Creating An Online Social Presence
If you consider yourself a modern professional, you need to be paying attention to your social media presence. Traditional media has taken a huge hit, television, newspapers; most of the old media forms are falling behind the Internet in a big way. Social media platforms like Facebook and Google+ are quickly becoming the most effective way to inform your customers about your business.
Social media sites are extremely powerful tools. All of your promotions and advertisements are interactive. Customers can choose how they communicate with you, and at the same time, everyone can see how they interact with you. Posting updates on Facebook and Twitter raises brand awareness and it creates a sense of goodwill around your business. This helps you form positive relationships with your customers.
Whether you are an emerging professional or an already established business, there are a few things you need to know to start building your social presence. There are quite a few social media platforms. The best course of action is to choose one that will work well with your product or business. Social media sites are not created equal. Research the different sites and look up user reviews. Ask people who use the sites how they feel about them and what worked.
After you choose your social media platform, you need to set up your profile. Keep in mind what the profile is for, telling prospects who you are, what you are about, and how they can get involved with you and your product. Make sure your profile is professional. After you get your profile completed, you have to focus on maintaining your social media presence.
Content is king. Potential followers have the whole Internet to browse; your social media sites have to stand out. Release articles and pictures that are informative or interesting, or whatever fits your business. There are two types of content, core and peripheral. Core content is direct information about your business. When starting out, focus on core content. After that, you start adding peripheral content. Peripheral content examples are testimonials, promotions, and guest spots, things that are not directly related to your product. Be sure to mix it up and add core content along with peripheral content. You don’t want your product to get lost in the shuffle.
You need to post new content on a regular basis. Tons of information is delivered to users, so you need to have an updating schedule. If you haven’t made an update in over a month, people will lose interest. Be mindful of the bad side of social media too. Users don’t have many restrictions on their behaviour and they can post whatever they want on your profile. Keep an eye out for this and take care of it when it happens. The benefits of having a social media presence outweigh the negatives for most people.
Now, let’s talk about the social media sites you might want to use. We will discuss Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Facebook has over one billion users. You can have a lot of people following your page. You have to actively post new content or your page won’t receive nearly as much traffic as it could. To get more traffic, you can buy Facebook ads. Ads allow you to target people interested in your business. Facebook has a monstrous amount of traffic, so having an ad or two is a good way to get people to your page.
Twitter is an online social networking service and a microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters. These messages are tweets. If you want mobility, speed, and easy access, then Twitter is what you’re looking for. You can reach anyone with a smartphone, anytime, anywhere. Your advertisements on Twitter will only be one to three sentences long. You can tweet updates from your other sites to get your information out there.
YouTube is the second largest search engine. Nowadays, most people want to watch things rather than read them. You can get a lot of customers from YouTube. You need a steady stream of content though. Also, you need to know how to get in front of a camera. There are plenty of amateurs on YouTube. If you want to stand out, know your content and be creative. Creating something that is different is key to getting your video to go viral.
Google+ is a good alternative to Facebook. I think its features are much better, however the user base is much smaller than that of Facebook. One thing that makes Google+ good for personal use is that you can create circles, groups of online friends that only receive the news you want them to receive. This isn’t as useful for Internet marketers because we want to reach as many people as possible. A Google+ page in addition to your Facebook page will bring you extra traffic, and that is always good.
Pinterest lets you post images and share them. You can promote anything you want, but the bulk of the user base is fashion fans, car enthusiasts, artists, and crafters. One thing I like about it is you can update your profile with little copy for your promotions. Pinterest can be easier than pumping out blog articles or detailed Facebook updates. If you have an image-based product, Pinterest may be your match.
LinkedIn provides a way to stay in contact with people in your field. It is designed for people in professional occupations and networking. LinkedIn now has more than 200 million users. It has detailed features and lots of services and options. It is geared towards professionals so there are less teens and young people, which might hurt you depending on your product.