Social Media Channels - Understanding Options
I've recently had a number of small businesses ask me, "How do I get started with on-line marketing and social media? It's overwhelming!".
To a small business owner who is responsible for all aspects of a company, social media can definitely appear daunting. However, small businesses need social media to help with marketing, attracting new clients and engaging with their audience.
To help demystify social media, I'm going to share with you some of my knowledge on the top digital platforms...
Twitter is evolving into somewhat of a breaking news channel. However, it remains a great space for sharing ideas and promoting thought leadership. It lends to a blending of corporate and personal identities under a single Twitter handle -- supporting strong peer-to-peer interactions. Many business leaders find that Twitter provides them with significant partnering opportunities.
It is critical with Twitter to leverage good analytics because on its own Twitter can be extremely crowded and noisy. It's a bit like an online cocktail party. Pictures and video are becoming increasingly important on Twitter -- it's no longer a text-based platform. Infographics are increasingly popular in helping to maximize click-through rates. Twitter, even more so than Facebook demands that content be valuable to followers and potential clients. On Twitter, you only have seconds to grab someone's attention before your content is pushed down by other Tweets coming in. Be sure to get content out regularly on Twitter and use trending hashtags where possible to increase visibility.
Facebook is fun, visual and informal. It was originally created as a way to connect with friends and remains true to its origins. To maximize the value of Facebook, organizations should post content that is entertaining, light and casual. Organizations need to be mindful not to take a heavy or aggressive sales-oriented approach on Facebook as it will turn off prospective followers. Content should resonate with the user in a personal way to increase the likelihood posts being shared and initially clicked on in the newsfeed.
Facebook posts that include a photo or infographic are more likely to be clicked on and engage users. Including photos also gives organizations a way to infuse their culture and personality into the posts. In this way it is important to consider each image carefully and curate collections of images to be posted along a similar theme at the right time.
LinkedIn started out as on online rolodex for job seekers. However, in recent years it has evolved into a professional networking and thought leadership platform. Users can share expert opinions on topics through targeted LinkedIn Groups across all sectors, connecting them with multiple audiences. LinkedIn is one of the best ways to reach the business community. LinkedIn offers InMail as a way to reach anyone, bypassing traditional office gatekeepers. LinkedIn also now allows for the development of company pages that can be linked to an external company website.
Even more so than Facebook and Twitter, it is important to carefully consider your messaging, images and brand and how to tailor these for a particular target group on LinkedIn. Like Twitter, posting regularly is important to maintain a solid base of followers, engage new audiences and position yourself and / or your organization as a thought leader. Photos and Slideshare presentations are effective context tools for LinkedIn.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are all excellent platforms for sharing knowledge and ideas. It is important to have continuity between platform, with a common look and feel and common messaging. While each platform may change slightly, the content or essence of your message shouldn't.
This article was also posted on LinkedIn Pulse
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