, or even your business, the chances it will receive click is highly possible because of the amount of time people spend on this site.
Cons: Because of the fast growing pace of Pinterest, it is currently going through growing pains. A few people have complained that the identity of their images gets lost as people begin to re-pin it with links to their own pages. It becomes very difficult to track down the source of the image if it is not branded properly. There are currently a few cases against Pinterest from professional artists who feel their images lose their copyrights when taken out of their original source. I think that if you brand your image with a small typed link of your site, you won’t be having that problem. By the same token, if you are pinning images, try to retain their original source.
Why is social media important?
Social media helps build trust in your brand and your product as well as define what people want from you or your product by leaving comments or replying to your posts. It is a way to have direct communication with the consumer or your audience.
Something I always like to emphasize with marketing is the importance of remaining true and honest with your product. With the success of social media for your blog or business comes a new audience and they will expect high levels of quality content from you.