So, you’ve listened to your junior staff, realised that they don’t just want to spend a few hours goofing around every day and come to the conclusion that your business needs a social media presence.
Not wanting to look like a total dufus (or attract the wrath of your senior staff by putting juniors in charge of your online marketing), what do you put in your memo/ISO 9001 guidelines about what the role of ‘online marketing strategist’ incorporates?
There are worse place to start than this cool infographic checklist, both in the best social media for business and how many times per day do you tweet, post, share or pin.
The two obvious outlets are there, right at the top of the tree, facebook and twitter. Yes, they’re huge and the thought of pitting your company against the competition using their platforms can either be daunting or over-simplified. You can either be overwhelmed and give up because you’re not seeing results after week one or you can think that the odd tweet or post here and there will get you globally recognised after week one.
If the latter was correct, everyone would be doing the minimum of work and have a sudden influx of custom that could turn the GDP around overnight. If you’re restricted by the former, your efforts at online marketing are going to be so tame you don’t even penetrate the surface, let alone make a ripple.
Looking at the beginner’s guide to social media infographic, it does assume knowledge about the various social media, the majority of which cost nothing to join. But rest assured, your job is not, at this stage, to understand their machinations, just present an overview of usage that makes you at least seem as if you’ve an idea of what you’re talking about when it comes to social media for business.
LinkedIn is on there, great for networking. Google Plus and the Google-owned YouTube appear, too. And the future of e-commerce, Pinterest, rightly makes the list near the bottom – I would have put it much higher, but hey ho, there you go.
The one recommendation I’d make that doesn’t show up is StumbleUpon, if you’re an SME (SMB, US) – in a recent vocus survey, although the site was by no means the most used by those polled, its helpfulness and contribution to the online marketing cause was second only to Google Plus.
It’s worth noting that, although these social media are outlets, you have to begin with a message to convey that is both relevant and meaningful to your target audience. This will typically start with a 400-500 word blog post, 250-word press release or CEO message. The subsequent tendrils your fledgling attempts to penetrate the online market produce will need to embed before they start to blossom.
Using social media effectively for business is by no means a cop out for not doing any work – of course it’s enjoyable as you’re interacting with humans rather than a corporate machine, but to make it pay takes patience, split testing to see which methods are working best and committing to the various projects with regularity and targeting the goals as set out on the Social Media Checklist infographic.
No doubt there are other platforms that many other businesses use, such as Instagram and Flickr for images, Delicious is another web 2.0 creation that relies on content from its users, as does Pinterest and Stumble, rather than produce the majority itself. I used to love Delicious before they did away with ‘stacks’ – now I hardly use it at all, preferring Scoop.It and Paper.Li for article curation and finding that both illicit a more positive response than Delicious ever did for me.
Those platforms mentioned are by no means exclusive to the possibilities of getting your brand in front of an online audience but do provide the backbone of your Internet Marketing infrastructure.
I’d love to hear what you have to say and what other forms of social media you use or how any of those mentioned work for you – and, if you don’t want to give too much away, insider tips on how you use social media for business would also be great for this little community of ours.
Thanks for your time – we look forward to your input.
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