|Social Media: Making the "Big Four" networks work for you|
|Monday, 26 March 2012 13:06|
By Jonathan Barrick
Toronto, Ontario -- March 26, 2012 -- You know that Social Media is important to the future of your business. You know that conversations about your brand and about your industry are happening whether you're there or not, so you better get involved. I assure you that if you don't, your competitors will be more than happy to talk to your customers for you.
But with so many social media networks out there, and new ones popping up all the time, how do you know which ones you should really be present in? It's not as complicated as you'd think. Just like any other communication tool, each one has a different audience and a different format that lends itself to a purpose that differs from the others.
Let's start by taking a quick look at the "Big Four" social networks, and what they're all about:
Facebook - This 800 million-member-strong behemoth is certainly the biggest game in town, and with well over 70 percent of U.S. internet users registered as Facebook users, there's no way you can avoid Facebook. This is a good thing, however, because Facebook is guaranteed to have a large portion of your customers, no matter what business you're in. Many businesses set up their Facebook page as the “hub” of their social activity. You can easily post and share any type of content from other sites (video, pictures, links, articles, etc) and users can interact in many ways (Like, Share, Comment, etc). It's a very robust platform that also provides powerful statistics businesses can use to analyze their audience demographics.
Twitter - There's a lot more to Twitter than what people had for lunch or the latest news on Kim Kardashian. Twitter is a rapid-fire, never-ending stream of information sharing. Within Twitter, there are sub-communities of users dedicated to specific topics and industries. For many businesses, Twitter is a crucial tool for obtaining and sharing the latests news and industry updates. In its short 140-character updates, Twitter keeps things very concise and easy to digest at a glance.
YouTube - The undisputed king of online video, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, second only to Google. In addition to all those cat videos your friends email you, YouTube is also a massive archive of technical videos, how-to's, news, product reviews and event coverage. YouTube allows posting of original content, as well as the curating of content through user channels. Some popular users on YouTube don't create any original videos, but instead gather and curate the best videos, becoming the go-to source for content catering to a specific topic of interest.
LinkedIn - If there's one network that you may not have heard of in the “Big Four,” it's probably LinkedIn. With over 150 million members, LinkedIn is dedicated entirely to business professionals. While part of LinkedIn's function is to be a type of online resume, it also provides a vast array of other tools used to network, learn, discuss, and connect with professionals of every field across every industry. The groups and discussion boards cater to experts in their fields. You won't find very much discussion on recreational topics, but if you're looking to connect with fellow professionals and get in-depth advice and tips from the top minds in your field, then LinkedIn is the place to go.
How can I use them?
Using these networks is much less about “how they work” and much more about “how they work FOR YOU.” For each network, the first question you need to answer is “what value can I provide?” If you're not giving your audience something of value, then you won't be able to grab their attention.
Here's a few examples of how some collision repair facilities might approach posting content and potential uses is each channel:
Facebook - Before/After photos of major repairs or refinishes, Links to helpful car care information, Weather/road work/traffic status updates, Youth sports team sponsorships, Vehicle auction information, etc.
Twitter - Links to helpful car care information, Insurance company updates, Links to your photo galleries, Local automotive events, Safe driving tips, etc.
YouTube - Custom car videos, Racing team footage, Car show exclusives, News coverage, Industry event footage, Testimonials, Time-lapse repair videos, Before/After repair videos, etc.
LinkedIn - Discuss business operation tips, Learn insurance industry news, Stay updated on regulatory or legal issues, Post career opportunities, Recruit new talent, etc.
These are just a few examples. As you explore each channel, take a look at what others in the automotive industry are doing. What you'll notice is that businesses who post fluff consisting of silly jokes or totally unrelated material will get very little engagement and interaction, and their audiences won't grow. Those businesses that share relevant material, and do so on a regular basis will see far more interaction and engagement from their audience, and the size of the community will grow. The key is to provide content that comes from YOUR business and matters to YOUR community.
|Last Updated on Monday, 26 March 2012 13:14|
By PDPRE payday loans