Social Media 101
Do these two words elicit horrific flashbacks of a post-Kardashian world? Does the mention of Twitter give you Apocalypse Now level anxiety? Do you feel the need to take legal action against Mark Zuckerberg for pretty much ruining your life?
We get it. Not everyone flocks to the interwebs to create a perfectly manicured online persona. For some, social media is a required taste. But it is essential for building your brand. Whether you’re B2B, B2C, or trying to build any type of business in the new millennium, you need to have an awesome online presence.
But what exactly constitutes social media?
We realize you don’t live in complete isolation—you’re not hunkered down in a tiny jungle house that was featured on HGTV. You know social media. But just in case you’re a bit lapsed, the traditional definition is any computer-mediated technology that allows the creation and sharing of information, ideas, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
Today, you’ve got the big three; Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But there are tons of social media sites and apps. You’ve got Instagram. You’ve got Snapchat. You’ve got Pinterest, Tumblr, Periscope. You’ve got that game-changing app that fresh-faced college kid hasn’t even thought of yet.
Social media is everywhere, and trust us, it’s not going away.
To Tweet or Not to Tweet
But how does social media help my business? Sure, I love the constant commentary on society’s downfall and the cat memes, but how are these platforms going to help my brand and the bottom line?
When you think about the ROI of social media you have to consider these four key areas of your business:
By being on multiple social media platforms, your business will be able to expand its reach, cultivate new followers & fans, and engage online with key industry communities.
2. Brand Exposure
Simply put, the more social media impressions you garner the more eyes you have on your product. Plus, your competitors will no doubt be active on the same platforms. It’s important to use social media as a tool to prove that you offer the best solution.
Customers and potential customers consistently reach out to brands on social media. Having active channels promotes brand engagement and gives users a sense of your service.
4. Thought Leadership
Posting relevant content that is engaging and educational in nature solidifies your voice in your particular industry. And if the online community trusts your judgment they will feel more apt to trust your product.
What’s in a Social Media Profile?
As a business, you’ll find that social media profiles are some of the easiest and fastest ways to build your company’s brand and set you on the path to thought leadership in your industry.
You need to decide what social platforms are best for your business. Start with the big three (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) then go from there. If you’re a B2B business, maybe Google+ is a strategic addition to your SEO efforts. If you’re B2C, maybe you want to showcase your products on Instagram or Pinterest.
Implement an automated, cloud-based social publishing tool like Sprout Social or Hootsuite. These tools are crucial when it comes to scheduling and publishing your social posts, and they offer robust analytics that provides insight into your current and potential audience. Also, be sure to factor in the optimum days and times to post on each individual platform.
Track your efforts by designating the key KPIs that are important to your business. Having valuable metrics in place will give you a clear understanding of which social platforms are best for your business and what types of content garner the most engagement online.
Remember, what works for you might not work for every business. Even if your product or service offerings are similar, you might operate at a different price point, market to different types of consumers, or connect with your customers in different ways. The key to a successful social marketing strategy is to focus on what works best for your particular audience.
Social media should not give you an aneurysm. It should be a strategy and a tool that is used to help your business succeed. Go forth, my friends! Tweet, post, like, share, comment—and become a social superstar.
Got Questions? Tweet us @billcom with #BDCGoesSocial