Part 2 – Analyzing “The Big Three” and Evaluating Your Opportunities for Social Media Marketing
In my last blog, I discussed the idea that your presence on social media shouldn’t be limited to one or two sites – in fact, there are a good handful of sites that are worth your attention. The problem for many, of course, is understanding why people use each site and how they can best be reached by you and your organization without coming across as a salesperson.
Of course, when you think of social media, it’s more than likely these three names come to mind: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – or as I call them “The Big Three.” Here’s a quick snapshot of each of them:
Primary used for: networking with close friends and relatives. Facebook is a content driven site that derives significant traffic from its use of a native Facebook video player.
How you can penetrate the market: The most successful Facebook pages to date are usually accompanied by interactive marketing campaigns built directly into the Facebook page. However, these can take significant time and resources that many smaller businesses simply can’t afford. Instead, focus on a content-centric approach. As a standard best practice, avoid selling anything on your page directly. Make your posts focus on what’s “cool” about your product or service, perhaps add in some Facebook-only discounts or promotions to help drive traffic to your page. Your audience on Facebook is looking for “cool” things or articles that their friends or family might enjoy. Try to focus on content that speaks to this need, and make sure your content is pushed regularly to maintain a strong presence on Facebook and you’ll very likely see your online traffic increase.
Primarily used for: Quick, instant notifications regarding news-worthy items across all walks of life. While they’ll soon be looking to shed the 140 character restriction on their site, Twitter’s primary usage is to share news and opinions on the news. In fact, an independent study run by Twitter through a third party surveyor found that 9 out of every 10 people use Twitter primarily to get news and updates on things that matter to them.
How you can penetrate the market: Content is king here… in fact, content is truly the driver on most social media sites, but particularly on Twitter. Use a URL shortener to maximize your “character capital” for your messages. One best practice for Twitter is to continually share the latest, newest articles in your industry – then, as you gain followers, you’ll begin to be able to position yourself as a thought leader among your followers, which will only serve to continue to bolster your online presence.
Primarily used for: Business networking opportunities and job searching. Once a glorified resume-building and sharing site, LinkedIn has now evolved to a more professional version of Facebook. Whereas you’ll find friends and family on Facebook, LinkedIn plays a similar role for professional networking. It is, coincidentally, the most popular network in the business world as it pertains to personal usage.
How you can penetrate the market: LinkedIn has recently opened up the ability to publish your own content (think of a simple blog building tool) – As with Twitter, best practices here include publishing newsworthy content – this will establish you as an industry thought leader over time permitting you’re sharing timely and valuable content to your audience. However, LinkedIn is also relatively personal, as it pertains to how people communicate. One-on-one interactions drive business on LinkedIn, and those that utilize the true networking power of the platform will often have the best success. One key to success here is understanding how to use the search tool to identify and connect with the key decision makers in organizations you’re hoping to do business with.
Join me again for the third and final installment of this blog series where I dive into the popular, but less utilized of the main social networks, or the “Content Powerhouses” that can be a great home for your social media marketing efforts!