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What’s the best social media platform for your business?

Ask a subjective question, and get a subjective answer. During this week’s Proven Match blog, we’re going to discuss options for utilizing the “best” social media platform for your business. It really is a subjective exercise, because many business owners have very strong opinions about which types of social media platforms offer the best way to reach their valuable customer base. We’re going to focus solely on statistics, and allow you to reach an objective conclusion.

The most common and popular social media networks include the “Big 3” of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Each of these platforms has proven to be quite popular and adept at communication within the business world. But there are many others. Perhaps you’ve also heard of YouTube, Snapchat, Google+, Pinterest, Etsy, and Instagram? What you need to know is that the usefulness of a social media program may depend on the type of business you own—and how your customers prefer to be contacted. All social media platforms are free through registration, though many include paid advertising options which enhance your visibility among the particular network.

As we said in the beginning, facts and statistics will moderate this discussion. And it’s no secret that Facebook is the biggest of all social media networks. It boasts of almost 1.8 billion users—which can either be individuals, businesses or special interest groups. Chances are, you have a personal Facebook account, which you use to communicate with family and friends. Well, you can create a Facebook account for your business, as well. And you should. The steps in establishing a presence for your business are as simple as when you created your own individual account and can be found here.

Twitter has an amazing reach and allows you to communicate with your customer base 140 characters at a time. It also allows photo images and video to be embedded within a tweet. How might you use this? Well, if you own a quick-service restaurant and you want your customers to know about a special meal deal you have going on, you can “tweet” an image of the dish and a link to your business website. The trick with Twitter, if you’re not using “Promoted” tweets (ads), is building up a list of followers who will regularly see your updates. 

YouTube is all about videos. You can upload your own videos to a YouTube business channel which you create (again, free of charge). Many entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t use YouTube solely as a way to showcase their offerings, but also expertise. There’s no time limit on how long or short your video can be. The only thing you’ll have to consider is your customer’s attention span. Some successful YouTube aficionados use the social media platform as a way to educate their customers. For instance, a Mr. Handyman franchisee might make several short Do-It-Yourself (DIY) videos, explaining common fixes.

We’re running a little short on space for our column, but here’s a handy shortcut on some remaining social media platforms you may have heard of in passing.

Instagram is all about photos and images. You can “tag” words or phrases that relate to your photos and these get aggregated for a wider audience reach.

Pinterest is a platform in which people “pin” things they like and find interesting. It has a strong female base of users who trade recipes, clothing ideas, vacation planning and much more.

Snapchat is a quick video link which can be used to communicate a “mini-commercial.”

LinkedIn is like Facebook, but for businesses and executives. The “feeds” are very similar, but LinkedIn allows you to connect with those you already know in the business world—and beyond. Because once you begin establishing connections, it’s quite easy to keep adding to them. Businesses use LinkedIn to promote a presence explaining who they are, where they operate, their number of employees and even a revenue range. 

Social media is becoming a very viable and powerful force in the business world. If you’re not already engaged, begin working on a plan for visibility on multiple platforms. Because they all have one thing in common—a great way to expand audience reach.

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As a franchisor, you’ll want to know which existing and potential franchisees best fit your business concept. Proven Match is the proven solution in determining those factors. Through our proven behavioral assessment techniques, predictive analysis becomes a predictive success for your franchise concept. If you’re ready to show your leadership by getting started, give us a call and we’ll put you on the path to a more productive year in 2017.

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