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The power of social media

Date posted:  5/23/14 10:30:00 AM Twitter is one of many social media networks utilized by small businesses.

If you are a small business owner hoping to attract new clients and customers, chances are you've thought about employing - or maybe already started - a social media plan to help you reach your goals.

But with so many options, it can be hard to choose which will propel you to success. According to Heather Wied, marketing director at Pubsoft, each social media outlet has its pros and cons.

"The best social network for you is dependent on your target market," Wied told Fox News. "This is something that gets lost in small business strategy. You want to be on all the different networks because you want the most exposure, but you should focus your efforts and use networks where your customers are."

Wied said small businesses and fledging companies should create a thorough marketing strategy in order to properly use social media. The social media landscape is constantly shifting, and it can be difficult to predict where people are headed next.

For example, Facebook was once king for teenagers and young adults, but that seems to be less of the case as Instagram and Snapchat are now considered trendier outlets, according to Fox News. Instagram can be a great social networking tool for a business designing clothes or a restaurant - something easily conveyed by pictures - but if you own an IT company, pictures might not do your venture justice.

Wied said it's also important to pick a network that you are personally captivated by.

"Do the things that interest you," Wied said.

You or one of your employees will likely be spending a ton of time posting and sorting through the network, so it's a good idea to pick one that you enjoy using.

Land emotionally attached customers through social media

Social media networks should not be used to pester customers or clients with nonstop information regarding your company. Rather, these outlets should be used to enhance a sense of community between your business and its followers.

Social networks can be a great way for your business to net emotional attachment from its clients, which is why it's important to respond to queries promptly and give off a good vibe.

Richard Easton, a 26-year-old social media user, is case in point. Easton had never been to Mangal 2, a family-owned Turkish restaurant, but he became interested in the place after reading some of their cheeky posts on Twitter.

"Some of the tweets are a bit crude and provocative, but it's real and it's got a voice instead of just Instagramming food images and saying today's special is so and so," Ferhat Dirik, Mangal 2's Twitter expert, told Bloomberg.

In December, Dirik's tweets landed him a job as a social media editor at the Daily Mail newspaper.

Social media takes time

You're not going to build a spectacular networking page and gain thousands of followers overnight. It takes time to build consistently strong content while being accessible to your clients.

Customers expect real-time responses when commenting on social media, and if you fail to provide active feedback through your channel, it's safe to say that consumers will go elsewhere.

Building a successful social media marketing tool signifies that you fully comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of each platform you choose to focus on.

"Twitter is now part of the equation for branding," David Levin, a former writer for MTV who netted 22,000 followers for a pub he likes to frequent, told Bloomberg. "I've seen the power of Twitter firsthand."