So, which one do you choose? What is best for the kind of company you are? These are the top six in my opinion.
Twitter - Twitter is a great tool for getting out announcements and pointing people to blog posts. On Twitter you only have 140 characters, so you have to keep it short. It's nice to offer Twitter because some people prefer it to Facebook for businesses they follow (and Facebook is making it harder for people to see you posts, as well). Twitter would be especially good for your business if you do lots of blog posts, have lots of new products or share lots of information about your type of business. If you do choose to have a twitter account, make sure to use it. Follow people and post at least once a week. Again, you don't want a potential customer to see your twitter account with your last post from eight months ago. It doesn't encourage trust in the strength of the business. If it doesn't seem like something you would use much, just stick with Facebook for now.
Google+ - Some people love Google+ and I do admit some of the functionality of it is better than Facebook, but not a lot of people I know are on it, but maybe your customers are. It doesn't take much to create a business page on Google+ and it can only benefit you. Since it is part of Google, having a profile on Google+ helps your search visibility on Google. Just remember to update it when you create new blog posts and have news to share.
Pinterest - Pinterest is like a social bookmarking site that bookmarks images. Often these images are linked to the pages where the image lives. People follow each other and repin the pins they like on their boards. This is how a popular item can make the rounds a lot. If it's your item or your article, the results can be amazing.
If your business is selling products, especially visually appealing products, a Pinterest account seems like a perfect thing for you. If you are a place, a destination, a blog, a chef, or any number of businesses that have visually appealing products or useful tutorials or tips, I suggest that you use Pinterest. Keep in mind that you can have boards that compliment your business as well. For example, if you restore old cars, you can also have a board that shows your dream cars. Or perhaps you have a tea shop, as well as a board with your teas and one with your tea accessories, you could also have boards for recipes using tea and other tea shops around the country. Take a look at Pinterest and see what people are pinning. Many people use Pinterest to plan weddings, trips, redecorate and remodel. I personally go to Pinterest first if I'm looking for a recipe. Pinterest is somewhat new to the scene, but it is in the top tier of Social Media musts, I think.
If you think your products is more "male" oriented, try the "men's version" of Pinterest - Gentlemint. It's not nearly as busy, but it has a different group of followers. There is nothing that makes Pinterest a place for women especially, except the large number of women using it. I assure you, however, plenty of men use Pinterest as well.
You Tube - There are some impressive stats about the value of making You Tube videos for your business. I personally don't find myself watching them much, but obviously many people do. If your products is something that does something, a video is a great idea. Do you do a blog with tutorials, then yes, definitely make videos. Do you offer a website that makes something custom? If so, a video showing how to use the website might be good. And of course, if your business is music or performance a You Tube video is a must. There are other reasons to use You Tube. Check out your favorite online businesses and get ideas from them.
Once you've made it make usre it is on your website and you can even Pin the you tube video to you Pinterest account.
Linked In - This is a must for anyone who is a freelancer, contract worker or sales person. Do you have your own business focusing on business or computer services? Then you should definitely be on Linked In. Do you do sales and rely on leads? Then Linked In could be your best resource. Linked In offers the opportunity for people to recommend your work and vouch for your skills. This is a great way to ensure possible employers that you are the right choice. These days every working individual should have a linked in account, especially if you are looking for a job.
In the future we will focus more closely on these social media outlets and others. But, right now a good thing to do is choose at least one for your business and really do it up right. It's better to have one social media account that's active than 4 that aren't.