Social media is everywhere these days: in advertisements, radio, billboards, blogs, and even on our cell phones and other electronic devices, we see social media ads. At the bottom of hundreds of web pages, we see logos of Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. We are asked to subscribe to blogs, become fans, friends, share, and communicate in countless ways, but how does this social networking actually help us, and are businesses finding measurable results using these platforms? It is worth remembering that not every company should invest time and money on all of these platforms. The best way is to evaluate exactly what your expectations are before a social media campaign starts. From there, balancing every platform’s costs and potential profits can help narrow down which type of social media program to incorporate into your marketing strategy.

1. Blogs

Blogs are commonly regarded as the “foundation” of any social media campaign. Blogs can add personality to your website and improve your understanding of the industry, by demonstrating your market expertise. It helps to generate an emotional interest in your company, develop brand awareness, and more. In addition, blogs can be combined with other types of social media sites, and the blog itself can also have your Facebook updates or live Twitter streams. One of the downsides of blogs is that they have to be as honest to their readers as you have to be to your clients. Readers will know if you fake your industry expertise, if you placed too much focus on yourself and not on them, and also whether you blog regularly or not. Blogs should be periodically updated, which can be challenging from a time perspective. Before deciding to build a company blog, this thing should be taken into consideration.

2. Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular and common social networking platforms at the moment. While trends come and go, Facebook should be the second social networking platform after blogging that you should consider. It takes brand recognition to the next level by getting people to recognize your company logo and make it easy for people to share news about your business with all their friends on Facebook. Your followers on Facebook are always reminded of your presence through status updates, news, and other interactions. In addition, Facebook has an analytics platform that allows businesses to display weekly reports documenting new followers, engagement numbers, and the kind of actions taken on their pages. In addition, Facebook allows the development of custom tabs on which other sites, such as Twitter or a blog, can be connected to a Facebook profile. Like blogging, the downside to Facebook is the time required to manage the company’s website, but the time needed here is slightly less than on platforms like Twitter.

3. Twitter

As described above, it takes a lot of time and energy to maintain a Twitter account successfully. With 27.3 million tweets a day, it can be difficult, to keep track of who is talking about your business, your product, or who needs to know more about you. In addition, different considerations, such as the need to “retweet” or react quickly, maintain a reasonable “follower to follow” ratio to ensure optimal optimization, and a host of other variables, must be taken into account. On the upside, Twitter allows users to use programs like TweetDeck to track tweets or to plan delivery messages. Twitter can be a highly creative and effective way to reach consumers, but in certain situations, this method may only operate with some sectors and must be used consistently with a clear plan in place for it to be effective.

4. YouTube

YouTube is known as a forum for social media. Moreover, it is now Google’s 2nd most-used search engine. It can be an effective branding and informational tool, especially considering the daily average time on this platform is 23 minutes. The benefits of having a YouTube presence include a potentially massive audience for businesses on a small budget, and the opportunity to “add” keywords to videos so that when your terms are searched you’ll have a decent chance of being viewed. Naturally, as with the other social media platforms we’ve addressed, different factors play a role here. But if you already have created videos for your website or blog, it’s easy to create a YouTube channel and create a much wider network of followers.

As with all social media platforms, what’s hot today might not be in the future. To raise brand awareness and retain a good image on and offline, businesses need to be able to reliably decide where to invest their time and money. This conservative and well-thought-out approach will help businesses plan for the future. Search engine marketing companies and their customers must take these considerations into account when making decisions about how and when to make further marketing efforts.