Last week we gave you the WHY of getting your business involved in Social Media. This week we give you the WHERE. New Social Media sites seem to be springing up all the time. We’ve broken down some of the big players and newbies on the scene so you can make a decision about where to start with your business!
Facebook reaches 750 million + people all across the world. Chances are, if your customers are on a social network, it’s this one. Facebook makes it easy for businesses to create a page for your business. Once your business page is created, keep it updated with promotions, blog posts, pictures of your team, etc. Each time you update your page, your followers see your update in their news feed. To get a feel for a Facebook business page, check out Swiftpage’s. While you’re there, give us a like.
With over 100 million users worldwide, Twitter is another important social media player. Twitter is a form of micro-blogging, allowing posts of no more than 140 characters. Businesses on Twitter engage users by providing links to interesting and relevant content, offering promotions, and providing support. Sometimes a frustrated customer tweets before picking up the phone, giving you a chance to show all of your followers how you care for your customers by engaging in a tweet conversation. Twitter recently released more business page customization. A note of caution: Twitter can be time-consuming and requires daily engagement.
LinkedIn is the professional in the world of social media. Designed for networking, LinkedIn still gives businesses some interesting opportunities. Start by creating a your personal profile and then your business profile. Keep your business page up to date with new releases, promotions, job postings, etc. For users who want to invest a bit more time, consider starting a group for your customers. It becomes like a forum where you can ask and answer questions, provide detailed product information, offer support, etc. LinkedIn is a must for businesses whose business is primarily B2B.
4. Google +
Google finally released their own social media platform. It’s important to consider getting your business on Google+ because they plan to include Google+ results in their normal Google search results. Google+ functions quite similarly to Facebook in that your customers have personal profiles and businesses have business profiles. Google+ allows users to add people and businesses they follow to various user defined circles such as friends, family, acquaintances, etc. Some experts think that Google+ will eventually trump Facebook for businesses. It is certainly worth giving Google+ consideration when deciding where to place your social media time.
If your company produces informative videos, you should have a YouTube channel. Over 2 billion YouTube videos are viewed per day! YouTube videos often appear in search engine results and can be posted or shared on websites, via email, on other social media sites, etc. Take a look at the Swiftpage YouTube channel for a better glimpse at the possibilities.
Other Players to Consider:
Pinterest is a new player in the social realm, but their numbers are staggering. It has grown 4000% in the past 6 months and attract 11 million+ hits per week. Essentially a digital corkboard or idea board, Pinterest is taking the social world by storm, especially with women. Getting a piece of the Pinterest pie is not as clear-cut as some of the other sites. The Next Web wrote an excellent post with some ideas of how businesses can move into the Pinterest space.
Many consider MySpace to be the original social networking site. While it had a heyday in the early 2000s, its user base has been slowly declining. One area where MySpace has remained strong is in the music industry. Many bands still use MySpace to promote their music. If your business has any ties to the music industry, consider getting involved on MySpace.
In keeping with the smart phone revolution, Foursquare was developed specifically for mobile users. When users arrive at a location such as a store, restaurant, or theater, they ‘check-in’ using their phone. The more an individual check-ins at one location, they can earn badges and even become mayor of the businesses they frequent. If your business has a storefront, Foursquare is a social network worth exploring. You can read more about getting your business on Foursquare here.
Social media is now a way of life. Businesses who refuse to get involved risk irrelevancy in the coming years. Take some time to evaluate each of the social media sites and select 1 or 2 to start with. Add links to your sites to your website and emails to increase followers. The social world is here – claim your space!