Devon Life Business & Professional - Do You Really Need To Use Social Media?
PUBLISHED: 17:19 24 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:55 20 February 2013
Get the inside scoop from local social media expert Claire Bryden as she shares her simple secret that'll boost your social media results now.
Do You Really Need To Use Social Media?
Get the inside scoop from local social media expert Claire Bryden as she shares her simple secret thatll boost your social media results now.
As I write this I am sitting on a green hillside watching seals play and birds hover. I can see North Devon and South Wales from my perch on Lundy Island. And yet, I have tweeted, blogged, instagrammed and geo-tagged my location on Facebook. Why? Because instead of sending a postcard to friends and family, collegues and my professional network, I can share my adventures with social media.
In our nervous financial times, professionals and businesses no longer want to spend hundreds or thousands on marketing and PR campaigns, dont have the resources to find a full time marketing person, the time (or expertise) to implement campaigns themselves. This is where free, quick and content driven social media has stepped in.
So youve heard a few of the buzz words perhaps, tweet, like, follow, but what is social media and why is it different to traditional media (e.g. tv, newspapers or radio)?
Most obviously social media is, well, social. Its far less formal and allows you to listen in on many conversations. You can watch the conversation and join in when you feel as if you have something to add.
Everyone is a publisher. Social Media is revolutionising the way information is brought to the web. Big news stories are now being broken through Twitter, rather than newspapers. Personal publishing is becoming the norm.
Content is everything. The media in social media could be anything from videos, to words, photos or podcasts.
Finally, its instant and in real-time. Instead of hearing about events in the morning paper, news is broken instantly, by the people in the thick of the action.
In this article Im going to focus on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. I could talk about Pinterest, Foursquare, Instagram and Youtube, but instead I want to give you a more in depth look at the big three.
Now heres my simple secret. Most businesses fall in one of two camps. Either you are B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer). Youll need different social media strategies depending on which camp youre in. To maxmise time and resources read on to discover which strategy is right for you.
If you business falls in the first camp (thats B2B) then youd probably want to invest most of your energy into LinkedIn. With over 170 million members LinkedIn is the number 1 place for professional online networking. Take the company I work for, Linked4Success, we receive an average of 4 totally unsolicited leads every day from people interested in what we offer.
LinkedIn is not just a place to post your CV, its great for finding potential new clients (search for new prospects by location, company, job title, seniority level and more), plus target them with the services they need, that you offer.
If your business is customer facing, then have a look at Twitter and Facebook. These are powerful content sharing tools that give you the opportunity to talk directly to your customers and give your business a friendly face.
With Facebook you can write messages known as posts, upload photo albums, share videos on your business page and give people the opportunity to like these.
Twitter works differently, you can only write and send tweets up to 140 characters (or a sentence or two long). These can include weblinks (which might be to websites, pictures, or videos) and are perfect for our short attention spans.
At Exeter Phoenix, where I managed the social media activity, sometimes I would announce new gigs on Twitter, making sure Id let the box office know - because as soon as the tweet went out an influx of calls would ensue.
Today we are exceptionally lucky to be able to build up and communicate with communities at the touch of a button. The internet has enabled us to talk to existing customers, find new clients and allow them to informally get to know us, all for free. Think of it this way: your business can light-up to millions of people instantly more than you ever imagined. Dive into social media, and the net will catch you.
Ten Top Tips For Social Media
1. Use Twitter on the move, LinkedIn and Facebook in the office.
2. Give your communities real value for being connected to you (could include competitions, breaking news or useful information).
3. Be honest and people will respect and relate to you.
4. Give to get.Want something? Those who give will receive. Whether by following a company page on LinkedIn, retweeting an event, or liking a local Facebook page.
5. Use the advanced search function on LinkedIn.
If youre unsure where to start, choose filters that your current clients would fall into then watch as LinkedIn finds a live database of new prospective clients for you.
6. Re-read your tweet, update or post and double check spelling and grammar.
7. Follow, connect and like people or businesses that are similar to you to pick up tips.
8. Who are your superfans?If you notice someone interacting with you a lot, make a note they could become a brand ambassador, generate content or become a new client.
10. Say something real.Did the government release a new piece of legislation thatll impact your clients? Perhaps a cake you made went wrong? Think about sharing it with your community.
To find out more on unlocking the secrets that LinkedIn has to offer visit linked4success.com and have a look at Linked2Leads - the step-by-step lead generation system.
Want to discover the basics of Twitter? Come to my Twitter Tips workshop at Exeter Phoenix on Wed 10 Oct and Ill share my insider tips and tricks as well as the basics to get you started.
Claire Bryden is a digital communicator, marketer, social media consultant and writer. She works with a variety of clients across the South West and beyond using digital media to promote and extend clients reach.