When thinking about Social Media, anyone can be overwhelmed. There are literally hundreds of social media platforms on the internet. If we tried to use all of them it would drive us crazy and probably take up too much of our time. The key is to focus on the one that gets you the most ROI – return on your investment (of time).
Let’s look at some reasons we may want to use different social media platforms. We are going to focus on the larger ones only: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Youtube.
Facebook is a good place to connect with people who you already know. I saw an apartment recently that had a sign in their yard encouraging residents to ‘connect’ with them on Facebook. It is a good place to start using social media, but make sure you go in with the right strategy.
Use Facebook to encourage current customer/clients. Get them to connect and keep them up to date on the current trends in your business both as an industry and your specific location. You want to connect directly with your customer so that you show up on their ‘feed.’ By doing this, you can hope it will reach some of their friends that they are connected to.
A word of warning, Facebook’s model has changed recently and your posts will not be seen very often. Some say only 1-2% will see your posts and that is only if they are online when you post. You can use ads to connect with more people, but that is a training all by itself and we will not cover that here.
Twitter is a ‘safe zone.’ It is not a big deal to follow someone or unfollow someone. It is an easy and not very intimate social media. It is for posting updates, quick responses and setting up your expertise. Use Twitter to show that you are ‘in the know’ about current trends in your industry.
Think of Twitter as a list of headlines. You want to stand out and grab attention. Twitter is a good place to connect with people, but in 140 characters, not necessarily a good place to gather customers/clients. It is great for connections and posting pithy interesting statement, so use Twitter to get knowledge out not to get customers.
G+ is a good place to connect with people based on common interests. Some would say that it is a place where passionate people connect with passionate people. (That is good, I should trademark that is no one else said that.) It is a place to share your passions and create circles where you control what you see on your feed. If you only want to see posts from your family, just make ‘family’ the tab that comes up with you log in.
G+ for business can be powerful because you are connecting with passions. If you are passionate about sailing and your customers see that you mention sailing and are part of a sailing group, they are more likely to connect with you and your company. The good thing about G+ is that you become part of an extended network of people, so your reach is larger.
Linked in is a network for professionals. If you are a B2B, Business to Business, company, you want to be on LinkedIn. This network is a place to highlight you accomplishments and show off your talents. I like to tell people it is like a digital resume for you and your business.
Use linked in to make connections with other business individuals. You have to already have a connection to link to others, so you could say that LinkedIn is a more exclusive network. Hopefully, you find more value and less spam on LinkedIn. When you post on LinkedIn, try to post mainly things that you have created. Remember, you want to highlight…show off…what you do.
Pinterest is about pictures. It is a place to show off what you have done. It is highly dominated by the ladies and crafts seems to be a large portion of the interest. Don’t let this stop you from using this network to connect to others.
I have seen a lot of businesses use Pinterest with lasting results. A friend of mine has a working mom’s fitness program. He has not done anything aside from posting some things on Pinterest. He forgot about it while he was working on other projects and randomly had a new customer show up from Pinterest. If you use Pinterest, share beautiful pictures and make it interesting so that someone wants to click and share your picture.
Youtube is all about videos. I honestly could write a book about Youtube, so I will try to be short on this. You can offer training, give customers a reason to buy your product, inform the market about the need for your product, showcase your physical business, etc. Video is a powerful media and if you can leverage its power, you can build an empire (insert evil laugh).
I may be overstating it, but think about this: Youtube is the only social media that you can share across ALL other social media! You can share videos even on picture sites like Pinterest. People see your videos and since it is not just text, it interrupts their scanning and they are more likely to click. We have been trained since childhood to watch TV and screens, so videos can be really powerful. (I will have more on Youtube in later articles.)
Don’t be overwhelmed. Pick one social media where your customers are MOST LIKELY to be. Create a strategy and connect to your customers in their world.
Note: My entrepreneur notes on this subject are from Guy Kawasaki. I have synthesized the information gleaned from him. Thanks Guy!