For small businesses and organizations, the potential of social media is tremendous – social media has the potential to deliver your content to a global audience and is free to use beyond the ongoing investment of manpower and resources required to update and monitor each account. However, it is an unfortunate fact that the reality of social media can fail to live up to this lofty potential – it can be extremely difficult to attract and engage an audience on social media, especially in the short term when your follower counts may be low, and attempting to update and monitor an increasing number of social media accounts can sometimes be onerous, especially for a business with limited manpower or resources.

What Social Media Channels Are You Using

If you are using social media, a decision was made as to which services would be used – this may have occurred when social media services like Facebook and Twitter became prominent or when your company or organization was established. With the advent of newer social media services and new services and features launched by existing social media companies, it may be time to reassess which social media services your company is utilizing.

Facebook Is Still On Top

The vast majority of businesses belong on Facebook. Year after year, Facebook has maintained its place as the top social media service in the United States and in many countries around the world. With almost one and a half billion active users in 2015, you simply can’t ignore Facebook. However, does this mean that Facebook is the only social media service you should utilize? If your business or organization simply doesn’t want to invest the time and effort to update and monitor more than one social media network, or if maintaining a presence on other services has proven to be unsuccessful and you wish to downsize your digital presence, then maintaining just a Facebook account may be the best option.

The Importance of Google+

Google+ (Google Plus) is an extremely important social media channel for your business to be a part of. Even if you do not have the time to post content onto Google+, Google+ is owned by Google. That may be obvious, but it is through the information that you insert into your Google+ account that brings up your address, phone number, business hours, and most importantly, a map that includes the geographical range that your business serves when someone types your business name into the Google search engine. If you are not on Google+, getting one as soon as possible is highly recommended.

Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn

Depending on the nature of your business, it may be vitally important to utilize other services as well, including Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Many people use their Twitter accounts to communicate with companies if they have a question, concern or complaint, and more and more companies are utilizing special Twitter accounts to exclusively respond to customers. Younger users have flocked to Instagram, a social media service that specializes in images, and that service provides an excellent platform for showcasing product images and visual marketing. Last but certainly not least, LinkedIn has proven to be a popular service for professionals, and participating in LinkedIn Groups can provide invaluable opportunities to network and potentially attract new clients and customers to your business or organization.

Each Service Represents An Investment

While it may sound like a good idea to sign up for as many social media networks as you can, especially if you want to reserve a unique username for your business across as many services as possible, you must remember that each service represents an ongoing investment of manpower and resources. While it is possible to post identical content across multiple platforms, especially using a social media dashboard service such as Hootsuite, it is also important that you monitor these services as well, especially platforms like Twitter, which relies heavily on two-way communication between users, and Facebook, which is a popular place to post comments. If you choose to establish a presence on a social media network and later abandon it, you risk damaging your reputation with the users of that service and even other Internet users who may come across your abandoned account in search engine results.

Choose Your Social Media Channels Wisely

Unless your business or organization is part of an industry or market that caters to technologically-savvy consumers, it is also a bad idea to immediately create an account on each and every new social media service that you come across. Not only do you risk spreading your resources too thin, but new social media services often don’t establish an identifiable niche in the market for quite some time after they launch, if they survive at all. It can prove to be a waste of time and resources to establish a presence on a new social media network if that network proves to be popular with users outside of your customer base or market.