Social media has existed online in some form since 1997. Blogging and profile sharing sites like Myspace and LinkedIn gained popularity in the early 2000s, and by 2006 YouTube, Facebook and Twitter – the largest sources of social media in the world – were all operational. It’s amazing to think that online social media has been around for 20 years! It’s also surprising that businesses have only recently started to take advantage of these popular platforms.
There are dozens of popular social networking and sharing sites to sift through, but the good news is that only a few have significant business applications. At Beyond Private Label, we suggest a combination of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ for your clients’ businesses as a starting point. Each business is different, and what works for one may not work for all. Here is a brief guide to some of the most popular social media websites:
Photo Sharing Websites (Flickr, Instagram)
For most businesses, these websites aren’t particularly effective marketing avenues. These sites are all about posting photos and exploring photos that others take. If your clients have very visual products or services (i.e. Photography, Art, Fashion, Design, etc.), Flickr or Instagram might be the way to go. Otherwise, your clients should focus their efforts elsewhere.
Video Sharing Websites (YouTube, Vimeo)
These sites have gained in marketing potential in recent years. YouTube is the fourth most visited website on the planet. If your clients can provide quality video content, this might be a place to showcase products or services. A YouTube account can also help with SEO and is owned by Google, which makes it even more important in conversions derived from search engines.
Professional Social Networks (LinkedIn, Google+)
LinkedIn provides a truly professional network, while Google+ is important for cultivating a business’ image on their search engine. These are sites that your clients will want to target with their business for the sake of presenting a professional digital image. Additional posting on these sites will boost credibility and potential customer engagement.
Social Networking (Facebook, Twitter)
Facebook is the king of social media and most businesses have some type of presence on the platform. Twitter is a growing marketplace, but without proper knowledge, can be difficult to use as a marketing platform. Regular posting to both platforms can help boost community standing, while accounts that aren’t updated frequently can hurt a business’ image.
With that knowledge in mind, your clients can start to decide what social media might help their business the most. BPL’s suggestion is to use a combination of at least three platforms for beginners: LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook.
Beyond Private Label has a wealth of experience with social media, and we are ready to put it to work for your clients. Call us at 1 (800) 900-0413 to see what we would recommend. Plus, remember that any digital brand starts with a functional, beautiful website for potential customers to get information. The team at BPL can provide custom websites tailored to your clients’ needs that will present a professional storefront for their business and launch their digital brand.