A Beginner's Guide to Social Media Platforms

Written by Julia on November 11, 2016

With more and more people connecting to the internet, social media platforms have become great distribution channels for businesses to market through. Today, we’ll break down the different popular platforms.

Facebook

The most popular in terms of user base, Facebook’s user base contains more than 1.55 billion active users as of January 2016. Facebook is great for B2C because of the wide range of people who use it for personal matters.

Facebook has a Pages feature, which allows you to create and manage a web page for your business via your personal Facebook account. One perk of using the Pages feature is that you can see who “likes” your business and view analytics for it, such as how many hits a post might get or where visitors to your Facebook page are located.

That said, Facebook’s organic reach has declined in the years and becoming a successful, conversational brand on Facebook can consume a lot of time and money.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social network. It used to only be a place to post your work experience and connect with others in a professional way. Businesses can create their own profiles. Now with publishing capabilities, more and more businesses and professionals are using LinkedIn to create and share relevant content. It is a great way to share what you know and what you business is and a great way to learn what others in your industry have to teach.

With 400 million users, LinkedIn is a great and cheap way to circulate content and gain exposure, especially if you are in the world of B2B.

Twitter

Twitter is microblogging social platform that gets its strength in the reach of its audience. It is a quick and easy way to reach many people. Done so creatively and with the right hashtags and the right time, the possibilities

You can create a profile for your business and post Tweets with a character limit of 140 to instantly share with Twitter’s 310 million active users. You can retweet and share content that others post from their Twitter accounts. If you have interesting content, Twitter is a great place to get the content circulating. Twitter also offers paid advertisements if you wish to go that route.

Instagram

Instagram is media-based, with photo and video as its central drivers. It is very popular among millennials, and not optimized for computer usage. It is primarily a phone application, so the channel of delivery is via mobile devices.

Like Twitter, it is very easy to use. Just take a picture, write a caption, and upload.

Pinterest

Pinterest, like Instagram, is visual in nature. It is a digital bulletin board on which you pin interesting content such as infographics, articles, etc. You can create multiple digital bulletin boards and organize them by category, such as “Health”, “Care Tips”, “Financial Advice”.

Pinterest has a smaller variety in its audience. Most users are women who are interested in learning how to conduct DIY projects as well as get fitness, fashion, and care advice.

Slideshare

Smaller in user base than other platforms, SlideShare has a lot of potential for growth. Currently, only 15% of marketers use SlideShare, so capturing a large part of platform users now is smart.

The main medium for Slideshare is through presentation slides. This is a great way to present the same content in different forms. So let’s say you have a blog post. Well, you can easily turn that into slides. An easy visual way to present information, you reach more people than simply via your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or other social media platform.

Social media makes building brand awareness and connecting with prospects and customers easy. While most businesses find the most success through Search Engine Optimization, leveraging social media can really help you stand out from your competitors.