By Matt Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org
Social media and how best to use it is a frequent marketing topic these days and after a very interesting conversation with my friend Huw Sayer, here is our brief overview of top tips when considering which platforms to use and for which purpose.
- Be clear about the purpose of your social media activities and the reason for using each platform.
- Twitter – great for engagement with customers and key industry people and companies. Don’t use Twitter as a broadcast tool. Join conversations that are relevant to your business. Use it to ask and answer questions. Respond quickly to service issues raised by customers. Keep your sales Tweets to a minimum, certainly no more than 20% of your activity.
- LinkedIn – follow and connect with key customers, prospects and influential people in your industry. Use it to build a profile that allows potential future employees to understand the ethics and culture of your business. Not really the best place to be selling – keep it professional.
- Facebook –as a personal platform this tends to be more suited to business-to-consumer than business-to-business but since you can engage with a different audience and write longer posts, you could use it for giving advice or answering FAQs. Twitter can be connected with and update FaceBook, if you prefer not to update this platform separately. FaceBook can post through Twitter – but that is not advisable – as posts tend to look spammy particularly if you use FaceBook to post images.
- Google+ – posts to this platform seem to get picked up by Google very quickly. No surprise there perhaps. A well-constructed Google+ profile can be very valuable as you can connect your YouTube channel to it and link to Google maps, making a very complete business profile presence in the number 1 search engine. Hangouts can be useful for small business-to-business (B2B) groups but need careful management.
- Pinterest – although viewed by some as mainly of interest to consumers rather than businesses, you should consider this platform to see if it fits with your business objectives and your purpose on social media (some companies with very visual stories might find it ideal – as with other photo sharing platforms).
To finish up, here is our social media sanity check list:
- Measure the cost versus the return. If you can’t measure it, then find a way or use another marketing tool that you can.
- Social media can be a serious time destroyer. If you are handling it personally, at least stick a clock on it.
- Post wisely. Remember that social media is public. People seem to trip up on this regularly as they forget that once an inappropriate comment or post is made, it’s public and permanent.
- Don’t Tweet Twoddle! Keep posts and messages on topic and relevant to your overall business goals.
- Don’t use a specific marketing tool because “everyone else is using it”. You will be surprised how many people won’t be using it and it is important to think differently and not follow the herd.