In my blog last week I advised only working with as many profiles as you could manage to spend time on daily.  But with thousands of Social Media sites to choose from, where is it worth spending your time?  This blog post examines the Top 5 Social Media sites that all businesses will find useful.  I have given some ideas of how they can be used – but I would be interested in hearing yours too.

Facebook:

Facebook is the biggest Social Media site, with more than a billion users worldwide. 80% of users surveyed stated they prefer interacting with brands via Facebook.

* Post photos of products, staff, happy clients

* Ask questions that get your customer base talking

* Encourage fans to post pictures of them using your product/ reviews of the service, and repost these.

* Set up events and invite fans – for example an exhibition, or a sale.

 

Twitter:

This micro-blogging sites allows you to post Tweets of up to to 140 characters.  So no waffling.  But short is sometimes sweet.

* You can pass on information to your followers quickly by retweeting what others are saying.

* You can quickly scan all the news and gossip in your area of interest by organising the accounts you follow into lists

LinkedIn

If Facebook and Twitter are where people hang out as civilians, then LinkedIn is where 225 million of them spend time with their business head on.

The groups allow you to chat and share expertise with others in the same industry, or with people in the same geographic area – great for networking, picking up insider info but also for building your own credibility when you answer questions from new starters knowledgeably.  LinkedIn is a business network that allows you to network when it suits you – no regular meetings, but the same opportunity to build relationships with people who may become clients, referrers or mentors.

LinkedIn can also act as a recruitment/ self-promotion tool as your profile information (as long as you have completed it and update it regularly) acts as a CV – and the recommendations you have collected as references.  Just don’t expect potential employers to offer you work solely on the strength of your LinkedIn Profile, likewise when recruiting make real life checks too.

Pinterest.

Originally set up to help with wedding planning, it is no surprise that users of this virtual scrapbook site are almost entirely women.  The majority of pins are repinned, meaning there is a great market for original images.

* Set up mood boards around your new range/ product.

* Set up a board with inspirational quotes etc to give a flavour for your brand values.

* Staff can have a personal board too, so that clients get to know your personality.  But, and I mean this in all seriousness, if you are going to pin 300 photos of sandwiches, don’t have your pinterest account set up to retweet them all.  Your followers won’t thank for this.

 

YouTube.

One of the best uses of YouTube I have seen recently is a child car seat with a QR code that takes you directly to the installation video on YouTube.  A far better resource than the baffling pictures in the manual that gets lost anyway.  If your product needs installing/ assembling or servicing in anyway, posting the video to YouTube helps your customers out.

If your product requires mastering a particular technique, you can post tutorials to YouTube.  I have a client who writes knitting patterns – one link in the pattern to a YouTube video explaining how to perform a M1 increase saves her hours in responding to customers wondering what she means and how to do it. Tutorials are also a way of showing off your own skill, building brand credibility and generating good feeling for the free training you are providing.

When you launch a new product or service, why not introduce it with a video on YouTube?  This can be shared on your website and elsewhere, and is a chance to share your passion as well as your great product.  As a customer I want to buy from businesses who are excited by what they are doing.

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