The Truth About Social Media
Let's face it... Social media today is not like it was a year ago and unless you keep up with the almost daily changes, you may be spinning your wheels on what is truly a valuable tool.
Despite the notion that social media is free advertising, it really isn't if you consider the time it takes to do things properly. There is a massive difference between social media for personal use and business use and doing the latter with former strategies and tactics may not produce the best results for you. So what is the best way to do social media on a business level? The biggest word right now is.. Investment. That's right, social media now requires a monetary investment, so unless you have $100 - $150 per month to spend, it may be an uphill battle.
Facebook - The grand daddy of all social media sites is in need of monetizing it's platform in order to satisfy their investors from their IPO. As a result, they have recently changed their algorithm, reducing organic reach and forcing people to invest in order to gain more eys on their posts. This means that if you have 1000 fans on your page and you post something, if you are lucky, maybe 10 people will see that particular post. If you want more of YOUR fans to see it, then you will have to invest in a promoted post. While this is a smart move for Facebook, it's very frustrating for small businesses who may not have much to invest in marketing.
Twitter - Another popular network that helps you gather a community of people who may have an interest in your business. Gathering followers isn't easy and with the amount of spam out there, you really need to pay attention to who is following you so you don't hurt your professional image. I have come to realize that Twitter has an AM and PM audience so it helps to tailor your messages to both. Focus on hashtags that can be used to amplify your tweet and include 2 to 3 of them at the end of your tweet. Follow people who follow a competitor so that you may gain traction for an already interest person cause they will follow you back, look at ads if it makes sense.
LinkedIn - This one is a challenge because people don't seem to be as active in groups as they once were. Of course it really depends on the group, but I have found the level of spam has grown considerably over the past couple years and people are getting fed up. If you can position yourself as a trusted voice of authority for your industry and start to connect with individuals who could benefit from your service, then that would help. Just don't push your services at nauseum or you run the risk of tarnishing your reputation.
Pinterest - If your business offers something visual such as a flower shop or a travel agency, then Pinterest will work well for you. With majority of users being female, you can really create a great audience with visually stimulating images that relate to your business. Further to that, you can drive traffic to any URL you want through the image details. Just remember to leave valuable URL's intact so people can follow them such as recipes for example.
There is nothing more valuable than social media because nothing lets you connect directly to your target market better. It is important to note that it does take time, effort and yes some money to get things done right. Business social media takes strategy, planning and time. Using personal tactics will not work and may hurt you in the long run.