There is no question that social media has become a staple component of most companies’ business portfolios. Deciding on which to implement can become quite a difficult task. On one hand, it is important to establish a formidable online presence, yet using all social media networks can mean a lot of unnecessary time and resources become wasted. To determine which are important, ask yourself “what social media should I use?” while referring below for the advantages and disadvantages of the top three.
- Population: There is absolutely no reason a firm who is looking to maximize visibility should not establish a Facebook page. With over 1.44 billion active users as of March 2015, the potential to reach customers is astronomical. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of a resource that is cost friendly, easy-to-use, and successful?
- Advertising: Facebook offers a remarkable system for targeting potential clients. If your business is associated with a niche market, this becomes especially helpful. Advertisements can be distributed to users by age, sex, location, and interests. For those working on a limited budget, this feature proves to be quite cost efficient. The average facebook ad cost per click is $0.27. A pretty generous price when considering the potential of acquiring a new client.
- Simplicity: No experience in web design? No problem. Facebook offers one of the easiest and most customizable business page profile solutions. The pages are easy to navigate and are a great alternative for those inexperienced in coding.
- External Forces: Facebook allows for a lot of open dialogue to take place. Customers interacting directly with your company or each other are made public for everyone to see. You eventually begin to lose control over your brand image. Spam is also an issue and requires moderators to identify and remove it.
- Dedication: Once you have built your popularity on facebook, it is going to take a lot of time and resources to maintain and build that audience. An employee may need to be hired simply to run the Facebook page because of the traffic it generates.
- Speed: Twitter limits users to posts that are less than 140 characters making it relatively efficient in communicating messages. The compact and precise nature of twitter makes it one of the most time effective social networks. If you’re looking for a source to communicate important pieces of information to customers, twitter is great.
- Viral Hashtag: Trending on Twitter generates a lot of exposure for businesses. Ending a tweet with a hashtag automatically includes it in Twitters searchable index making it available to millions of users. Once Twitter users are exposed to the message, they can Retweet it exposing it to their entire base of followers. Creating hashtags that are interesting and relevant can boost popularity more quickly and intensely than other social network.
- Connection: Twitter is the easiest way to connect directly with consumers and advocates associated with your business. Consumers can direct messages to your twitter page which can then be easily replied to. It creates a link between parties that is personal and responsive.
- Low Visibility: Twitter users post over 340 million tweets per day, making the dashboard cluttered with competitors and random messages. Without posting tweets that are attention grabbing and interesting, the messages will become lost.
- Lack of Visuals: If your business is dependent on customers appreciating the aesthetic value of your offerings, Twitter may not be the best choice. Although images and videos can be attached, the environment is mostly text based.
- Spam and Hacking: Managing spam on Twitter can be quite time consuming. Filtering through fake accounts and useless tweets isn’t ideal for any business owner. Additionally, Twitter has a reputation for being hacked and pages can be overrun with individuals distributing false information regarding the company.
- Connections: Building a network of relevant people on LinkedIn is invaluable. It is designed to help business owners and entrepreneurs connect and exchange resources and help. A social network completely dedicated to furthering the success of professionals is definitely a worthwhile investment.
- Advertising: LinkedIn offers an promotional program that allows for advertising to users based on their job title, seniority level, and age. This filtering will allow the advertisements to be focused on customers who hold a higher potential.
- Credibility: Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn maintains a strictly professional environment. Having a business page on LinkedIn establishes your credibility as a business and the legitimacy of your offerings.
- Free Subscription Limitations: Not all business owners will be able to afford the paid subscription to LinkedIn. Although the free subscription is helpful, the limitations lessen its value. For example, a free account on LinkedIn limits introduction requests to 5 outstanding, while a premium account allows for up to 50 at any one time. Not everyone can afford the premium account making establishing relevant connections more difficult.
- Inactive Users: LinkedIn has a userbase that is estimated to be inactive by upwards 20%. Although they boast a large online population, many are completely inactive or use the social network on a very inconsistent basis.
It takes deep knowledge of one’s business and the most popular social networks to establish a strong social presence. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages listed here can give you a bird’s eye view and serve as a useful guide in deciding what social media you should use. To fully take advantage of these social networks, you need to link them to a powerful website backed by a strong and consistent content strategy.
At concept9, we establish digital strategies to help our clients put their best foot forward regardless of the venue. We understand that everything comes down to relationships, so that’s what we spend our time thinking about – whether it be through web development, search engine optimization, social media strategy, user experience design or pay per click marketing. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business grow!