When used correctly, social media can increase your exposure and traffic to your company’s website and other online properties. You can also use social media to help grow your business partnerships and to generate leads.
In this blog, we'll cover three of the most well-known social media platforms, and give you an overview of how to take advantage of each.
You can also download the Social Media Quick Start Guide to help you get started.
Twitter is unique in its short and to-the-point approach to communication. Twitter posts (aka "tweets") are limited to 140 characters. It is intended for quick, short-lived messages. As a result, Twitter is a great platform for interacting with others in short bursts.
To engage with your followers, you can “favorite” or retweet content that is relevant to your industry. Never ask your followers to “please retweet” your posts. Followers will automatically share your content if it is shareable for their industry. Followers will also share posts if they agree with whatever it is that you posted. The more interaction you have with your followers, the more traffic you will get. After about 3-5 posts on Twitter, your audience attention tends to decrease.
Branding your company is fairly easy on Twitter. A simple way to brand your company is by using hashtags. By adding the # symbol in front of a word, or words, those tweets get grouped into a pool containing the same hashtag. For example, if you’re talking about “insurance” in your post you can simply put “#insurance” to group your tweet with other insurance posts. Be careful not to use too many hashtags in your post. Too many hashtags will seem as if your post is spam.
Company or personal pages can be created on Facebook. People can “like” your page to be updated on company news and info. Facebook has no character limit. You can type however much you need in order to get your full point across, though it's best to max out at a few sentences.
Sharing content on Facebook is just about the same as Twitter. Engaging is still a key point on this network as well. While you don't want to post with the same frequency as Twitter, these days you can post 3-5 times per day if you have a small audience, and as much as 5-8 times per day for large audiences.
One feature on Facebook that can be very useful is the boost post function. This lets you define a target audience for a particular post (either your followers are a wider audience), and then pay to make sure your post is seen by that audience. This is a relatively inexpensive way to draw attention to your Facebook page and the content you share.
LinkedIn is a networking site for business professionals. It has a newsfeed that functions similar to Facebook and Twitter where you can share content or messages with all your contacts. Unique to LinkedIn is the ability to publish articles directly on the platform. Writing about your industry and publishing to LinkedIn is a great way to position yourself as a thought leader and build your personal brand.
You can also add to your personal brand by asking people to endorse you for particular skills. With just a couple clicks, people in your network can agree that you have a certain skill. These endorsements show up on your profile and serve as third-party validation of your professional skills and knowledge.
In order to build up your network, use LinkedIn's advanced search function to find and connect with individuals who meet your target demographic. This lets you connect with both colleagues and potential leads.
Finally, one of the strengths of LinkedIn is its groups. These are groups of people organized around a specific topic, such as "online marketing." By searching for and joining a number of groups, it opens up the opportunity to connect with a much higher number of people. Plus, it gives you a chance to further build your personal brand by interacting in the groups and answering questions to position yourself as an expert.