There are so many different social media sites out there, so how do you know where to focus your efforts? CNN Money wrote a great article, but it’s paraphrased below.

Facebook

Facebook:

  • What it is: The world’s largest social network, Facebook allows users to share content and conversations, create events and deploy targeted ads.
  • Best business uses: Generating and fostering relationships with potential clients; advertising.
  • Who should use it: Everyone

 

Twitter

Twitter:

  • What it is: A site that lets users post messages — “tweets” — of 140 characters or less.
  • Best business uses: Promoting events, news and specials; building your customer base by fostering conversations where you can show your expertise.
  • Who should use it: Owners with a few hours per week to read, send and search messages.
LinkedIn

LinkedIn:

  • What it is: The world’s largest resume pool; a place to read career-oriented blogs and news articles.
  • Best business uses: Hiring; networking to reach potential clients.
  • Who should use it: Everyone, especially B2B companies looking for new customers.
Pinterest

Pinterest:

  • What it is: A place to create and share links centered around visual themes.
  • Best business use: Promoting your brand to a female-skewed audience.
  • Who should use it: Retailers, manufacturers and travel sites whose brands lend themselves to images.
Instagram

Instagram:

  • What it is: Photo app that allows you to apply artsy effects to your shots.
  • Best business use: Promoting your brand via stylized images to a largely twenty-something audience.
  • Who should use it: Hotels, restaurants, consumer products companies and other firms with lots of photos of properties and goods.
YouTube

YouTube:

  • What it is: Google’s video-sharing site, which has more than 1 billion unique visitors each month.
  • Best business use: Building credibility by showcasing your knowledge and skills.
  • Who should use it: Everyone. Financial advisers, lawyers, and marketing professionals can record themselves offering valuable tips; advertising firms can display their creativity.