When it comes to social media, there’s a broad umbrella that shelters the different platforms – all of which cater for and facilitate different types of content creation and sharing. Understanding the business-orientated functions for social networks isn’t always clear – so this post will run through the basic business tools on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.

Facebook

Cue the most popular Social Network, with more than a billion monthly active users, there is on average 618 million active daily users. Businesses can create pages to represent their brand, which individuals can ‘like’ – and receive all the updates on their personal news feed. These pages can easily be shared between Facebook friends, with tags that can used to identify different individuals or businesses on content. The admin panel of the page incorporates a basic set of metrics for page likes, views and other interactions. 

Twitter

Twitter is one of the most dynamic social platform at your business’s disposal, with around 340 million tweets made per day, by its 200 million active users. Brand page creation is the same process as personal account creation, where you can easily customize the look and feel of your profile, and create your own Twitter handle (@example). It allows you to flexibly post images, share videos/links and communicate with other brands and individuals – but any post you make must fit within 140 characters. It utilises hashtags to make the posts searchable across the entire network (#example).

LinkedIn

LinkedIn essentially aims to facilitate a globally networked group of professionals, no matter their industry, expertise or job level. It seems to be serving its purpose well, reaching 200 million members worldwide in early 2013. It has evolved as an important tool for showcasing skills, as a personal profile is essentially an extended resume – which your connections can ‘endorse’ you for. You’re also able to create and manage company profiles – which builds brand credibility in many industries.

Instagram

Visual media is a great way to represent content online – so if your business is producing something pretty or delicious – why not use Instagram to share it with possible customers? Instagram currently boasts 90 million active monthly users, which boils down to 40 million photo uploads per day. In terms of traffic per second, that is roughly 8500 Likes and 1000 Comments – so clearly, a great exposure tool for any visual branding. 

Pinterest

Another way to get your possible customers closer to your business operations is Pinterest. It is essentially a giant pin board of great images and videos, created and shared within the community. With a business account, you could showcase your products/services with any visual materials you can think of. Especially great resource for recipe sharing and DIY projects.

But before your business gets in too deep, it is important to decide what your online presence will aim for – to share or create content – or both! Aim for consistent posts across any network your business is engaged with. Remember, individuals are producing AND consuming their own content (thus, the concept of ‘prosumers’) – so there is lots already out there to share and discuss.

For a more visual interpretation of the effect of Social Media – watch the video below. Stay tuned for more posts on how to utilise each platform for your business!