With Facebook having turned ten years old this month, it’s becoming harder to remember what the Internet was like before Social Media. Liking, Tweeting and Find us on Facebook are all terms that are now woven into our digital subconscious.
Social Media is something that most business owners are told “You need to be on it”. We disagree. Your business should be on a select few Social Networks that actually make sense for the type of business you’re in. At a high-level here are some things to help narrow your view:
- Facebook: Consumer-driven, B2C market and a strong ad platform. Facebook has the largest klout of users, great for information, but also a very visual platform
- Twitter: Information-driven, both B2C and B2B markets, very fast paced but effective use of hashtags (#) and mentions (@) can garner affiliation or attention
- LinkedIn: Similar in many ways to Facebook, but with a strict business focus. LinkedIn is connecting with relevant people, finding new opportunities, staff and helpful information pertaining to your business
- Pinterest: Highly visual pin-board-style network allowing users to quickly append items of interest for future review, sorting. Both B2B and B2C have done well on Pinterest, still dominantly a female user base
- Instagram: A photo-sharing app that drove enough awareness through hashtags (#) and filters that Facebook just had to have it. This network is predominantly mobile
- Google Plus: Like many others is about sharing content, allows you to easily group contacts into groups called Circles to allow you to target your messaging to the right people. Google Plus also integrates into Google’s other platforms – Hangouts, YouTube, etc
- YouTube: Google’s purchase of the largest video sharing platform has escalated the platform.
- Foursquare: This geolocation-focused network allows users to check-in at locations for both bragging rights for achievements as well as offers businesses post through the Social Network
- The list goes on and on!
AM I A SOCIALITE, OR DO I NEED HELP?
That question is best left up to you – After all, you know your business better than any of us. However, if you are considering Social Media, there’s a number of ways you can get help:
- Consultation: Use the experience of those who have been using Social Media and get a plan broken out for you, guidelines on the Networks and how to use the tools to manage your own Social Media Strategy
- Training: Empower yourself and your staff with Social Media Training. Working alongside a firm to develop the execution plan, but also work hands-on with your team to become capable of managing your own Social Media more effectively
- Management: Also known as Community Manager. This person is responsible for the online management of your Social Media strategy. A good Community Manager is something versed in the major platforms, SEO as well as great writing and blogging skills
We do have one piece of advice – Never hire any Social Media professional who deems himself or herself “an expert” or “guru”, those are your red flags. However, a great professional will be able to effectively teach or manage the tools on your behalf.
SOCIAL MEDIA: PR 2.0
Like we discussed last month with SEO, Social Media has seen an explosion of user engagement via smartphones and tablets. Like any good marketing tool if you’re considering Social Media – Know where to find your users. They are out in their community Liking, Tweeting, sharing photos and videos, and so should you.
Reach out, communicate and have a conversation with people on Social Media. Show off your newest product on Instagram or share your company’s story in video. It can’t be stressed enough: Communicate, interact, engage.
Gone are the days in business where you can have Yellow Pages ad and think that’s enough for your marketing. More than ever consumers are wanting to know about the companies, their products and services but they want to get to know YOU before doing any of that.
So, are you considering Social Media in 2014, we think you should! Pop on and say hello to us on Facebook or Twitter. We’re always up for a great conversation and we’d be glad to grow your business on Social Media.