There is no doubt that social media has a positive impact on most businesses, whether or not the business maintains a page on any one specific site. A business that does not participate in social media on at least one site is truly missing out on connecting directly with customers. People are very active on social media sites with many having pages on several sites. One like or comment on personal pages has the potential to reach thousands of people at no cost to the business. Others will browse the website or go to the business social media page on that format. The exposure for the business is phenomenal, continuous, and lead-generating.
Some business owners find it difficult to select the right format. Ideally, pages on as many formats as possible will have the most benefit, but that is not always feasible. Social media management is a full time job, so if an owner plans on doing that in-house, choices will have to be made. Research each format to determine which one or two will allow the business to present information that will elicit the desired response from targeted audiences. Instagram posts, for example, can be photographs, videos, or messages but are only available for twenty-four hours. That format requires daily attention. Twitter allows videos, links, and tweets that cannot exceed 140 characters. Information has to be concise to capture attention, and a link can be added to provide more detailed information.
Facebook continues to be the most popular social media site and is typically the first site businesses join. The format is easy and versatile. There are no character restrictions for posts, so businesses can post more on Facebook at one time. Printable coupons, contests, videos, photos, and reviews can be posted as well. Page options on the left side bar include “Home”, “Events”, “Notes”, and “Likes”, as well as others direct browsers to the exact information they seek or allow first time visitors to get a complete picture of the business on one site. Try a few sites to discover which format suits the business needs, customers, and time commitment. The site that works best will be the one with a format the owner or staff can navigate and successfully utilize. Hiring a management company for social media is always an option, depending on the business budget.