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It seems as if we live in an age where social media has taken over. It’s pretty typical to find out about a friend’s major life event on Facebook or Twitter. And even though social media platforms are widely used for interactions between friends, businesses are using them aggressively to connect with customers.

Social media is a great platform to introduce new products to consumers, provide relevant information about existing products, and engage customers to encourage repeat business.

A company without a social media presence is likely to sacrifice market share. Below are the top ten social media sites businesses should use:

Instagram – This photo-sharing platform is one of the best ways to display your products. With easy-to-use filters and a clickable call to action (CTA), Instagram is one of the best platforms for online sales. You can also share photos of your staff or custom graphics to build brand recognition.

Facebook – Facebook is still the #1 social media platform worldwide. One-quarter of the world’s population uses Facebook for social sharing and entertainment. Businesses can connect with customers by sharing photos and videos of their products and staff. Facebook is also the most popular platform for advertising.

Pinterest – Pinterest is a popular platform to share images and articles that customers can save to their profiles. Some of Pinterest’s most-searched terms include health & beauty, fashion, food, and “DIY” projects. For certain target audiences, Pinterest can be highly profitable.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a professional network for users to share their career experiences, learn about others in their network, and potentially connect with companies. LinkedIn is most appropriate for B2B companies and business owners.

Twitter – Twitter is an easy way to share updates in real time with millions of fans across the world. Twitter is primarily used to share company news and promote brand messages. Twitter is also a great way for public figures to share opinions about current events with their audiences.

Google+ – Google+, a social network that serves as an extension of Google’s other apps, helps you rank in the search engine and manage contacts in your professional circles. While Google+ may not be a direct way to connect with followers, it can help with your search engine optimization (SEO).

Yelp – Your online reputation is influenced by what others say about you through public review forums. Yelp, the second-largest review site, is a great asset to use to help boost your online presence, provide contact information, and give happy customers a platform to share their experiences with others.

YouTube – Videos are the most popular type of content shared on social networks. YouTube, one of the oldest video-sharing platforms, is still the number one choice for posting video content online. You can also use YouTube as an ad platform.

Snapchat – Snapchat is a video and photo-sharing app, popular with younger demographics. The app allows you to create a 24-hour visible “story,” where you can upload photos, videos, and blog posts to share with friends. Snapchat is a new social media platform but can be utilized for many different business niches.

Medium – Medium is a free content publisher that is growing in popularity. You can write and publish your own opinion posts about topics in your industry, and use the platform as a content distributor to other social media channels. Medium can also help in your SEO campaign.

For more information about social media marketing, contact the digital marketing team at Tucker/Hall. We also have resources on social media for PR and online reputation management here.