Podcast #7 – Social Media – Which is best for your business?
In the ever-changing online world, one thing seems to be staying consistent and that is the continual development of Social Media. Rather than being a fad that will go away, Social Media is a growth industry and the main players have evolved to suit the changing nature of their users.
As a business, you need to be crazy not to incorporate some form of Social Media into your marketing strategy. But which ones are suitable for your business? You could take an all-bases attitude and have each one covered however if you are “flying solo” like me, this can take a considerable chunk of your time away from the key roles in your business.
Let’s have a look at the top four, how they are used and whether they are suitable for business use:
#1 – Facebook
The big Daddy. Great for socially engaging with your customers and can be used in effective ways to market your business and study your clientele. For example, Black Milk Clothing uses their Facebook page as an integral part of their strategy to gather information from their clients, what they are choosing to wear and what they want to purchase next. If your client is strictly B2B (business to business), Facebook probably won’t be of much use to you because you need social information about (or interaction with) your customers.
Suitable for: Businesses that provide personal services and required social interaction.
#2 – Twitter
Twitter allows the user to generate instantaneous news updates about their business and the industry that are being catered for. It also can be used to great effect in establishing oneself as an expert in a field and a key person of influence. Stephanie Sullivan, a leading web programmer and advocate of the online world, uses Twitter regularly to post news and her latest information. Through her consistent, quality tweets, she has managed to create a following of thousands. This popularity has led to Stephanie becoming a sort-after key note speaker at conferences around the world.
Suitable for: Solo Operators and Businesses.
#3 – Google+
Google+ is very similar to Facebook in some ways and very different in others. From a business perspective, being able to group your clients into your business circle only allows you to use the same social media platform for both work and play. It does not have the same magnitude of users as Facebook, however being backed by one of the biggest companies in the world ensures that it will not go quietly into the night. Its user base grows every day and, a big plus, has a great integration with Google Hangouts.
Suitable for: Businesses who need to network with other professionals.
#4 – Linked In
Linked-In is generally known as the professional’s network and it allows businesses to link individuals who can come from a wide variety of fields. For example, on my Linked-In profile, I have links to a number of my clients. However the real value comes from links to mutually beneficial professionals that support my field of business such as copywriters, printers and business coaches. Linked-In’s usage can be a little slow to start but builds great momentum once you gain a few professionals in your network.
Suitable for: All types of businesses once the initial network has been established. It is just the thing for B2B networking.
#5 – What else is out there?
Try Youtube for a new type of Social Media. If you are unsure of its capabilities, take a read of Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush it!” – and you will discover a whole new power to Youtube.
In conclusion, there is just one question that you need to ask yourself before signing on for any Social Media for your business: What is your ideal client using? Hopefully, after you have read the above and evaluated each of the platforms, you should be able to determine the answer to this if you know your clients fairly well.
If not, a very simple step could be to ask your clients the next time you interact with them, or alternatively, make the enquiry part of your initial research into any new customers. Social Media must not be ignored; it has too many benefits and can help you drive your business up to the next level in its marketing effectiveness.