Does your business need to use Social Media; the simple answer is Yes!
But why? Why should we invest time in Social Media? We held a webinar recently in one of our monthly training sessions on Social Media for your business and we gave tips on how you could make your Social Media work for you. One reason is you're improving your SEO - sending people back to your website and another is that Social Media Networks now appear in Google Searches, especially when you are logged into Google.
So what is Social Media?
Social Media is any online activity where people share content, information, enter competitions, engage with one and other, search for jobs, post pictures, write about things, deal with customer care and much, much more. Social media in summary is what is happening in the world online right now. There are so many Social Media Networks that you will need to see which network will suit your company best.
How to start?
Look at the most popular networks and see which suits your business best; examples of some networks are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Four Square, Instagram, Flickr, Pinterest and dozens more.
Each Social Network has a different audience;
Facebook has a billion plus users Worldwide and has people from all backgrounds. Friends connect to their friends and can hold conversations, post pictures or share content. Brands use Facebook quite effectively to promote their products. The power of the like can be something spectacular if done correctly.
LinkedIn is a network that is filled with professional people - it's almost like Facebook for business – in Ireland there are c. 200,000 on LinkedIn. People use LinkedIn to look for jobs, share professional information, post articles that others might find interesting, research businesses, research clients and to prospect for new business and clients. With LinkedIn you can talk to or search for exact job titles in a specific sector, ideal if you are want to target a certain professional industry. You also want people to follow your profile so that they get your updates.
Twitter is considered as the now network. If you want to find something out Twitter probably knows about it. There are 500+ million people on Twitter. Some companies use Twitter as a customer service tool, others use it as an information tool for their customers; others just use it as a fun tool where they can entertain their customers having a presence online where they can be contacted if needs be. Beware of what you say on Twitter as everything you say is public (unless you have a private account, but no point in that if you are a company or brand), many companies have let people post on their behalf and have received negative press because of it. Think before you send anything.
So how do you know what is the right network for you?
Well the first thing you're going to need to do is figure out your "company voice". How do you want your company or your brand to be heard by people? Then you need to test which network your customers are on or your target audience are using. Are you a restaurant? - Maybe Instagram would be the best network for you to display your meals. Are you an accountancy firm? - Then you should think about creating a helpful and useful blog and publishing it on your website and on LinkedIn.
Deciding what network and how you are communicating to your audience is the 1st thing. Creating content is the next thing. That is going to come down to research and time; time to write it and publish it. If you are using Twitter or you blog or Facebook you should integrate that feed into your website. It is always good for people to see how active you are and what you are saying. At the end of the day everything you are doing should be driving traffic back to your website and hopefully generating more leads from their visit.
In our next blog we will talk about the Social Media tools that can help you bring all of your content into one space, but for now it's all about identifying what type of Social Media Network you want to be on and how you would like to use it.