The truth of the matter is, no matter which social media platform you prefer, if you’re the community manager for a brand you’ll want to start out by “setting up” communities for your brand/business or client on ALL the major social media platforms.
Each platform has a unique culture and even though there is SOME duplication of audiences, by choosing not to be on any channel, you’re choosing not to explore the possibilities there and you won’t be able to gain benefit from easy cross-over promotion of your content.
Facebook (create a page link) – regardless of B2C or B2B of the brand you’re working on, more total volume of your potential customers worldwide are on Facebook. You MUST have a Facebook Page presence there (to operate within Facebook’s rule book terms & conditions), and a personal profile. The Page functions in a way that benefits you as a brand rep. Your profile is also a necessity because you can share and “socialize” your brand page to your real family, friends, investors, coworkers, classmates, suppliers, media and more. Also, you can share and operate differently as your page vs. as your profile, so to maximize your reach and impact, you’ll need to spend time as both.
Twitter (sign up to Twitter link) – Twitter is deceptively simple/complex and incredibly important to your brand for a number of reasons. While Facebook is a big mish mash of every type of contact & prospect, Twitter is where you can connect and develop intimate relationships with the people who are or will be the most influential to your business and life. You know the saying “Birds of a feather flock together”? Do a keyword search on Twitter and you’ll find all the people who have those keywords in their bio or in their tweets. Its a great way to find out what’s going on today, yesterday and tomorrow for the politicians who influence your industry, the journalists who report on businesses like yours and the people around the world who are sharing or who have recently found solutions to your exact same struggles.
YouTube (create a YouTube account) – The most important video blogging/vlogging platform, YouTube is where you can post all your videos, to later embed into blog posts and share for viewing right in Facebook, Twitter and Google+. YouTube is, for many people, the primary search engine for instructions and howto on almost every subject, so it’s the perfect spot for information or instruction videos. YouTube will also track viewers and provide you some analysis of your videos, regardless of where people watch them, so its a great anchor for your video content. Google+ Hangouts “On Air” load straight to your YouTube channel, so you can easily share your weekly webinars and interviews to live forever on YouTube. What’s more, YouTube is owned by Google so videos on YouTube give your content the most “Google juice” and social value than any other video platform.
Foursquare (foursquare for business link) – Foursquare is extremely important for retail locations and everyone who really embraces the opportunity that exists on the platform. It’s still terribly underutilized by business owners, brands and strategic professionals, so it’s not too difficult for you to find a compelling strategy and develop a close relationship with some of your most digitally connected and vocal real-life customers who spend money with your business.
Google+ (Google+ for business link) – G+ is a rapidly growing social media platform (number of users), and with all the HUGE Google resources behind them, they’re improving and becoming more relevant and useful all the time. Currently, I am most fascinated by the value of Google+ Hangouts, a video-conference feature that lets unlimited people “observe” and as I mentioned above, Google+ Hangouts “On Air” make it super easy to create television programming that is uploaded to YouTube and has all the same benefits.
Visually-driven digital scrap booking platform Pinterest is the newest platform of the bunch but it’s been causing a stir with people quickly discovering that a well-crafted pinboard hosting your blog post links and images can send more traffic to your website more rapidly than many of the other classic sharing platforms (Stumbleupon, reddit, etc) and social media communities combined. Pinterest is still invite-only, from someone who already has a Pinterest account, like Social Sparkle & Shine – I will invite you if you’d like.
LinkedIn (add a company page link) – LinkedIn has been around longer than any of the other social media platforms and they’ve been smart to watch how the social world around them evolved and to take the opportunity to work with more popular social networks Facebook and Twitter, which they know many of their users also use, just in a completely different way. Business professionals report a lot of success from conversations and Q&A activities on LinkedIn.
Of course, also important are newer or smaller social media communities like Instagram, Path, Get Glue, Hashable, etc. but I don’t see them as required communities in the same way as the seven social media communities above.
In your opinion, have I forgotten any critical social media communities?
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