Businesses are becoming increasingly more aware of the need for social media as a way to strengthen and support their brand via interactive, online communities. Through social media, you’re able to facilitate conversations about topics related to your business and get valuable insights into the needs of your target audience. Social media helps you to steer brand perception and readily address negative comments and concerns. Through social media, a business can develop loyalty, provide 2-way communication and grow their prospects and customer base.
There are hundreds of social media networks out there and it get overwhelming when deciding which would work best for your business and why. As a business professional you want to maximize your opportunities to reach and engage with your target market. In order to have the greatest impact, your business needs to utilize Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
There are currently 600 million people on facebook and this social networking site is the leader in all things social media. Every business should create a facebook fan page and not a personal profile.
Unlike the personal profiles, the facebook fan page is open to the general public which allows anyone who clicks on the page’s link to readily view business information. This makes your page search engine friendly, giving your company another page to be placed on the search engines. It’s also a viable tool to use to link to and from other online resources. Just having a facebook fan page gives your company more credibility due to facebook’s authority. Facebook is the hub of fresh information and new business therefore using a Facebook fan page will quickly enhance customer relations. Post relevant comments regularly, upload company photos and promotional videos, and ask questions to spark conversations about your business. Through facebook you can identify brand ambassadors to partner with them.
LinkedIn is a business networking site where connections are made, leads are generated, and deals go down. Creating LinkedIn groups gives you the ability to generate a large list of contacts from high-end decision makers.
Here’s how to maximize your LinkedIn group:
- Add keywords in the description of your group to increase your search rankings on LinkedIn’s search section.
- Add keywords in the title of the group to be found on Google.
- Add your company website or blog to the group to drive traffic to your site.
- Add your blog RSS feed to the group so every new article is automatically posted to the home page of every group member.
- Send a weekly post that adds value for group members and drives traffic back to your site.
- Connect people in the group by making introductions to those who could potentially do business with one another.
With LinkedIn you can use the advanced search options to communicate specifically with a targeted audience. You can also create events using the events feature to invite thousands of business professionals to your workshops, seminars and conferences.
Twitter is the “micro-blogging” social media. It’s used to post very short updates, comments or thoughts. Twitter was designed to be very compatible with mobile phones through text messages as each update is limited to 140 characters. This open forum plays a pivotal role in the marketing of your business. One way to market your business using twitter is to incorporate hash tags to boost the credibility and visibility of your business. By placing the # symbol before a word, phrase, or abbreviation, it creates a mini-search engine phrase that can be looked up and followed on Twitter. Click on the hash tag and it will take you to the Twitter search page where you’ll see every Tweet that also uses this hash tag. From there you can find out what the hash tag is being used for, who is using it, and in most cases links to where you can get more information.
The next time you host an event, launch a new product or update your business information, create buzz on Twitter by getting employees and participants to Tweet about it by giving them a specific hash tag. For example, you can create a hash tag with the name of your featured product and have employees and those in your contact list Tweet about it in real time using the designated hash tag. This will generate buzz and support the goals for your company.