Social Networks are a key and virtually no-cost medium that enables small business to reach more customers and big businesses to go viral. Essentially, these mediums allow your customers to interact with your brand in a way that traditional, high-cost per entry above the line media will never be able to do. Irrespective of the size of your business, there is no doubt that digital marketing – especially – on social networks is the best way to create real-time interactions between your brand and your audiences through sharing content, videos and images etc.

To effectively use the various social networks available, you need to understand the benefits of each network and how you can use it to promote your brand message from different angles. A key thing to remember is how to effectively design your pages on each separate platform in a similar manner to your brand identity. Here’s a basic run down on a few of the available social networks and how you can effectively use them:

    With over 1.2 billion users worldwide, this is the network everyone knows. It connects people with businesses and brands through creating a page for your business that people would chose to ‘like’ or ‘follow’. It’s an ideal way to create links back to your other online content as well including your website, videos and online articles etc. this is because Facebook business pages have begun to revolve around furthering the business to consumer conversation. Since it also features focused targeting for paid advertising, it’s the best way to reach exactly who you want for a fraction of the cost of mainstream media.
  • Google+
    Similar to Facebook with a slightly different interface that connects you to all your other Google accounts including Gmail and YouTube. It also allows you to group your contacts into circles, based on what demographic or geographic information you have. This allows you to create specific posts viewable to specific circles – meaning you can send out promotional messages to exactly who you know may find your content interesting. Google+ also allows you to create hangouts through which you could live broadcast events to small audiences.
  • YouTube
    This allows people to share videos through a free online video hosting service. YouTube allows you to create an account and disperse lengthy audio-visual content that you couldn’t broadcast on mainstream media. Ideally, videos on how to use your product for instance would be a great way to engage with your audiences through YouTube or other video sharing platforms like Vimeo. “How to” videos will also tend to turn up on top searches, automatically allowing yourself to be featured.
  • Twitter
    Due to its minimal character count, Twitter is essentially a service that allows you to broadcast short messages or short-codes/links of other content on the web to users who have opted to follow you. It also allows you to re-post or re-tweet positive messages that your customers say about you on the same platform. Your strategy here would be to follow other industry related ‘tweeters’ and their followers to gradually increase your own count of followers.These are merely 4 of the top social network available online to get you started. Once you master these you can expand your social network channels to others such as Instagram, Flickr, LinkedIn and more.