It’s hard to avoid the term social media these days. Everyone seems to be tweeting, facebooking, blogging or micro-blogging! One thing is for sure, not only is social media affecting how we communicate with each other on a personal level, but it also has a far reaching effect on how we as businesses communicate with each other.
We find that a lot of our clients are reluctant to embrace and utilise social media. Many are apprehensive and feel that what is communicated via social media may be irrelavent – ” I don’t need to let people know what I had for my breakfast….” is a common example given, but what about an upcoming sale, a new product launch, a service upgrade, the list goes on…..communicating useful information to your customers is not just good customer relations, but it also builds trust and gives them a reason to come back to you in the future.
Most of us are familiar with the common Social Media Channels, but here’s a list of the more common ones and a little about what they do:
Facebook is probably the one we are all most familiar with. We use it to keep in touch with our friends and families. But more and more companies now have their own facebook business/fan page which allows them to keep in touch and improve interaction with their customers.Your Facebook Business Page can be an excellent resource for building your brand and encouraging loyalty amongst your customers.
Twitter is an increasingly popular instant messaging system that lets a user send brief text messages up to 140 characters in length to a list of followers. Businesses of all sizes are now using Twitter for a variety of reasons, from marketing to customer service. With the increasing prevalence of mobile technology Twitter can often be as close to real time communication as you can get.
LinkedIn is a business networking website for professional users that aims to exchange information, share ideas and open opportunities with one another. It gives companies and industry professionals the ability to make new business contacts and keep in touch with previous co-workers, clients and business associates. As a member of LinkedIn you can create personalized profiles that detail your education information, employment history, professional accomplishments and more. It allows your fellow professionals to endorse your services by leaving recommendations.
You Tube as you probably know is a web-service that allows anybody to post their video files and share them with other people. The great thing about YouTube is that it isn’t just a place to watch quirky or funny videos, or see the ‘goals’ you might have missed from the weekend’s football matches, it is also a great platform for small businesses to get their message out there and market themselves using video content. All you need is a camera and a bit of creativity. Try to make engaging and entertaining footage, just remember not to use video for the sake of it, nothing puts people of more that boring content!
So that’s some of the more common Social Media platforms, but there are many more, some of which may be more specific to your type of business. Try not to fear it, but to incorporate it in to your overall marketing strategy, and remember most of it’s free!
However if you do feel overawed by it all, don’t forget, you could have your very own Web Department to sort it out for you! Give us a call if you want some help.