According to some sources, all a business needs to do is connect with customers via various social platforms and it’s instant success. In reality, jumping on the social network bandwagon isn’t worth the ride if you have no idea who you want to reach. The problem is the constant bombardment of mixed messages. It’s easy to quickly become overwhelmed and create an account for every social platform you can think of and a few you didn’t even know existed. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t embrace all things social. It just helps to have a firm grasp of the pros and cons of each platform.
Does It Really Pay to Say It In 140 Characters?
In today’s get it fast world, it certainly makes sense to get to the point as quickly as possible. Just because you’re limited to 140 characters doesn’t mean you can’t link curious users back to your website or over to your blog for more details. You can also include relevant photos and tempt followers with coupon codes or teasers about upcoming specials.
If you want users to find you on Twitter, just remember to completely fill out your bio. This goes for any social media platform you embrace. If you don’t take the time to round out your basic profile, why should a casual browser have to dig to find out what you sell and who you are?
The main drawback with Twitter is finding the time to post new tweets on a regular basis, determine what’s trending and fine-tune your business persona. If you don’t have the money to hire a company to do this or do it yourself on anything close to a regular basis, consider other ways to go social.
Is Facebook the Best Way to Engage Your Target Audience?
The Facebook of today has embraced business big time. There are plenty of tools you can use to boost your Facebook business page. Many of the features are free while still requiring some time commitment on your part. What you get out of Facebook for business marketing depends on how you use your page and the related Facebook resources.
Page Insights, for instance, gives you a brief overview of who your customers are and how they’re connecting to your business. Hashtags, once unique to Twitter, can now be used on Facebook to easily organize content. The updated location feature allows you to add locations to your photos and posts. By designating your business as a place, users receive a notification on their timeline – which is essentially a lifeline for some avid Facebook users.
As with the drawbacks of Twitter, the cons of using Facebook as your main social platform really depend on how much time and effort you can put into it. Keep in mind that unhappy customers tend to go social too. While comments can be deleted, regular followers tend to frown upon businesses that ignore or disregard customer issues. If you really want to depend on Facebook to generate traffic and revenue, consider incorporating pay for impressions (cost per impression) or pay for click (cost per click) options where you pay when a visitor clicks an ad.
Does Every Business Really Need to Include LinkedIn in Their Social Arsenal?
LinkedIn has a reputation as a prime spot for networking with other businesses. However, it can also be a useful platform for consumers looking for a more detailed overview of your business. If you don’t completely fill out your profile or bio, even the casual browser will have a good idea of what your business does, who the key people are in your business and your overall business goals.
As with other forms of social media, satisfied customers can post positive comments about your business. In the content of LinkedIn, such recommendations tend to come off as more meaningful surrounded by a more extensive and professional profile. You also have the opportunity to form groups with related business within your profession or field to share ideas. An ever-increasing amount of useful LinkedIn applications make it easy to integrate your other social platforms into your page.
If you’re new to LinkedIn, you’re going to have to devote a lot of time to building your connections. Fortunately, this frantic pace slows down once you have established groups. The main drawback of using LinkedIn is the barrage of spam you’ll have to deal with. There is a paid version of LinkedIn that eases this problem and provides a few more bells and whistles, but this isn’t always in the budget and it’s not worth it if you don’t have the time to devote to keeping your page updated.
How Visual Should You Get With Your Social Engagement?
There are plenty of studies out there suggesting that potential consumers tend to respond better to visuals. Now that search engines such as Google consider images in their rankings, it seems like a no-brainer to embrace visual-based social platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumbler. Any of the visual social media platforms can be used to promote your products if you create relevant groups and add tags to boost your search engine rankings.
Pinterest, for example, is an excellent platform for highlighting recent events and promoting upcoming events. Each of the visual platforms has an assortment of features, like photo-tagging on Instagram, that can boost your results as long as you include links back to your site and keep your images relevant to your business. Don’t forget to include a profile photo, which could also be your logo, to help with brand identification.
If your business is more service oriented or if you don’t really have more than just standard product pics you use on your website, you’re not really going to benefit all that much from any of the visual platforms. Since Pinterest forces you to link through either your Twitter or Facebook accounts, you can still use it as a part of your social media marketing strategy when you have something to promote.Google+