People approach social media as if it is something cool like a shiny new object. In fact when discussing social media the word “cool” is used repeatedly. Is social media a fun cool object or is it a business tool. I think that the answer to that question is both. People use social media for fun and entertainment but since this blog is about business performance I would like to talk about using social media to get business results.
Today businesses and professionals use social media that same way they used to use the Yellow Pages, the newspaper, magazines, and flyers. How did business decide where to put their marketing dollars? To begin with, they analyzed their market. Here are three very simple questions.
Who does your business help? How does your business help? Where does your business help?
These are basic marketing questions. You may have heard a business coach tell you that a good business is one that follows the basics. If you follow the basics it means that you understand those three questions.
With knowledge of your business you can select the social media channel that fits your business.
LinkedIn – Linked In is used to post your professional resumé or profile. There are groups on Linked In representing any special interest, profession or topic. If your business is business to business you will find Linked In to be important. Share articles and blog posts that you find interesting. Comment on trending topics. You want future clients to learn more about you, your business, and the value you can bring to them. You can also ask past clients for referrals on LinkedIn.
Facebook - Facebook is all about connecting, socializing, posting, and reading others’ posts. Join Facebook groups and connect with people who are looking for what you have to offer. Facebook groups can get you in front of people who are searching for the knowledge, products, and services you offer. You can find prospects for your business that have a certain mindset or need for products and services you offer. You can then invite them to your website.
Google+ - If SEO (search engine optimization) important to you then you should have a presence on Google+. You can increase your visibility and reach by offering great content on Google Plus that people will like and want to share.
Twitter - Use Twitter in conjunction with your other marketing tools. Twitter was created to be a fun, social environment. One of the main attributes Twitter has is the search box on the right hand side of your page when you log in. You can use the search box to find people who are looking for the services you provide. Use Twitter in conjunction with your other marketing tools.
Make sure you measure the ROI. For example, if the traffic to your website is increasing while you are being more focused in your social networking efforts, you can measure in the number of hits, and then the number of hits that turn into business.
Ask this question, "Is this block of time I'm spending on social media going to pay me back?" It will if you're focused, targeted, and providing information your audience really needs. Social Media will then be a valuable business tool rather than a shiny object.