Face it – there's no escaping social networks these days. You can either 1. Get involved in as many as you can handle to prevent FOMO (fear of missing out) or 2. Be strategic and mindful about the social networks you choose. The ability to publish at the push of a button makes many wish that the Internet had a morning after pill. Which is why it’s important to only create content and “hit publish” if it makes sense for your business. Below are the top 5 social networks worth exploring (if it’s in line with your business strategy).
Twitter is an excellent networking platform, and it’s one of my personal favorites. You can get a short message across to a ton of followers quickly. And the brevity challenges you to think in sound bites. With 140 characters per post, you're forced to be concise. The focus is on simplicity and connecting. And don’t let the retweet button tell you otherwise. It just means that you won't only get updates from those you follow, but you'll also get selected updates from the people your followers follow. If it sounds confusing, give yourself three months to fully understand and appreciate. Twitter has a bit of a high learning curve, but it’s worth it if you’re looking to build meaningful relationships.
Quora isn't quite as well-known as some of the other social networks, but it's really neat. Basically, you sign up and either ask or answer questions to or from other members of the site. The more questions you answer and the better answers you provide, the better your reputation on the site becomes. Quora is a great way to become regarded as a pseudo-expert on a topic that you know a lot about simply by answering questions online. It might sound boring, but it's really interactive and interesting. Check it out if you're into sharing information and learning new things.
Google+ is especially great for entrepreneurs and businesses interested in self-promotion and branding. If you blog, you should know about Google+ and its fantastic Authorship feature that links your profile to articles you write. Do you ever do a Google search for a topic and in the search results you see a little picture of someone next to the article that someone wrote? That's Google+ and Authorship doing that automatically. It really boosts website credibility and search rankings. Even if you're not running a business and using it for that purpose, Google+ is a cool way to keep up with friends. It integrates right into all of your other Google accounts.
Oh, good old Facebook. This is the social network that started social networks. If you're one of the few people who aren't using Facebook Marketing for your business, you might want to consider if it makes sense. It’s a great way to engage with your customers on a personal level while growing your business. You can advertise and target customers on a very granular level (which can produce some amazing results). You can also upload pictures, check in to restaurants and events, and create business events. You can also make sure all of your friends and colleagues know when you do something interesting at the same moment you're doing that interesting thing. After all, it’s micro-moments like these that breed FOMO (fear of missing out). And it’s FOMO that motivates the use of social networks. Understanding the psychology of why you use Facebook, can help you better understand how to use it for your business.
Instagram is a mobile device-based social network that centers around pictures and videos. You upload pictures and videos of things, and your followers can like them and comment on them. It's incredibly simple, but incredibly addicting. While many of the other social networks center around some sort of text and message conveyance through words, Instagram lets you say a million words about your life or your business with a single picture.
If you're using all of these social networks for your business, good for you! You're probably up to date on everything going on within your circle of friends and social connections. If you're out of the loop on a few of them, lurk around a bit first to see if you can creatively work it into your content strategy. All of the networks are a bit different, but each offers a priceless perk to the world of engaging with customers.
Which social media networks are your favorites? Please comment below.