I wrote the article below 2 years ago today. Much of it still holds true but, I felt it necessary to update the statistics and add some relevant notes as well. Below you’ll find the original article largely intact with notes injected as well as 2 additional social media sites that you may now want to consider.
Want to read the original? Click here to check it out.
All too often I get this question. I thought I’d walk you through the top social media sites your company should be on, how to maximize them and grow your audience. There are 5 main social media websites that just about every company should be a part of and a few others that tend to cater to specific types of businesses. Read on to learn more.
Facebook Business Pages
The biggest network of them all, every company should have a Facebook page. Don’t confuse having a personal profile and having a business page, they are not the same. With an audience of 1.4 Billion ACTIVE people a month, your business can not afford to not have a page on Facebook. The demographics are good for just about any business type.
The main thing to remember when marketing on Facebook is that images typically get the most attention. Images on Facebook tend to get the most likes, comments and shares. Be creative with your posts, ask questions, post images and be engaged with your growing audience. Facebook is not the place for a ‘hard sale’.
Twitter is the next place your company should have a presence. You can post images, videos, links and text to Twitter but, remember you are limited to just 140 characters per post. Here again, stay away from the ‘hard sale’ just engage your followers, post helpful information, ask questions and get feedback.
Twitter is by far and away the best way to get Google to notice your new content! Tweet a link to a new blog post and it will be picked up by Google very quickly!
Google Plus or Google+ is the third place in our list but, not necessarily the third most important. Google continues to change the way the determine who’s website should be the number one in results and most recently they have started to include ‘social signals’. The biggest difference, in my opinion, between Facebook and Google+ is that on Google Plus you connect with people that are interested in the same things as you who may or may not (most likely not) be your friends and family. Facebook on the other hand, you ‘must’ be friends and/or family in order to connect with people.
Like the other social networks mentioned post relevant, engaging content. The 4-1-1 rule is the best way to stay connected with your audience without being overly pushy in the sales department and alienating your current and potential customers.
Another notable mention is if your business is a brick and mortar store, meaning you have an actual store front, then Google has combined the old “local” listings with Google+ Pages. That makes this social network an absolute MUST for your business.
In the original article, the title was “Google Plus – Local & business pages” – these are now one in the same. Google+ is still a great place to be for your business or brand, most notably because posts there can appear in search results, the only social media site with that ability.
LinkedIn – Company Pages
A fairly newer venue but, is still a great place for you as a professional as well as your company to participate in the online conversation. LinkedIn Company pages allow employees to connect with their employers and allow company’s to showcase their products or services. You can still share company updates, expand your product and service assortment and get in front of a completely different audience.
There have been many updates to LinkedIn company pages since they launched the service and each time I get more excited. They now allow rotating banners for your products and services and even allow you to place product videos right on the page! The information you can present about your products or services is the most in depth of all of the social networks.
One of the coolest features of the LinkedIn company page is the ability to receive recommendations from your current and past clients. This is a great way to acquire testimonials that you can freely share everywhere, providing you cite where they came from.
LinkedIn has really struggled to make that transition from the professional individual to the professional company and how each use their service. We have found that for professional based businesses, like attorney’s and doctors there is a greater impact than for service companies like plumbers and electricians.
Another Google owned company and the second largest search engine in the world YouTube is number five in our list of places every business should be. No matter if you are a plumber or a TV network there is a place for you on YouTube.
You can create videos that educate, entertain or enlighten and you don’t have to hire a professional media company to create your videos. You can use something like Animoto to create great videos from images and text or use something like Snagit (for Windows PC’s or Macs) to capture video from your monitor while you surf the web, give a presentation and more.
Here again, stay away from hard selling your product or service. The main focus should be on your customer or potential customers. Give them something for free of great value and they will remember you when the time comes for them to plunk down their hard earned money.
While videos can rank in search results, the days of making that quick Animoto video and it doing well are kind of behind us. Much like Google’s search engine, YouTube videos should be high quality and informative. That’s not saying you have to have a major movie studio produce it, just be sure that the content is there and is high quality.
The Sum Up
You probably have heard of all of these social networks and possibly are already a member of some or all of them. The thing to remember with all social media as it pertains to your business is that social media can be used for two main purposes:
- Increase the width of your sales funnel
- Expand your customer support
Notice that in both scenarios you are not selling anything. Social media is not the place for trying to sell your products or services. In the same way that a Billboard doesn’t directly sell your product, social media should be used to lure your customers to your website or store. That’s where you have the opportunity to hard sell them and if you have done the right thing on your social media sites, they will land on your website or in your store already sold.
Have you found success on these or any other social media sites?
Let me know in the comments below
BONUS! Pinterest & Instagram
Two additional social media sites that may work to your advantage and quite possibly better than either YouTube or LinkedIn are Pinterest and Instagram. These social media sites can be very compelling for a visual type of business. Think of a brick and mortar clothing store or even an online boutique. Landscaping companies, design firms, art galleries, restaurants, these are all great candidates for using these two picture driven social sites.
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