The state of social media for small businesses

Twitter

The micro-blogging site has become a must-have for every start up. The availability of a username on Twitter has even become a crucial part of picking a name for  new businesses. But, shares in Twitter fell by more than 20% after it became clear the site no longer attracts new or old users like it once did.

For the first time in history, Twitter’s timeline views are dropping. In the final quarter of 2013, the total number of page views was lower than earlier in the year, and just 9 million new accounts were created. We’re not saying it’s time to stop Tweeting, but the first signs that Twitter may not be the long term leader of small business social media are starting to appear. 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s situation isn’t quite as bad as Twitter. It’s shares have fallen by 15%, but it’s not because people are deserting the site. The problem comes from uncertainty over where growth will come from. However, premium account sales continue to rise as more and more people pay to unlock the extra features.

LinkedIn remains the most powerful tool for connecting with anyone who can help your business. If you’re after someone specific to provide a comment for a blog, speak at an event or unlock a new opportunity for your business, LinkedIn is still a great way to make a first contact. But engagement rates for content remain notoriously low. A click through rate of 0.025% classes as good on LinkedIn, compared to 0.14% on Facebook.

Facebook

Despite dealing with a drop off in users in its biggest markets, Facebook continues to grow around the world. Ten years in, the social media success story is still breaking new ground with its new app, Paper, and is another essential focus of any customer facing small business.

Facebook offers more potential for brand building than any other social media site. You may not be able to post as much as you can on Twitter, and it may not be as visual as Pinterest, but it does bring together everything about your brand more than any page, other than your own website.

Pinterest

A relative new boy in the small business social media world, Pinterest is a great way for start ups to build up a voice and an image with fans. Pinterest lets you show off the people behind the brand and the thoughts behind the business in an engaging, visually stunning way.

If you’re not using Pinterest yet, it is time to think about it again. It’s definitely not right for every small business, but, if it fits your brand, it will do a lot for your sales. The fact that conversion rates for Pinterest traffic are 50% than average proves its value. 

For more on small business social media, click here.

 

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