Getting Social with your Business

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First off, a Disclaimer, credit needs to go where credit is due. The information I’m re-posting below came from a Skillpath (www.skillpath.com) Seminar titled ‘The Social Media Marketing Conference’. I just found the information of value and their conferences may not be available in all areas so I decided to post some highlights in my own words.

So, your boss has approached you and asked you:

“What’s this deal with all this Social Media stuff? We’re not doing it and our competitors are. Get on that!”

Aw crap, now what?!

Well, first off Social Media definitely can be very useful for businesses. But, where to start?

First off, you need to develop a Social Media strategy. What exactly does your company want to accomplish by getting into Social Media?

The goals of Social Media in the Enterprise are:

• Drive traffic to your web site

• Respond to customer service issues

• Promote your business

• Give your business a higher, more visible public profile

• Generate Sales leads

• Share your particular expertise to a wider audience

• Interact with your customers on a more personal level

• Raise public awareness to the business and customers will come to you

Figure out what your company wants and then figure out steps necessary to reach that goal.

An acronym you need to keep in mind, which applies to every business on Earth regardless of what you do. We all have ‘customers’, either internal or external, and they all only care about one thing.

WIIFM

“What’s In It For Me”

Think like a customer. What does your business do that will benefit your customer? Now figure out the best avenues to take to reach those current, and potential, customers to let them know what that is. They need to be told what’s in it for them if they choose to do business with your company.

Now how do you get this message out? There are several options and all have their own special value and methods to accomplish that goal. It is highly recommended to you more than one of the following methods in your Social Media Strategy.

Website

  •  Current design. Websites 5+ years old, written in older code methods, get poor Search Engine Optimization.
    If a Search Engine can’t find your website, then neither will your potential customers.
  • Heavily use Keywords that potential customers would search for

Facebook

  • A Social Profile Site
  • Valuable for Public Relations
  • Provide a ‘Human’ face to your business
  • Post more casual information about your business
  • Environmental Initiatives
  • Charitable Involvements
  • Workplace Environment
  • Job Opportunities
  • Company Activities

Twitter

  • A Social Conversation Site
  • Information Feed
  • Press Release Outlet
  • Customer Feedback/Support
  • Contests, Specials
  • Job Opportunities

LinkedIn

  • A Business Profile Site
  • Corporate Profile
  • Business To Business Networking
  • Staff Profiles/Information

Wikipedia

  • A Business Information Site
  • Technical information about business
  • Company History, Services
  • Customer Links (as approved)
  • Links to Management profiles
  • Data should be ‘static’ facts about the company to cut down on ‘upkeep’

Those are just the outlets that appealed to my specific business. There are also YouTube, Blogs, AllExperts, likely far more than I can easily think of right now.

One thing you need to keep in mind when figuring out your Social Media Strategy.

“All Roads Lead to Rome”

Basically, all of the above options have the same goal, to increase your business. As such it is important that all of the Social Media outlets you use link to each other, as well as straight to your business.

  • Website link to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages
  • Facebook linked to Website, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • LinkedIn linked to Website
  • Twitter profile linked to Website
  • Always ensure that Press Releases contain link to Website

Other beneficial practices

  • Attend Events, directly related to your industry or not, for face to face networking opportunities. Human Resources functions, Charitable Events, Technology Seminars/Conferences
  • Track your presence within the social media environment
  • Manage your online reputation or someone else will manage it for you and it may not be who you want.
  • Monitor what is being said about your business online
  • Review what your competition and customers are doing in Social Media

I could write up an entire series on the basic steps that need to be taken to get into Social Media but there are many books out there on the subject for you to get more information. These minor highlights alone should be enough to get you interested so, Dive In!