Social media – does my business need it?

Friday, 19 June 2015  |  Posted in: Articles  |  5min read

Pictures of the food we are eating, comments about how we slept last night, and even body images are all over social media. We are all guilty of it. But how does social media work for business and where do we draw the line between personal and professional?

Does a business need social media? – in this day and age, generally, the answer is yes. One of the key reasons why, is that social media has gained credibility as a primary medium that a consumer can use to learn about a business and what it stands for – but which channels will work best for your brand?

As part of inbound marketing, The Digital Embassy utilises many different social media channels, both for our business and as recommendations for our client’s businesses to promote, educate and generate leads working with other marketing channels to convert to potential sales.

Let’s examine the main players and where they socially fit a business.

Facebook – Boasting more users than the populous of any one country on Earth, Facebook claims to have more than 1.44 billion monthly users databased on its platform. The average user is connected to 250 ‘friends’ and spends 21 minutes per day on the site. That’s potentially the biggest captive audience resource ever created. But how do we communicate with these people and stand out amongst the clutter? As a business, Facebook is a method of talking to an audience on a base, social level. It’s fantastic for sharing community information and promoting events or blogs to potential customers who might want to know a bit more about a business – but as people view Facebook as ‘social’, trying to sell or push a product is fraught with danger. Keep it light hearted and non-repetitive.

Twitter – Fantastic for linking like-minded people and stories, Tweets use hashtags (#) to group common topics or phrases allowing users to search with ease. These hashtags are starting to make their way into other channels like Facebook as well. With only 140 characters to utilise, Twitter is full of 1 liners and links to other web pages where content can be expanded. Creating specific hashtags allows a business to target specific content or events rather than a broader topic.

LinkedIn – Colloquially known as “Facebook for business”, LinkedIn is the place for commenting on business issues, education communities on best practice through blogs and media releases and linking people in business to each other. It’s also fast becoming the place to learn about an employee as it’s become an online CV database. If you want to see what a business is about, learn about someone’s experience or have a private chat about a new career – LinkedIn is a great starting point.

YouTube – Part of Google’s suite of tools, YouTube is a library of videos – short and long. Subscribing to a channel lets users see the latest videos uploaded to that channel and follow people and businesses of interest. You can lose yourself in YouTube videos, tutorials and commercials for hours. It is also full of spam and mis-described videos that aren’t what they claim to be. Being a predominantly free channel, linking video content to a YouTube page rather than taking up valuable space on your website has been the preferred medium for online video content for many years.

Instagram – Bought by Facebook in 2012, Instagram is an online photo album that businesses with products or events to visually promote can post to their albums and customers can ‘follow’. Working in a similar way to Facebook, a user’s feed will populate with the most recent pictures posted from whoever they follow. Seeing products in action or the popularity of an event or conference, the pics can include Twitter hashtags to cross pollinate with the different platforms.

Pinterest – Also a pictorial platform, Pinterest allows a business to create multiple albums to collate and display different products and topics in there most relevant groups. A user can pick and choose the albums that they want to follow – allowing a business to target people directly interested in specific items/groups and the user to only follow the elements of a business they are interested in.

Google+ – Started as a bit of a rival to Facebook where people could connect and discuss, it has morphed into more of a business tool. With apps, maps and search, a business can utilise many different features of Google+ and as users, if we have a gMail or YouTube account, we already have a Google+ account – whether we know it or not. To explain all the tools available in Google+, chat with our Digital Marketing Analysts – the list is wide and extensive.

What all this means is that there are many social channels that do similar, yet different things. All have their own style and brand tonality to help a business. Pick and choose wisely and ask digital partners like us for advice before you jump into all of them.

Remember, a user may follow you across more than one channel so if you are in multiple spaces, don’t duplicate content. You can promote one thing in many different ways but ‘copy & paste’ shouldn’t be your go to style – that will get repetitive and lose you the precious followers you want to communicate with.

As a social media digital agency The Digital Embassy can offer valuable guidance in the social space – from platforms to content.

Ready to talk about your requirements?

Phone us on 1300 375 368 for an obligation-free chat with a digital specialist about how we can help to scale up your business online.

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