March 18, 2012

Choosing the Best Social Network(s) for Your Business

by Jaimie Siegle | Advertising Systems, Inc.

Choosing the right website platforms and offering the right incentives are two key strategies for small business social media marketing, says Ilya Pozin, serial entrepreneur and contributor.

According to Pozin, social media should be more of  a “relationship-builder” and less of an “advertising channel.” While both Facebook and Twitter are valuable avenues for an array of corporations to engage current and potential customers, Pozin suggests platforms such as Pinterest, Quora, and Foursquare for small businesses and niche markets.

The trick to getting followers and “Likes”? Make sure your company has a voice, and is an active contributor to each social community.

There are, however, a lot of social networks out there, and  you don’t need to join every single one. Instead, think about where your customers are online, from which apps they use to websites they visit. Then, use the online communities to learn more about your audience and share information with them about your brand and related topics. Ask questions, respond to comments, and provide advice or industry-related news.

We like how businesses are using Pinterest (the latest social website with a user base of 80% women) to show off their products  Pozin suggests checking out the Pinterest accounts of brands such as Whole Foods and BuzzFeed to demonstrate how businesses can reach customers in a creative yet functional way. For example, local frozen yogurt store Chilly Billy’s is using the site to pin its flavors, toppings, and even special offers, according to the Minnesota Daily.

“Whatever the reason — discounts, coupons, a contest, etc. — get your customers (or potential customers) to engage so you can re-market to them to later,” Pozin says.

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