“Social Media: How to Use It for Marketing And to Build Your Brand”
There are many different social media websites that perpetually try to get you to open an account with them. There are literally dozens, if not hundreds of social media sites and some cater to specific niches or demographics. As an example of this, if you have a business that caters to women in some way, or even if women are a particular sub-niche in your business or practice, a good social media site to reach them is Pinterest. Women, by far, dominate that site with over 40% of women who are online using it. I’ve narrowed down what I call “The Big 4” that are the most effective for businesses or practices and how to use them to get the most ROI for your time spent posting on them as well as a very effective media for your marketing message. Social media is a great way to educate your potential and existing customers and patients about your products/services –as well as market to them–and keep your brand in front of them.
Here are the “Big 4” social media websites, as I call them, and how to use them:
Facebook– Everyone is on Facebook today. Although it’s not a purely business social media site (it’s more like a “neighborhood” with a mix of friends, relatives and business associates and customers), it is a good place to stay in touch with clients and customers. You shouldn’t post more than 2 times a day and don’t continually try to “pitch” them. It’s more of a conversation, informing them about you and your brand. You can make pitches from time to time and if you’re offering a new product or service, by all means, this is a good place to get the word out about it, just don’t over-do it.
Twitter– This site is more like a crowded neighborhood pub where you have a chance to give “sound bites” about yourself and your brand. You have 140 characters (not words, characters) in which to give your message. Again, don’t try to sell them. Instead educate them about your products or something that is “trending”. This may be some topic that is currently hot in business or in the news. 2-3 times a day is sufficient. Some social media specialists argue that you really can’t post too much on Twitter but it’s better to “leave them wanting more” than to take a chance on alienating your customers or prospects because you’re posting too much. Relevant content is the key here. In other words, have something to say or contribute to stand out from the mass clutter.
LInkedIn– This is the “country club” site where business people mingle and network. Definitely don’t pitch here. Write and post articles that are related to your particular business or industry. Or write articles that may help others in a similar industry. This is truly a business networking site where a lot of sharing and deals take place. There are also groups you can join related to your industry. For example, I belong to a “motivational speakers” group that posts a topic and invites comments to get a dialogue started. It’s a great way to get known and build a little credibility. You should post, at the most, once a day.
Google +– This is the “under the radar” social media site that isn’t talked about much. Although it’s growing, it’s still not used a lot. You should post on here daily for one reason: it’s owned by Google and will help your SEO for your website. Once or twice a day here is sufficient.
You can also use a free program like HootSuite or Buffer so that you can enter your posting and have them posted at the times and dates you determine, thus freeing you up in the event you can’t physically post on a particular day. You don’t need to provide different content for each site. It’s the presence on each that counts. You want to become a “regular” and build a following to enhance your brand. Building this takes time but is worth the effort.