How does it make sense to integrate social media in my brand or business?
Setting up a presence across social media platforms is useful the way that giving your business cards to friends, family, and business partners is useful – it makes your information easier to look up and share. So do set up a presence for yourself on facebook, google+, linkedin, and others. But realize that is can be far more valuable to focus your efforts on engaging online in a way that provides something valuable for your customers or clients. Often this means committing to one or two social media platforms that are compatible with your business.
How do you choose the right social media platform for your business?
Social Networking for Business – Considerations:
1. To increase your SEO (search engine rankings) develop your presence on Google-run platforms.
As far as social networks go, Google+ and YouTube are the best places to build a presence in order to make your business more visible in search engine results.
2. Consider where your target audience is.
If you serve a younger audience, instagram, twitter, and facebook may be the best places to engage. If you serve mostly women, check out pinterest. If you are mostly a B2B (business to business), then it makes sense to engage linkedin. See the resources below for more information.
3. What style of interaction suits you?
Will you be posting mostly pictures? Then Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest will suit you. Do you plan to post articles and create conversations? Then consider Facebook and Google+. Will you have spontaneous deals and specials that only warrant a line of text? Then consider incorporating twitter in your social media strategy.
4. Consider the all of most popular websites and social networks.
Before you exhaust yourself with possible networks, decide what among the most popular websites suits your business’ social engagement style – it may not be an official social network that you end up having the most “social engagement” on. Then, consider places that are explicitly set up for social networking. Here are the most popular websites and social networks of 2013, according to eBizMBA:
Most Popular Websites of 2013:
Most Popular Social Networks of 2013:
5. Consider the most popular websites and networks for your niche
For instance, if you are in real estate, you may want to engage with your audience on zillow, trulia, and realtor.com. Almost every large niche website has some form of social engagement available.
6. Make online social interaction about providing a resource rather than advertising and selling.
Ask yourself what you could provide and then ask yourself how you could most provide that resource online.
The best way to engage with your clients and customers online is to provide something of value for them.
If you have a large knowledge-base relevant to your business, you may want to consider blogging regularly and syndicating those blog entries from your website to the social networks where your clients or customers already engage. If you are a photographer, you may just stick to syndicating photographs from your websites gallery pages to social networks. If you have a vast collection of online resources (useful websites), you may set up a “Resources” page on your website and periodically post a URL to your social networks with a short description of that resource.