What Social Media outlets should you be using?

I had coffee with a magazine editor the other day and we had a fascinating conversation all things PR and general marketing. Until she mentioned that she was about to do a course on Pinterest, now I've done a couple of Pinterest courses myself and love them (it could be because I'm secretly addicted to Pinterest and love the idea of making money for using it). This all brought up the point of what Social Mediums suit what types of businesses. As a small, local, niche magazine - the international reach of Pinterest is fairly useless for her market - so here are my guidelines for picking which social mediums you should be testing!

social media2

Let's start with Pinterest:

  • Brilliant graphic driven medium. Unless you can create beautiful graphics or have beautiful products - steer clear.
  • International reach. It is much more difficult for local targeting, if you are an international store - this is perfect for you, if you are trying to get more people into your store on Main Street… probably not the best.
  • Perfect if you have an online store - not much point using it if you don't have the ability to sell online
  • Can be B2B (generally only if you offer some form of coaching or advice), mostly suited to B2C

Instagram

  • Solely a graphic driven medium. If you can't take beautiful photos, or don't have someone who can take photos for you. Instagram is not for you.
  • Unlike Pinterest this can work for local businesses through the use of intentional hashtags. If you don't understand hashtags… learn them if you want to use Instagram or Twitter
  • A B2C medium

Youtube

  • The real benefit of Youtube is sharing knowledge - if you have knowledge to share - Youtube is perfect!
  • Links well to online stores, however can work for certain industries if you are in a fixed location (ie. Dance schools)
  • Works brilliantly for B2B and B2C
  • Caters to all business types
  • Can be used for product demos, instructional videos, humour, advertisements - the only limit is your imagination

Facebook

  • Works well no matter your location as it is incredible for targeting - whether you are online or brick and mortar business
  • Again mostly a B2C environment, however can work for B2B service industries such as coaching
  • Image and content based
  • Doesn't work so well for the more embarrassing problem solving businesses - People want to share the businesses and products they love… if they don't want their high school enemies and ex-partners to see that they like your page, it probably won't work!
  • All about communicating - if you don't want to engage in a conversation with your followers - this isn't the medium for you - it is a two way street of communication and that is one of the reasons it is so effective

Twitter

  • Can work B2B and B2C
  • Is a communication method - if you just want to publish content, don't use Twitter - it is all about the conversation
  • Can be targeted locally or internationally with the use of hashtags and location settings
  • Great to communicate with customers and fairly easy to gain access to lots of followers fast

I hope this has helped you identify which mediums suit you best! Obviously there will always be exceptions to the rules, however these basics will help you along your way!