If your business is still young and you are just putting all of the pieces into place that will eventually bring you a great deal of success, you may not understand all of the power that social media holds and having a solid social media strategy will be one of the most pivotal and effective things that you can do for your business.
Where do you begin to build your strategy?
Well, there are many different social media channels from which to choose. The question is, which ones do you choose for your particular business. As you are probably aware, the most popular social media channels are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter as well as other graphic social media channels, such as YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram. They all have a lot of value but the best way for you to determine which ones will work most effectively for your business is to really take a close look at what they offer and what they can do. At that point, you will be able to make an informed decision about which ones are best for you.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular social media channels, which will get you started.
- LinkedIn: When it comes to social media channels for business, LinkedIn is probably the most effective, although it all depends (as always) on whether you make full use of what LinkedIn has to offer. LinkedIn is popular across the universe. No matter who you wish to reach and no matter where that person happens to be, you can reach them with the click of a button. LinkedIn also makes it extremely easy for you to connect with influencers and to achieve influencer status yourself. Both of those are extremely important for your business. To get started with LinkedIn, you will want to choose as many relevant groups (you should choose those with a lot of members) as you find. There is no limit to how many groups you join, although, in some cases, you will have to wait to be accepted into the group. Once you are a member of the various groups, you will want to post blogs and syndicate them to your groups as well as other groups in your other social media channels. Of course, it is very important for you to pay attention to the rules of each group so that you don’t violate any of those inadvertently. Your posts should be informational and helpful but never promotional. What you are working toward is establishing your credibility and your reputation with the people who are reading your posts. If you don’t have the time to do all of that yourself, you should designate some (or all) of that to someone close to you whom you know well and trust. After all, your name will be associated with those posts. That means that your reputation is on the line.
- Facebook: Facebook is another social media channel that has universal coverage. It used to be much more personal oriented but now, may business owners find that their social media interactions (and the hard work behind those) are successful through Facebook. You can speak about your brand and your offerings on Facebook and you can create a lot of buzz through your interactions. Because so many people are on Facebook on a regular basis, it is easy for you to get the word out about what you are doing and how you will be able to solve the other person’s problems. That is exactly why the other person is interacting with you. He or she has some issue that needs resolving and you are just the person to make that happen. Because Facebook has no space limit when you post content, you can post whatever you wish. Sometimes, concise content just doesn’t say everything that you want to say in order to draw the proper attention of the reader. It is really great if you have the luxury of being as detailed as you need to be. There will be times when the content that you post on Facebook is shorter but it is nice to know that if you want to post longer articles, you can. The other thing that will help your business a great deal is if other people get involved with a discussion on the topic of your post. You will want to welcome whatever they have to say (both positive and negative). That benefits your business in two ways: First of all, people like to know that you value their opinions. Second of all, in many cases, their feedback will help you to improve upon your brand in some way.
- Twitter: Twitter is used around the world as well. You can reach anyone pretty much anywhere you want. However, in Twitter’s case, you do have a posting limitation. You cannot post any more than 140 characters (with spaces) in one post. This is an example of clear and concise being the way to go. Of course, you don’t really have a choice but it is also valuable to learn how to use few words to make a big impact on other people. If you do it right, you will be giving your readers just enough to want to read more from you. Of course, using an abbreviated link to your website is something that you definitely want to include. It is your call-to-action (CTA) in this case. Your CTA is the only way that the other person has to be able to communicate with you. If you are using Twitter, remember to make your communications about the other person, not about you. Remember, as always, you are there to solve the other person’s problems. Believe it or not, it can be accomplished in 140 characters or fewer.
- YouTube: YouTube is extremely effective because so many people respond better to visual content than they do to written content. YouTube reaches people around the world and it is an extremely powerful social media tool and one that you should definitely consider using. Of course, just like many of the other social media channels, there is no expense involved, which certainly makes things much easier. People will be more than happy to comment on your videos (if they like them and if they don’t like them). Your videos should be relatively short and you will need to pack a lot of good stuff into them. Making a video is not nearly as difficult as you might think it is. People who use YouTube regularly are looking for creativity so show them what you’ve got. They won’t be disappointed and they will let you know how they feel about what you have shared.
- Pinterest: People around the world also use Pinterest. It is a great way to organize visual content. You take images that you find online and store it in your file on Pinterest. You can then return to it later and you can share it with other people. Doing that gives you a great potential to go viral. That is another way to increase your reputation and credibility as a business owner (or any professional person). Going back to the response that many people have to images, Pinterest is a great way to reach people on an emotional level because the images that you post will resonate with many people and they will respond to what you have posted.
Social media is here to stay. As a professional, you need to be as involved as is necessary to be successful. Otherwise, your business will be left in the dust, which is not an option. You should research the various social media channels, determine which ones work best for your business, and incorporate them into your overall business strategy. You will need to have a clear understanding about how social media positively affects your business and then all you need to do is to start to use it. Your strategy is the foundation of your business. It must be solid and immovable in order for it to work effectively.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.
His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).