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Social-Media-in-Business-Social-Media-Applications-Guide

There is often the question of which social media platform a business should be using. Perhaps it would be helpful to provide a short description of each and what a business can use it for.

There are two sides to the coin of the decision to use one or more platforms. One the one hand you want your business to be available to your customer on whatever channel they prefer but it does not help to be inactive on multiple platforms. It is far more productive to be very good at one or two. If you can be very good on all of them, you’ll have a winner! Perhaps it would be helpful to provide a short description of each and what a business can use it for.

Start by picking one and as you get good at, add another. When there is a definite and measurable value from your activity on social media it makes sense to invest further. Start simple!

Twitter

Twitter is used by around 500 million people and it is growing in popularity all the time. Because a tweet can only be 140 characters long it has become the preferred platform to link to news. Short, newsy statements with a link are useful.

If you have a blog or a long article on your website you can tweet the link to customers. Make the tweet punchy and interesting that will make it worth your followers following the link.

All tweets are public by default. This means you can use it to monitor what people might be saying about your brand specifically or your industry so by monitoring key words on Twitter you will have the power to reach out directly to customers to solve problems they may be having.

It’s also an excellent customer relations tool for this reason.

One excellent example is @ORTambo_Int. They monitor the activity on Twitter of customers at the airport. Questions about flight delays can be asked as well as dealing with specific problems that customers tweet about such a faulty plug when someone is trying to plug in their laptop.

Facebook

This is the most social of all social media platforms. People on Facebook are generally interested in stories or information that will entertain or help them.

If you have a presence on Facebook you will want to give your customers information that helps them, that entertains, that adds value. Do this well and you will be ‘top of mind’ with your customers.

If you are a food brand then it is likely your followers want information relating to food: tips, recipes, good ideas and the like.

Your biggest investment here will be in producing content of value. You need to find it or create it.

Don’t spam! You should not be posting more than twice a day and even that can be too much.

Unlike Twitter, Facebook posts can be much longer so a greater story can be told. Your goal on Facebook is interaction. You want your customers talking about what you post and sharing your content with their friends.

Blogging

A blog is short for “web log” and in its early days was a way for people to write and put their work ‘out there’. An online journal if you will.

Blogging has now grown into a powerful medium for your brand to tell its story. You can write regular articles about your industry to establish authority and leadership within that industry.  When new articles are written they can be disseminated through links on Twitter and Facebook.

In times of controversy your blog is where your version of events can be posted. The articles on a blog become a body of work and a resource that others can refer to. This is what establishes credibility.

As with Facebook (and just about any social platform) content is key. When you set up your blog be sure you know the type of content you want to post so you can plan going in to the future and remain consistent and on message.

A blog must be fed with regular content. It’s always disheartening to arrive at a blog and find the last article posted was 6 months ago.

Pinterest

It has been said that Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than Twitter. Pinterest is an online pinboard and is very image heavy.

People on Pinterest establish “pin boards” to collect images of things they’re interested in or want to have. Imagine shopping for a wedding dress online. Every time you see a wedding dress that may be ‘the one’ you can pin it to your wedding dress board. The pin boards are public and shared by friends. Each image will link back to the website it came from.

If your brand has excellent images of its products and how they are used, get pinning! It’s a fantastic way to further get your brand out there.

YouTube

Videos are wildly popular. YouTube accounts for half of the Internet’s bandwidth. As bandwidth has become fast and cheaper videos have grown in popularity.

Search for just about anything on YouTube and you’ll probably find a video for it.

If you can show your products in use, in a how-to video then get it onto youtube. If there are interesting facts about how your products are produced and these can be filmed then do so and get the videos on youtube.

Don’t be scared off thinking you need Hollywood level productions. Film it on a smartphone and get it up!

LinkedIn

No discussion about social media and business would be complete without mentioning LinkedIn. Years ago LinkedIn was referred to as Facebook for adults.

You can have a company page on LinkedIn but more importantly it can be used to look for business opportunities. People join the platform to do business and using it’s search facility you can find the people you want to connect to.

There are over 40 million groups on LinkedIn. Groups cover just about every subject and industry imaginable. Join the groups relevant to your industry and participate in the discussions. This establishes you as knowledgeable and credible in the industry.

The key with all activity on social media is to be ACTIVE. Participate, answer, get involved. This is where your customers are so be there and let them find you!

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