1. Facebook

What is Facebook?

Facebook is a social networking site that was founded in 2004 by four Harvard students (and roommates). These were Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It was then called “the facebook.com” and served only Harvard students as a way to connect them. It expanded to other Ivy League schools before opening up membership to other college students and later, high schools. Now, Facebook is available to anyone aged 13 and over and has over 1.79 billion monthly active users as of September 2016. In 2012, under its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook went public to investors and that has seen it acquire other social media platforms such as Instagram and the widely used chat app Whatsapp among others.

How do you use Facebook to grow your business?

Facebook is the biggest and most versatile social network. It is a great starting point for your business, regardless of size and industry. You can post photos, videos, and other company updates. Here are a few tips on using Facebook for business:

•Embed your best Facebook posts on your company website. Doing this will show your website visitors that you are active on social media and it will increase your number of followers as they will want to know what else your company has posted.

•Increase your following with giveaways. You can use a giveaway service as a fun incentive for your followers. Set one of the conditions to the raffle to be users should like your Facebook page to enter. Your followers will share your giveaway on their other channels and traffic will be directed back to your page.

•Share content from other pages. This will show your followers that you are not just there to push your products down their throats, but that you care about your industry and you are interactive.

•Highlight your company’s milestones using Facebook’s timeline structure. Show your followers how far you’ve come and let them know that they’ve played a part in the growth of your company.

2. YouTube

What is YouTube?

Simply, YouTube is the biggest video-sharing platform in the market. It was started in 2005 when PayPal employees (Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim) created a video sharing website. In 2006, YouTube was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion in stock. With over 1 billion monthly active users, YouTube enables you to upload, share and view videos online.

How do you use YouTube to grow your business?

After you have signed up to YouTube, you can create a customized channel for your company, complete with logos, slogans, colors and whatever else your company identifies with. Here are a few tips for using YouTube for business:

•Consistency: Regularly upload videos to encourage viewer subscription and engagement.

•Ask your viewers to share, leave a comment, subscribe to your channel or rate the video they are watching.

•Interact with your viewers by responding to their comments and encourage further interaction.

•Share links to your channel and embed your YouTube videos in posts on your other social networks.

•Use high-quality videos.

3. Twitter

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social media platform through which users can share 140characters or less of a message. These are commonly known as tweets. It was launched in 2006 by founders Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Noah Glass. It is web-based and has a mobile app and social management platform known as Tweetdeck. It has over 313 million active monthly users, with 82% of these active on mobile platforms.

How do you use Twitter to grow your business?

Once you have signed up for Twitter, You will need to customize your site using your company colors, slogans and a brief about your company. Twitter also allows you to share links, images and GIFs, videos and polls over your 140-character count tweets.

Here are a few tips on using Twitter for business:

•Add a Twitter widget to your website to show your customers that you are active on social media. You can create your own Twitter widget and customize what kind of things you want visible on it.

•Embed tweets in your blog. If your company website has a blog, embed tweets on it that show any fun things you have shared or tweets from your loyal followers about your company.

•Retweet other people or companies in your industry. This will show that you are not stuck in your own bubble but rather, you know who is in your industry and the current happenings.

•You may be tempted to buy followers to beef up your follower count, but don’t. The followers will not be real and therefore will not interact with your brand the same way an interested party would.

•You should also consider live tweeting, Twitter chats, using suitable Twitter hashtags and Twitter lists.

4. Instagram

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a social media network that allows you to share photos on mobile. It was created in 2010 by founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. In 2012, Instagram was purchased by Facebook and as of November 2016, it had 500 million active monthly users. Instagram is completely photo/video-centric so users cannot just post updates like on twitter or facebook.

How do you use Instagram to grow your business?

•Show off your products or services. People relate with visual representations, therefore make sure you can tell your business story using photos r shot videos (15-minute clips).

•Include your employees. Let your viewers see who works for you and also your company’s environment.

•Keep your posts about your brand.

•Run giveaways and promotions.

5. LinkedIn

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a professional social media network originally intended for job seekers and posters. It allows users to create profiles and connections to each other. It was founded in 2002 by Reid Hoffman and team members from Paypal and Socialnet.com. The company traded its first shares publicly in 2011. LinkedIn allows users to research companies, check job listings, recruit employees and form interest groups.

How do you use LinkedIn to grow your business?

•Find highly targeted customers and connections.

•Grow your email marketing list.

•Use sponsored updates.

•Join groups and stay active: Show that you are interested in your industry and its players. Create your own group too!

•Post jobs to let users know what kind of positions your company offers and increase their interest in your company.