Social media is everywhere, yet the majority of small businesses are not using it to its full potential – or not using it at all. The growth in the number of platforms and the sheer quantity of users and content, however, can be overwhelming for newcomers.
Some might ask what the difference is between Facebook and Twitter or Instagram and Pinterest. By knowing what social media’s do what, it will be easier to decide which platform your business should be focussing on.
On What the Klout, the core differences between the major platforms are explained with a little help from donuts. Yes, donuts.
We’ve decided to take the concept of donuts as explanation a step further…
Facebook – I ‘like’ donuts
With over 800m people on Facebook, it’s no wonder businesses deem it an important platform. But why is it important for your business? Unlike other platforms, it is encouraged you only add family and friends. As a business, when you connect to a single person, you have the potential to be shared with their closest friends and relatives.
Friends and family will browse your profile because they want to know what you’re up to and what you’re interests are. They’ll stumble across the things you’ve ‘liked’, in this case donuts, which increases a business’s chances of gaining another customer. After all, most people become friends because they share common interests – the chances of friends, who likes donuts as much as your original client, ‘sharing’ or ‘liking’ your business page are high.
Google+ – I’m a Google employee who eats donuts
Although Google Plus shares some of the same social elements as Twitter and Facebook, its true value lies in its embedded connection with the Google search engine. Simply put, Google Plus is designed to increase your visibility as a business. Ever wondered how you were going to get your website or one of your web pages to rank in the top five pages of a search on Google? Google Plus is your key to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
One of the main attractions of Google Plus is a tool called ‘Authorship’. If you’ve written an article or blog about donuts, then Authorship will help you fight against plagiarism and identifies you as the legal author. Those who are identified as authors will be more prioritized on the Google search engine.
Linkedin – My skills include eating donuts
Essentially, Linkedin is an online resumé and job site. Linkedin, much like Facebook, relies on contacts having met or talked to each other before connecting. In this professional networking site, connections are viewed as potential professional or personal references and future employer’s or employee’s. Where Facebook is based on interests, Linkedin focuses on your accomplishments. This is the ideal platform for an organisation to enhance its image and credibility in the business community.
Need employee’s, finance, investors, information or business deals? Linkedin is the place to be. You post an ad for a donut maker onto the site and are able to view potential candidate sites. References and skill endorsements from bakers will make you more credible.
Pinterest – Here’s a donut recipe
The reason for Pinterest’s popularity is simple: although some might love lengthy description, we tend to be visual creatures. People are drawn to it because pictures are attractive, interesting and often contains a lot of information that is easily and universally understood – no jargon. Currently, Pinterest is one of the fastest-growing websites.
If Linkedin is an online resumé then Pinterest is a product catalogue. In this sense, your customers will have a better chance of seeing your product or service. People often use Pinterest to get ideas for home décor or donut recipes. They’re already in a buying mood and browsing for the next best thing. By visually displaying your product, you increase the chances of conversion to your customer.
Twitter – I’m eating a #donut
Most customers actively seek customer service through social channels, and the most used platform? Twitter. Whether it’s to complain about a faulty product or need information about your service, Twitter users are all too happy to give you their opinions. Twitter is the perfect tool for customer satisfaction and customer interaction. The platform allows your business to offer after closing hours advice and gives you the ability to find out what your customer’s want and need.
This is your chance to get feedback on how to improve your donut recipe’s and, more importantly, your customer service. Most companies search for mentions of their brands and, if there are complaints, respond as quickly as possible before they spiral out of control.
YouTube – Here I am eating a donut
YouTube is a social platform which communicates through videos. Video has become a major marketing tool used by various industries. In most social media sites, the use of YouTube will increase your click through rate. But how can the use of video boost your brand? It allows you to entertain customers, share information, and market products and services in more unique ways.
What if your customer’s don’t understand the descriptive jargon of how to make your own donut? YouTube will allow you to demonstrate how to do it in action. This also allows the customer to see how your product or service works, including how well it works. It also allows you to give technical support to customers who need help with specific elements of your product or services.By Shané Schutte
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