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What's the difference between social networks?

Last Updated: Sep 30, 2015 11:06AM EDT

At this point, we all know that we need to be on social media. But do you know what each network can do to help your business? Here’s a quick breakdown of the major social media networks and how you can utilize them to the benefit of your business:

Facebook: Facebook was designed to connect friends, family and existing acquaintances with one another in the digital space. Facebook is most successful with people that you already know because it allows you to have more in-depth conversations and share more personal information about yourself or your business.  

Facebook also created Business Pages as a great tool for connecting with existing customers and clients! It enables you to share your products, offers, and services with those people who are already familiar with your brand. For many companies, Facebook is also a way to demonstrate their expertise in a given industry. Sharing useful, informational content is vital to gaining the trust and respect of Facebook fans.

Twitter: Twitter is the best social network for that all important first stage contact. Think of it as the “water cooler moment” that focuses on brief chats with people you do not know or maybe hardly know. Twitter is great for making new contacts and developing new business relationships.  

Twitter’s 140 character limit (including website links and photos) can transform your lengthy blogs or other pieces of content into small snippets of information. This is great for grabbing people’s attention quickly and driving them to your website or blog.

Twitter is also great for generating leads. However, you need to have content that is enticing enough for people to stop and read. The fast-paced nature of Twitter means that any content that is posted has to stand out! Remember, you won’t be communicating with people who know you, so you have to give them a reason to want to read what you’ve posted. Make sure to feature hashtags when you’re constructing your Tweets. Hashtags are used for searching purposes and serves as a link that is directing your viewers to where you want them to go (Review our Social Media Terms Glossary for more information on hashtags).

Google+: Google+ has often been described as Google’s version of Facebook. With Google+ and Google Circles, you can separate your followers into different groups so when you’re making an announcement or just posting your latest press release, you can choose who you want to share this information with. Another unique feature with Google+ is the “Hangout,” where you can video chat with up to 10 people at once.

With Google+, use images, make your profile open to search, and use your Circles wisely. Whether you choose the tiled images or the one to span across the top of your page, choose the best one you have. It is the first thing someone sees when they click on your page. Make sure to also add some albums.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is an online version of your resume or CV. It’s the perfect tool for professional networking, connecting with your peers, people you'd like to work with (including clients/ suppliers for those in business themselves) and becoming well-known within your professional industry. LinkedIn was purposely designed as a more formal social media network, allowing business professionals to make meaningful corporate connections.

LinkedIn has also made it possible for businesses to create their own pages and share updates with their connections. A Company Page, similar to a Facebook Business Page, allows a businesses to post updates, job openings and other general information as it sees fit. A page can be “followed” by individual LinkedIn users who are interested in the business in order to stay up-to-date on current news and happenings.

Another great feature of demonstrating your expertise and connecting with like-minded professionals is LinkedIn Groups. Groups are for discussing areas of your industry and networking by adding value & showcasing your knowledge.  Get connected to people key to your business through introductions from your own network or be the middleman for other parties to meet as well.




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