We all know that a large and growing number of businesses are using social media as part of their marketing. But for those of you that aren’t yet on board,
what are the benefits of investing in social media? There are multiple reasons:
- Social media helps you deliver better customer service. Social media permits customers to have pre-sales or support related questions
that can be quickly addressed. This real time communication helps to make customers happy which in turn creates loyalty and positive word of mouth.
- Social media lets your business build its brand and differentiate it from competitors. Through social media you can effectively
generate more awareness about your business and establish its unique personality – giving it a human voice that people will relate to.
- It helps you to manage your business’ reputation. Social media give you the opportunity to deal swiftly and sensitively with any
customers’ comments or complaints. This instant feedback demonstrates high levels of customer service and diminishes any negativity. Negative sentiment can
often be turned into a positive through the demonstration of strong customer service and problem resolution.
- Social media allows you to obtain real customer insights. You can quickly and easily obtain feedback from customers, which will give
you a clearer sense of how your business is doing and identify challenges that can then be addressed.
- Social media will drive website traffic. Being active on social media will help you increase the amount of traffic your website
receives. Not only do successful social media activities increase click-throughs to your site, it also improves search engine rankings.
So we understand why businesses should be using social media, but the next question is which social media platforms should I be using? And what should I be
posting on each?
It’s often suggested that businesses should be active on all forms of social media. This may be true, but unless your company has a dedicated social media
coordinator, finding the time to maintain every platform out there can be extremely time consuming.
For businesses, William Joseph recommends being active in the following:
- Twitter. Small to large businesses should operate a Twitter account. This is used to start, join and lead conversations and interact
directly with customers. Postings should be made several times each day. Relevance, personality and brevity are key here to making your voice heard.
- LinkedIn. Businesses (especially B2B service providers) are strongly advised to possess a LinkedIn account. This platform is excellent
for sharing job postings, company descriptions and research findings. Postings are advised to be made approximately two to four times per week. For
businesses seeking clients, they are advised to grow their LinkedIn networks by adding as many real connections as possible. Use your second and third
degree connections to request personal introductions for real opportunities.
- Facebook. Facebook is a solid platform for brand building, recruitment or client acquisition. Businesses should consider using
advertising or paying to promote their page on Facebook, but they are advised not to make the page itself look like an advertisement. A business’ Facebook
page should inspire conversations and share information on events, accomplishments, observations, employee profiles and the like. It is always advised that
questions are asked to followers to spur interaction. Of all social networks, Facebook is best equipped to share responses to a post asking a question or
sparking conversation. Posts should be made once or twice per day. There is no shortage of options for analyzing Facebook data.
- Google+. For businesses that already have a presence on other major social media platforms, Google+ is a recommended next step. This is
a more formal and professional venue than Facebook where hashtags have major search value. Operating a page on Google+ has the large benefit of
significantly increasing the business’ search engine optimization. It’s recommended that posts link often to content on the business’ website to direct
this search boost where you want it most. Post frequency is advised to be once or twice per day.
- YouTube. For companies that have video content and/or wish to give an explanation or share expertise, YouTube is a great fit. Videos
should be only 2 minutes or less and posts should be made about once per week. YouTube is owned by Google and, as such, YouTube videos feature prominently
in Google search results. Keep this in mind when naming and describing videos and direct people looking for insight or explanations within your industry
topics to your brand’s page.