Today, social networks are a huge part of our lives. They’ve revolutionised how we keep in touch with our family and friends, and completely changed the landscape of business marketing. Pop culture and live TV likely couldn’t survive without them now, and there are even Hollywood films being made about how they started.
Path, Google+, Facebook and Twitter all have their unique traits and selling points. But for someone just getting started, you might wonder which one is best for you? Here’s a brief guide to help you:
If you’re setting up a shop or a small business, Twitter is a fantastic way of getting your name out there to potential customers. Setting up a profile is free and very easy to do, and you can customise your design to match your brand image. A distinct advantage Twitter has over the other social networks is that you can grab people’s attention just by following them, or get your followers to market your business for you by offering prizes in exchange for retweets (where other users broadcast your posts to their followers).
The brief nature of Twitter will often work to a company’s advantage – however, the more specialised or complex your services, the more this might work against you. In this case, you can always back your Twitter page up with a Facebook profile, which will give you more room to sell yourself. Facebook is also good for companies with an already established presence. As a free platform to host pictures and post updates, Facebook works well if your customers know your business and are likely to search for your brand name.
Freelance or self-employed
Whether you’re an artist, writer or a handyman, there’s a good chance you already have your own website or blog set up. In this case, Twitter is a great way to get people to your already existing page. You can follow your target market, and post links to your website from there. If you don’t already have a web page set up, then Facebook is a good place to start. There’s ample space to write a bio, upload photos of your work, or even post flyers for your customers to print using ink cartridges and give to their friends!
Just for fun
If you’re only just dipping your toes in the social network water, then you might try dabbling with different platforms. If you like your updates short and sweet, try Twitter. For something more picture-based and all-round engaging, then almost everyone you know will probably already be on Facebook. If you want to try something a little more exclusive, then Path, available on Android and iPhone devices, is better for those wanting to keep in touch with only their close friends. And if you like sharing documents with your contacts, then Google+ gives you an easy platform to do so.