There has been a lot of discussion on which site is best for marketing your business. It seems like their are more pages to manage than there are hours to keep up with it all. How do you choose a Social Media platform for your business?
6 Things to Consider Before Creating a Company Page on Google+ Pages, LinkedIn Company Pages or Facebook Fan Page:
1. Which Social Media Platforms do your Ideal Customers use most?
My rule of thumb is Linkedin for B2B and Facebook for B2C or individuals who are sole proprietors or small biz owners. Google+ pages are unproven, but will likely favor early adopters of technology until it goes more mainstream.
Bear in mind that although your customers may be on face on Facebook or LinkedIn, they may not be looking for your content when interacting with the site.
For example, just because there are a lot of Sales Managers on Facebook, they are not likely to be looking for tips to motivate employees while surfing Facebook. They are most likely sharing photos and using it for entertainment.
Those same people may be using LinkedIn to find tips to help Sales Managers because their frame of mind is around their business.
2. What is your Value to customers when they use your Google+, LinkedIn, or Facebook company page?
You need to be willing to create compelling and relevant content in order to drive viewership, or at least sharing relevant content from elsewhere in order to hold their attention. You must give them a reason to visit your page more than once. Numbers mean nothing if your customers don’t do anything once they get there. Consider making your company page around a related topic and not necessarily a sounding board for your company. One way is to share your expertise in your field to stir discussion. If your page is a resource on your field it will attract customers who need the information and will add brand credibility to your company. Try not to use it for just sharing the same content you share elsewhere or product announcements.
3. What do you want Customers to do once they get to your Company Page on Google+, LinkedIn, or Facebook?
One big mistake companies make is to not have a clear purpose for their Social Media pages. You need to determine the action you want people to take and why. Are you trying to generate business leads or simply do some branding for your company. These two strategies will have vastly different implications on how you design your page and your content. If you want to build a brand image, focus on spurring customer to customer conversation that is relevant, but not directly tied to your product. If you are trying to generate leads, be sure to lead the conversation back to your products and provide an incentive to get them off LinkedIn, Google+, or Facebook and on to your email list or sales page. If you are generating leads all the content shared should be your own as it will drive people to your site. And then you can work to get their email and converting them to customers.
4. How does a Google+ Company page, Facebook Fanpage, or LinkedIn Company Page Integrate into your Current Marketing Strategy?
People feel like they are missing out on opportunity when they don’t have a presence on each and every social media site. That is not necessarily true. Yes you need to be in front of your potential customer as much as possible, but just because you are in more places doesn’t mean you will generate more leads. Having a deeper and more meaningful presence on one Social Media Platform does more for your business than have a shallow presence on many.
Think of it this way, when you see a Facebook Fanpage with 30 people on it , would you consider it an “Authority” on that topic? Would you then check LinkedIn or Google+ to see if the company has other pages on the same topic to total up their followers? Of course not. Now what if I said that same Company had 7,000 likes, a lot of content, and a bunch of user interaction on their wall? You would probably think about this brand differently. If the topic and content was relevant, you would probably join into the conversation and like the page.
So make sure you are not spreading yourself thin. If you already have a successful Fanpage, don’t commit to a Google+ or LinkedIn page unless it fits your model and you can dedicate the necessary time or resources to it so that it becomes as engaging as your current efforts and more.
5. How are you going to manage it? What Social Media tools?
As social media gets larger, more feature rich, and fragmented, social media management tools have increased in importance. You need to make sure you know how you are going to update your content, reply to posts, and generally interact with you customers on our pages. There are great tools out there, but not all of them are appropriate for your purpose. For example, hootsuite is a great tool, but it doesn’t have support for Google+ pages in their iPhone app. For me, that prevents me from managing my page from my mobile and forces me to sit at a PC. That is wasted time given that I travel a lot and don’t want to take out my laptop to reply to a post. What does your current tool support that you can use to manage your presence.
6. Who will Manage our page on Google+, Facebook, or LinkedIn?
Your page doesn’t need to be managed by you, but it does need management. If you don’t have the time, you have a few options. You could hire a social media manager. You could outsource to a Social Media Marketing company or you could hire a virtual assistant.
If you plan to do it yourself, I would recommend doing something semi-automated with an alert tool. Remember that none of this should be fully automated. Nobody wants to talk to a robot. Alerts can be automated, but responses should not be. Automated alerts tools will allow you to know when there is a post while not requiring you to log in each hour or day to your page.
A poor mans method for Alerts is to set up a filter in your email that puts all your Facebook, LinkedIn, or google+ notifications in a folder. You can check them each morning and generate your responses. This saves time and effort without forking over any money.
Once you answer these questions you are prepared to choose a platform. For tips on how to build a profitable fanpage find me @MrSimpleMedia on Twitter.
If you know of any tools, tips, or have questions, leave a comment below!