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Not all social media platforms will be right for your business. Consider saving save time and effort by using social media tools that your customers use. Below is a brief guide to help you understand some of the options available.

Social networking sites

Social networking sites allow you to create your own profile or page, network with others and share information (including promotions, images and video). Creating a business profile can help you to attract followers, get new customers and develop your brand. Examples of social networking sites include Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Job networking sites

Job networking sites can be used to build a professional business profile and connect with networks of skilled people for recruitment and development. An example is LinkedIn.

Blogs

Blogs are online journals of thoughts, observations, promotions, links, images and videos. Blogs are typically public. They allow readers to comment on posts and interact with you. You can host them in-house or through a blogging platform that provides the software and website hosting. Some examples of free blogging tools include Blogger and WordPress

Micro

Micro-blogs are used to send short messages to a network of followers. They can be useful if your business has a lot of information to share. Examples include Twitter and Tumblr.

Video sharing sites

Video sharing sites let you upload and share your videos. Users can then comment on and share your videos with others. Examples include YouTube and Vimeo.

Podcasts and vodcasts

Podcasts are audio files with blog-style or lecture-style content. Vodcasts are podcasts in video format. They are usually available either for:

  • download onto a computer or portable device (so it can be played offline)
  • streamed live

Social-news communities

Social-news communities are websites where members share interesting news or links to others in the community. Social-news websites are not intended for selling your products and services. Examples include Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit.

Private social network services

Private social network services allow you to share information in your private network. This is useful for businesses that want to develop a secure organisation-only network to share knowledge. An example is Yammer.

Location-based services

Location-based services helps you connect and interact with other people and businesses in your area. Foursquare is an example that also enables you to recommend or rate businesses in that area.

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