How to Hack Your Way Through the Social Media Jungle

Social media tools are a great way to connect with thought leaders on everything from workout tips to recipes to business best practices. I follow many people in the marketing biz who I think have great things to say about how to improve marketing content, social media campaigns, and writing quality, among other things.

Earlier today, I came across this infographic I want to share, which I filched from Timothy Carter’s blog. It colorfully outlines the pros and cons to the six major social media channels used by many businesses:

Social media network pros and cons

The Problem

As you can see, each one has a list of pros and cons so there really is no one-size-fits-all solution. The social media tool which is most effective for a small natural-foods company may not work as well for a large PR agency. Since many of these tools are free, at least on a basic level, it might make sense to use all of them. That should increase your odds of getting your target audience’s attention, right? However, the time and bandwidth needed to maintain all these accounts may not be top priority for your company, and nobody wants frustrated customers looking for information on an account that hasn’t been updated in three months.

The Solution

You need to find a way to maximize your time online and narrow down your choices to the top three or four tools that will help you maximize exposure and interaction with your target audience. 

Community-oriented businesses, such as niche retail stores and online shopping sites, may find that creating events on Facebook draws prospects’ attention, and Twitter can be used to increase interaction with community members. Larger businesses trying to cultivate a more professional audience can use LinkedIn and Google+ most effectively to establish themselves as thought leaders and improve SEO stats. Visual and art-focused businesses such as galleries and entertainment venues can strut their stuff on YouTube and Pinterest.

Your Turn

Of course, these are just the top six tools in the industry today. With the recent explosion of social media in the business world, there are lots of options out there. I’d be interested to read some of your opinions on this subject. Which of these social media platforms does your business use, and which ones have you found to be most effective?

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