Which Social Network is Best For Business?

At the onset of the new millennium, marketers started the use of social media for their marketing efforts as it is a medium where brand democracy prevailed over brand dictatorship, since people had the opportunity to be directly involved in molding a brand. So, which social network is best for business?

The use of social media has grown into a necessity for small businesses, especially for those that employ the use of an e-commerce store. It is a very efficient tool for answering queries, doing market research, brand awareness, engagement, and maintaining relations.

Social media platforms, however, have different demographics and features that create their unique identity -- precisely why some social media sites work best for some businesses depending on their goods or services. Knowing where your targets virtually hangs out and how content flies there are powerful components that you should always consider for your social media strategy to make sure that your marketing efforts are actually serving their purpose.

Here are some of the best social networking sites for your business and their features:

1. Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social networking site, with more than a billion users around the globe. According to AlexaRank, the social media phenomenon garnered an estimated 750,000,000 unique monthly visitors a month.

Generally, Facebook has been a very convenient tool for connecting brands with their audiences because of its wide array of conveniences it provides for both brands and end users alike.

Facebook allows brands to upload content like notes, photos, and videos which are useful for promotional purposes, while allowing interaction since there’s a comment box located below these materials under their caption.

End users can “Like” a page in order to show support for a certain figure, or subscribe to future messages.  The “Share” button could give you publicity as end users may share your content to their friends and followers. Also, your Facebook page’s interface is customizable, allowing you to fill it with your brand colors in order to maximize branding. Facebook also allows users to invite people from their network to events, which is a great tool for letting the word out.

The chat function also adds more to the table since the real-time delivery of messages makes it an efficient tool for answering your customer’s queries. Having your representative tend to your customers via Facebook chat also gives your brand a humanizing touch, which is great for your overall image.

A survey conducted by DocStoc.com  revealed that Facebook is most appealing to the youngest adult age group composed of 18-29 year olds. An article published at the BusinessInsider.com reaffirmed the previous statement as they said that Facebook is indeed skewed towards the young, but added that users from the 45 to the 54-year-old age bracket has experienced a remarkable increase, nearly doubling to 45% since the year-end in 2012.

Is this social site for your business? With everything stated above, Facebook then is actually a very useful tool for any business in any industry because of the variety of features it has, its potential for reaching a wider market, and generating publicity.

2. Twitter

According to the StatisticBrain.com, Twitter currently holds over 554 million active registered users and an estimated 190 million unique site visitors every month. An article published at BusinessInsider.com mentioned that Twitter harbors a relatively young user base, as 27% of 18 to 29-year-olds from the U.S. use Twitter, while only 16% of 30 to 40-year-olds use the site. Twitter’s demographic is also more slanted towards city dwellers.

The microblogging site lets users gain information and engage in conversations with 140-word tweets. The exchange of short entries in Twitter makes it especially popular for smartphone and tablet users. It also has the means to get your brand noticed because of the “retweet” function that lets users share another user’s tweets and at the same time crediting them. The “hashtag” feature is also a great feature, since it lets people see what’s trending in different communities from your city, country, and the world.

Twitter is a practical tool for disseminating information as it transmits messages to your network in real time.  Gaining a lot of followers isn’t done overnight, because people will mostly only follow authority figures. This means that you have to offer valuable content. Valuable content in this case could go from simple nuggets of wisdom written in 140 words or less, or shortened links to your other sites that house your content.

Also, try building relations with authority figures in your niche by subscribing to them, retweeting their tweets, and engaging them in conversations over the content they share – these guys just might follow you back and retweet your content, which helps you enhance your image as an authority.

Is this social site for your business? Twitter really works well for organizations and entities that send out text-based messages like news organizations, content marketers, and bloggers. If you’re targeting young professionals who are on-the-go, and your primary means of spreading the word is through witty copy rather than images, then Twitter is a must since you could communicate with your prospects wherever they are, as long as they use it in mobile or in their tablets.

3. Pinterest

As a startup business launched in Palo Alto, California back in 2010, the new blood among the social media giants has grown astronomically, garnering 85 million unique monthly site visits.

Pinterest is a visual social sharing site that takes the form of a pin board. Its user base is composed by mostly tablet users simply because it’s much more fun and faster to move images with your fingers.

Users can browse the site for Pins or high-quality images that were uploaded by other users and re-pin it to custom boards for a specific group of like-mined people. Each pin has a link that directs back to a pinner’s website for more information, which doesn’t only make a great place to display your portfolio; it also makes for a good tool for gaining traffic.

Mashable.com revealed some interesting facts about the site’s end users: 68.2% of Pinterest’s users are female while 31.8% are male; the age bracket 25-34 makes up the bulk of its users; and 28% of visitors are well off, generating $100,000 household income a month, or higher.

Is this social site for your business? The year 2013 has seen a successful trend with image-centric media, and if your niche is within the field of the visual arts -- photography, interior design, fashion design, etc. – and you’re targeting adult females who are earning a substantive amount, then Pinterest is the perfect hub for you to utilize.

Choosing the Social Media That Fits

With all the different perks social media provides, it’s quite easy to see why businesses should venture in it too. Some social media sites specialize on what the other social media sites are lacking, which distinguishes their brand from others. The trick in getting the most out of your social media campaign is to use all the sites that offer relevant features to your business and integrating them with other platforms, as messages are more powerful when they are sustained by other mediums.



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