Which Social Media Channels Are Right For Your Business?
With a myriad of social media networks available today, how do you determine which ones are right for your business? While Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube are the most popular, being a part of all of these networks can be daunting.
Here are a few tips that can help you choose the right channel and how to effectively use them:
Use the Network to Your Customers Use
Before social networking a business would use traditional advertising based on what was watched, read or listened to by their customers. Social networks are no different today. They are, for the most part, advertising/marketing channels.
Take the time to find out what social media networks your customers use and establish a presence there. Engage with them where they live and be a resource for them.
If you have a restaurant, you probably wouldn’t be on LinkedIn as much as you would Facebook and Twitter. If you provide business insurance or commercial loans then LinkedIn would be better than Facebook.
Pick Two – or Three
Businesses are often overwhelmed by the number of social networks are available and feel they need to have a presence on every single one. Not true.
As a rule of thumb, it’s best to pick two to three social networks – say Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – and concentrate on these channels.
The worst thing you can do is set up a social media account and then not be active. It’s equivalent to building a website then leaving the content stale and outdated.
It’s All about Content and Engagement
Social media is all about content and engagement. Once you’re established on a social media network you need to engage with your followers/connections and provide relevant content. Be part of the community and don’t oversell. Let users see the benefits of what your company offers and build brand equity through engagement (this includes sharing other user’s content instead of broadcasting yours).
Bring them Home
While social media is about community, social media for business is about just that – business. Social media marketing may be more subtle than traditional marketing and advertising but at the end of the day it’s designed to bring the customer to your website and engage with your company. Building brand equity and sales are the two most important goals.
With that in mind, be sure to link your social media presence to your website. Do this in your social media bios, in your tweets and posts and in your interactions.
Be sure the newly engaged (or established) customer knows how to find your company and buy your services. Give them a destination and bring them home!
Social media in general can be overwhelming and intimidating. Social media marketing for business can be difficult if not done correctly. Take the time to understand the networks you are using and the best way to interact with fellow users – and future customers.
Chuck Hester is the Chief Communications Officer for Big Think Innovation, a business architect consultancy that helps companies plan, grow and build their futures. He is also a LinkedIn trainer and speaker, helping businesses get the most out of LinkedIn, while teaching them how to communicate effectively. Contact him directly at email@example.com.
Need help with LinkedIn? Feel free to message Chuck and ask about one-on-one and group LinkedIn Executive Training.