We’ve already been over why social media is important for a business; but you may be left confused on the social media platforms themselves. The fundamental goal of businesses on most social media platforms isn’t about advertising or promoting a product or service. It’s about using the given platforms to expand a vocal customer base which can engage with a large amount of people through the internet. There are 3 main platforms for businesses on social media; LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, they are all unique from each other and provide different opportunities.
Facebook is kind of a big deal when it comes to social media. Founded in February 2004 it’s quite a historical platform, with this in mind they have used their early start to amass the largest amount of users with 1.65 billion Facebook profiles. One of the main differences between Facebook and other platforms is that Facebook is more orientated towards personal life than the others; Facebook focuses on friends and family rather than businesses and professional acquaintances. From a business’s point of view, Facebook would be a better B2C platform as there aren’t as many opportunities to network with other business pages.
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform with a few key features; posting messages to your followers, retweeting and using hashtags. Hastags work as a search tool for certain keywords, this can be used to market to people using these keywords. Retweeting is used as a share tool, as retweeting a tweet will copy the tweet onto your page. This can be useful if someone retweets one of your messages, all of their followers will see your tweet even if they don’t follow you. Twitter is a microblogging platform which means that on twitter there is a 140 character limit to every message. Twitter is different from the other two platforms on this list as it focuses on opinions, news and expression on a personal and a professional level. Like Facebook, Twitter is good for B2C businesses but Twitter is also good for B2B as there are plenty of businesses that can follow and interact with each other.
There is a fundamental difference between LinkedIn and the other two platforms; LinkedIn was designed specifically for the business community. A LinkedIn profile page focuses on the person’s career, employment history and education. Instead of friends, on LinkedIn you get connections, you make connections with people you’ve worked with and people that you know professionally and you use the connections to build up a network. As LinkedIn is only used by professionals, there isn’t really any kind of market for a B2C business for LinkedIn marketing.
This is a brief overview of the social platforms themselves, if you would like to find out more, why not check out our other blog posts.