Businesses everywhere are being told that they need to get into social media to interact with their customers. However, each social media channel has its own rules and user expectations. Even if you limit your social media presence to the big four: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+, the differences between the four can be confusing. To make matters worse, new types of social media appear frequently. It takes a lot of work to keep up with best practices for all these social media sites.
Most people know what Twitter is. Each tweet can be 140 characters long. This forces people to think about every word they write for a tweet. You hear about people with hundreds of thousands, even millions of followers. It is impossible to keep up with so many tweets coming your way. Hootsuite is a utility that can lend some order to Twitter. You can schedule when your tweets will be posted, see what others are saying about you, and answer back. Tweetdeck does much the same thing.
Both Hootsuite and Tweetdeck will also help you manage Facebook. It is one of the most social of the social media channels. People share recipes, pictures, and just visit on Facebook. Many brands maintain a business page on Facebook where they interact with their customers or soon-to-be customers. You can have a forum on Facebook where your customers can not only interact with you, they can interact with the other people on the forum. This adds value to the forum. You can also run contests on Facebook.
Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook. Instead of friends, you put people in various circles –family, acquaintances, customers, etc. You can easily segment people who follow you and target just one segment or all of them with your post. Google+ also has a feature called “Hangout.” You and up to nine other people can video chat. If you need more people than that to hear you, you can have a “Hangout on air” which allows you to have ten people participating at a time, but streams the chat live to as many people as want to see it.
Linkedin is similar to Facebook, but is for business people looking to connect with other business people who have a common interest. The conversations are about jobs, how to do things to improve your social reach, and other work related items. Posting chat about personal things is frowned on. You can post articles, meet like minded individuals, learn about how to do something for your business, and join groups that are on business topics you are interested in. You can also make contacts with potential customers. Linkedin is free, but also has a paid level of services that allow you to do much more in terms of networking.
Understanding social media is important because between 2010 and 2013, social media grew 1327%. If you are not involved in social media, you will be leaving a lot of money on the table. However, with each social media channel consuming about two hours a day five days a week, you are probably too busy to tackle this alone.
I can help with that. Contact me at (903) 268-9622 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss your social media needs and make a plan of action. There is no charge for the initial phone call.