This infographic by Flowtown and ColumnFive provides a basic overview of a few of the more popular social media websites for small business marketing. The infographic illustrates the pros and cons of the various networks, a basic overview of key terms, how to get started, and the size of the user-base of each site.
Pros and Cons
Reviewing the pros and cons listed for different social media websites, it is hard not to feel the analysis misses key points in terms of small business marketing.
Unfortunately, this is a very common problem in the social media industry. Leading consultants, working with large Fortune 1 clients, have a big impact on how marketers conceptualize using social media. As a consequence, a lot of strategies that are appropriate for highly visible brands, with millions of existing customers, are applied to small businesses. This results in poor return on investment, increasing the time and money businesses spend.
Social Media and Small Businesses
To provide further insight into the value of social media websites for small businesses, we have created our own list of pros and cons for a few of the websites.
- Connect with potential customers, thought leaders and experts
- Great for sharing blog posts and content marketing
- The advanced search feature provides an easy way to identify customers
- Over 3% of Twitter users make more than $1k a year
- People who are new to Twitter can find it challenging to add followers
- Not a good place for spammy, sales oriented tweets
- Need to regularly find or create content to share with followers
- People share great content with their friends on Facebook all the time
- Facebook ads provide a cost effective and highly targeted way to build a large number of fans or likes
- Lots of apps are available for free to increase the functionality of Facebook pages
- Facebook pages can provide SEO value for websites
- Depending on the industry and market, it can be challenging to grow a large base of fans or likes quickly without paid ads
- Edge Rank limits the distribution of status updates and posts
- Makes uploading, embedding and sharing videos really easy
- Videos on YouTube often show up when people do a search using Google
- Not as easy to build a network as other social media websites
- Great videos are shared a lot, mediocre videos not so much
- Integrates with Google’s other services used by a large number of people
- Google Plus profile and content integrated with search engine results
- One of the fastest growing social networks, estimated to reach 4 million users by the end of 212
- Smaller than other social media websites
- Lots of business oriented activity but not as popular with the average consumer
- Long term impact on search and role of Google plus is still unclear