Are You Using Social Media the “Right” Way?
“Social Media” is a blanket term for pretty much every interactive site, from giant networks like Facebook to smaller sites with specific target audiences…and of course, the fabulous world of blogging. The kinds of sites that “social media” references hasn’t changed much over time, but the way that these sites are being utilized has definitely made a 180. To think that the same sites we use for procrastination purposes (Pinterest, anyone?) are also crucial business tools just seems absurd…until you hear about all of the benefits that come with doing so.
But there’s a catch – with literally millions of sites out there to use, which one is right for your business? And are you even using it correctly?
Facebook marketing tends to be more laid back, with the main focus being to rack up that number of “Likes”. A Facebook Business Fan Page with hundreds of “Likes” compared to a Fan Page with thousands of “Likes” is similar to comparing a woman with a fake designer bag to a woman with a real one – you just tend to trust the latter. So, try to literally be “Likeable” on Facebook, i.e. don’t bombard people with information about your company, but make conversation that they will actually want to be a part of.
Want to be on the top of Google. Google loves their own. So using Google + is a no brainer.
Google+ is similar to Facebook, but with slightly different features. One of the biggest perks is being able to create “circles” that dictate who of your followers sees what, as well as assist you in categorizing your biggest customers from the twice-a-year stragglers. In other words, share big discounts with the frequent buyers and send semi-annual sale information to the background fans. And, don’t forget to do the whole “sharing videos and articles and company updates” thing as you would on Facebook.
Oh, Pinterest…..the hours upon hours that I could spend on Pinterest…..this is probably the most exciting and aesthetically pleasing way to promote your business. It’s especially important for retail, given that it’s totally image-based, but it’s also a good way to turn your company into a fun, relatable, business to follow on social media. The more “Re-Pins”, the better.
Twitter is the quickest way (140 characters, to be exact) to showcase your business online. It’s just as important to follow fellow businesses in your industry as it is to build up a collection of followers, so that you can retweet interesting information within your market to a group of followers that actually care what you have to share. This is also a good place to mix work with pleasure – personality and hash tagging is key to getting your followers’ attention. Two-way communication is vital; if you don’t interact with your followers, you may as well be turning down a large sum of money that someone would like to invest in your company. It’s just a bad move.
YouTube can be the trickiest of them all. For businesses, its best to avoid hopping on viral bandwagons like “Shit Girls Say” and just focus on showcasing the fact that your company knows what the hell it’s doing. How-to videos that can be shown in, say, a classroom of students hoping to work in your industry, would be much better. Keep it simple in the video world, for sure.
Reddit is kind of like “The Big Bang Theory”; it’s super popular, but very few people can actually name someone who’s a fan. Still, the site gets 2 million+ page views each month, so it shouldn’t be left out! However, if your Reddit content is not truly eye-catching, it might just go to waste. A lot of planning should be involved before posting to Reddit, especially to avoid being sales-pitchy within the content. Web-savvy internet buffs tend to be the ones on Reddit, and you’re certainly not going to fool them with some “I’m acting like I’m trying to engage with customers but I really just want their money” scheme. However, if you do it right, you’ll certainly reap the benefits.
Yes, social media will up your business’s page views, but it will also up your reputation if done the right way. Do research on former social media fails, and make sure to avoid those in every given platform. Target your audiences, and in proper PR fashion, give them what they want to hear. It’ll be worth it when your “Likes”, and your annual revenue, suddenly soar through the roof.