What are the best social media platforms for your business? Are all platforms created equal? Can they all be utilized by any type of company or business, big or small? We spoke with Barney Cohen, President of Business 360 Northwest and Deborah Sweeney, CEO MyCorporation. Both Barney and Deborah have strong opinions on this subject, and a lot of experience to back it up. Let’s take a look.
Does the size of the business matter?
“No matter now big or small your business the first question you should answer regarding the use of social media is ‘What will be the benefit of engaging?’ The benefit needs to be measured as something tangible, so (…) you can measure the results to see if you are getting what you want. Results can be measured in visits to a website, or actual sales (….) Social media facilitates word of mouth discussion and that is important for every size business.” – Barney Cohen, (you can read Barney’s bio here)
“Personally, I don’t think so. When the social media strategy is solid, then it can benefit businesses of all sizes. Keep in mind (…) that the results may not happen overnight (…..) A/B testing is required to see what content audiences respond to best to better refine your workload.”-Deborah
Does the type of business matter?
Barney continues: “If you follow the trail of your own outcomes and benefits, it will become obvious quickly that some sites have more relevance than others for your business. Here are some examples: Yelp and Open Table are 2 sites that concentrate heavily on restaurants. If I am a restaurant, I want a lot of reviews on these 2 sites. Trip Advisor concentrates on experiences for tourists. If I am a hotel or a tour operator, I would want to have a strong presence on that site.”
Here’s what Deborah had to say: “Ultimately, the social media platforms you work with vary depending on the nature of your business and your audience. For example, (…) a floral company (…) is very visually based. It should have accounts on platforms where fans respond well to images like Pinterest and Instagram. Larger businesses (…) are able to hire more team members (…) while small businesses have leaner resources. (B)oth types of businesses must be creative in the kind of content they create and share with audiences along with their strategies for engaging with fans.”
What are the best social media platforms to use if you’re short on time?
Deborah- “When you’re short on time, less is more. Focus on the platforms where you have a healthy amount of engagement from fans (….) (P)rep editorial calendars ahead (…) with content that you can schedule (…) so you can maintain an active presence. (Don’t) write off a social platform that isn’t working now (but) do research on the platform and study the techniques other businesses(.) (Watch how your) competition use(s)their accounts to grow their following and expand their engagement(….) (T)est those strategies to see if they (work) for your business.”
“My business is business consulting/business education. I would like to have a large presence on LinkedIn. It doesn’t matter if it is a one person firm or a 100 person firm.”-Barney
This discussion captures 2 differing viewpoints on social media platforms. Do you agree with Barney or Deborah more? What are some of the most important factors in a social media campaign? Do you think the approach varies based on the factors discussed above?