There’s lots of different social media platforms available to us all. Some people believe that they have to sign up for everything, then wonder why they don’t have any time to do anything else. Some people sign up for everything then do none of it, wondering what should come first and getting caught up in “analysis paralysis”.

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Not all of the major social media platforms are for everyone when it comes to business. For that matter, one might get more enjoyment out of one and none out of others. This isn’t a definitive guide, but it’s an idea of what a person looking to maximize their business might think about doing.

Twitter is quick and fast. It’s a place where you can state something quickly in 140 characters, then move on if that’s all you want to do. The problem with Twitter is that there are millions of other people doing the same thing at the same time, so your message could get lost if it’s not targeted. Twitter is my favorite social media platform because I talk to people all around the world, but it’s not my best business platform.

LinkedIn is imperative for anyone looking to do business with, well, anyone. LinkedIn is imperative if you’re ever looking for work, or might ever look for work. LinkedIn is for business period, although in recent years they’ve added groups, which adds a new dynamic to the mix. LinkedIn gives you ways to highlight your business, and yourself, that you might not want to do on your own website. It also offers you the best opportunity to meet people, locally or otherwise, in their business form. I haven’t actively searched for anyone on LinkedIn for years but every day I have at least 2 requests to add me there; no idea why but maybe it’s because some folks see when my business blog posts go live, which shows up there.

Facebook as a business platform, if you’re not a big name, isn’t all that easy to do. I have a business page that has 345 people connected to it, but I can’t go out and recruit more people to the site. It gives one the opportunity to try to get a dialogue going, but truthfully the best reason to have a business presence there is to link back to your own site; it’s not much but with over a billion people connected to it, smart money says do it. Overall it’s more for personal connections, as all my family is there and many of my friends from years gone by.

Google Plus is Google’s attempt to get into the social media game, and the numbers are impressive if few other things about it are. Actually, the visuals are stunning, and there are some people who have great engagement there, but for many of us it’s just not the same thing. I have almost 5,000 people who have me in a circle there and I have a community there with about 100 people and almost no one talks to me; sigh…

YouTube has more than 500 million views a day; that’s pretty powerful stuff. But it’s also something that’s not for the faint of heart, and it takes the longest to create content if you want to get it right. But hit the right message at the right time and you could be a star. I’m nowhere close to a star but I keep trying, as I now have over 150 videos there; check it out! 😉

If you’re a brick and mortar business, you should be on Four Square. It gives you the opportunity to set up special deals for people who visit you and then tell others they’re at your shop. I know more than one local business that built their presence this way. It works best if you sell a product rather than offer services. I’m not on Four Square yet, but I’ve been thinking about signing up more and more. And being on Four Square gives you the ability to advertise on other platforms effectively.

I’ll stop here because everything else is either a copy of one of or a mashup of all the others. You as a business owner or individual get to decide which type of social media platform you think is for you, but the one statement I’d leave you with is that it’s imperative that you’re on something, because you can bet that at least one of your competitors is. And if you click on any of the links in this post, you’ll find me on all of them… don’t get scared. lol
 

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