Social Media for Business Simplified

Social media isn’t easy and the more you get into it, the more complex and overwhelming it can be.

When one considers legal issues, compliance, HR, productivity, IT infrastructure + limitations, sales + marketing, data mining, impact on competition & market position, you’ll start understanding how complex it really is!

Never fear, socialface is here to help simplify the world of social media and help you see how valuable social media can be for your business.  We’ve worked to deliver some brief descriptions around what each of the most popular platforms are, how they might benefit your business and why you might like to add them to your digital and social media strategy.

Facebook

Facebook is the world’s most popular social network with a community of users who post, share and view a wide-variety of content from written posts, to photos and videos.

Businesses use Facebook to connect and communicate with their target audience and to turn that audience into brand evangelists..

Facebook benefits businesses by providing the ways and means to create an active social community who will help spread your brand’s marketing message to an even larger group of friends (think word-of-mouth recommendations on steroids).  Businesses can also use Facebook to drive visitors to its website, to create and share promotions and offers, as a customer service tool, for reputation management, to build brand awareness, as a lead-generating tool, to deliver product/service information, for hyper-targeted advertising, as a customer retention tool, and much more.

Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging tool (140 characters or less) designed to allow people to share what they are doing in their daily life in real-time.

Business use Twitter to deliver messages quickly to large audience and to follow conversations happening in real-time which are related to their brand or business.

Businesses use Twitter for real-time marketing research by following trends or discussions related to their business, brand or industry.  Companies also use Twitter to quickly disseminate (send tweets) information by sharing content with company followers and then increase its reach further by asking those followers to share (retweet) with their followers.  Many businesses also use Twitter as an inexpensive, instant customer service / customer feedback tool.  Twitter drives traffic to websites, allows companies to expand their networks worldwide and now allows companies to share video and photos as well.

Twitter is like hanging out at the water cooler, lots of little, short, sharp pieces of information.

Google+

Google+, much like Facebook, is a social network where people can connect based on mutual interest, communicate and share content.

Businesses use Google+ to connect with a targeted community, build brand awareness, engage their community and build their online presence.

Google+ allows businesses to create Circles (targeted groups) of individuals that are specifically interested in a brand’s services/products and then communicate and market to those individuals.  Businesses can use Google+ Hangouts (think live, video conferencing) to connect face to face with prospects and customers for free.  This tool can be used for lead-generating sales webinars, question and answer sessions for customer service/customer retention,  and to introduce and build buzz for a new product or service (just to name a few).  Businesses also use Google+ for search engine optimisation and to improve search engine rankings which helps them gain more exposure and claim online real estate.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network geared towards the business professional.

Businesses should consider using LinkedIn to connect and communicate with other businesses and business professionals and to share company information to a network of followers.

LinkedIn is the perfect social network for generating B2B leads and sharing marketing information with B2B customers and prospects.  LinkedIn also allows businesses to create a company page and then share marketing/sales/promotional content to other LinkedIn connections.  LinkedIn Groups are a venue for a business’s employees to become thought leaders (the go-to gal or guy) in their industry by answering questions and sharing insights.  Companies are using LinkedIn more and more as an virtual employment agency to find top-notch talent without the high-cost of traditional employment services.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a visually-focused social network where users share (pin) content in visual (photos, screen captures, infographics) form and organise that content on pinboards for others to view and then share.

Businesses use Pinterest to connect and engage their target audience with visual brand content.

Grow brand awareness and brand reach with Pinterest by creating sharable, visual branding messages (think traditional visual advertising).  Link your visual content to your website to grow online traffic.  Increase sales leads by creating visual promotional content (coupons, contests, special sales) that directs prospects and customers back to your website or to eCommerce pages.  Strengthen customer loyalty and customer retention by sharing brand-related visual content on a regular basis.

YouTube

YouTube is a video-sharing website that, along with uploading and viewing videos, allows users to perform social actions such as sharing, commenting on and liking video content.

Businesses use YouTube to create Channels (your brand’s YouTube page) to disseminate video content for online consumption.

Your business can use YouTube to increase brand/product/service awareness with video content.  Because the site is owned by Google, many refer to YouTube as the world’s second-largest search engine.  Thus, businesses use YouTube videos and their YouTube channel to increase traffic to their website and to enhance their search engine optimisation strategy.  Increase your market penetration and reach with viral videos (content that is passed along by others online).  Use YouTube content to connect with other social communities by posting videos on Facebook, LinkedIn and in blogs.  Increase customer retention by sharing how-to videos and videos tied into promotions and special discounts.

Blogging

A blog can be a stand-alone online content sharing site or a page (a section) of a website designated for sharing, regular online content contributions.

Businesses use blogs to post and share valuable content on a wide-range of topics such as business or industry-related news and product/service information.

Blogs give businesses a tool to grow its online presence, capture more online real estate, improve website search engine rankings and to enhance its overall search engine optimisation strategy.  Brands can use blogs to share valuable content on a larger scale (think more words) than with other social media outlets and then save time, energy and resources by repurposing that content in a variety of forms across all social channels.  Blogs serve customer service, customer retention and brand awareness purposes by giving your business an online voice.  By utilising comments and social sharing options, blogs can also create brand-customer interactions, build trust and goodwill which enhances your lead-generating and sales strategies.

There you have it, you don’t need to be everywhere, having a successful social media strategy is about understanding where your audience is and being there to chat with them, at their leisure.  The tables have turned, previously we controlled when people connected with our business.  Now in the age of “I want it now”  Customers are choosing to work with you in their timeframes in places they choose, it’s up to us as marketers to predict where  our tribes will be and be there for them when they are ready to interact with us.
If you’re not controlling what people say about you online, who is.  Now is the time to step in to social so your on the front foot managing your business in a world of new media and fast communications.

 

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