Social Media Here, There, EVERYWHERE – 3 Common Thoughts Clarified

You see it everywhere, the little blue F icons, the red G, the blue bird, the constant “Follow Us!” verbiage from brands and yet you’re still not getting it. What’s so important about Social Media?

Perhaps you or someone you know have or had these types of thoughts:

“Social Media is just talking on Facebook or Twitter all day”

“Oh, Brand X has a Facebook page, we need that too! Another free way to push our stuff!”

“We don’t need Social Media! It just gives a public arena for negative comments.”

Sound familiar? Let’s answer them, shall we?

“Social Media is just talking on [insert site] all day”

In a way, yes. However, it is engagement; it’s finding out what’s bugging your customers, what’s making them happy, and also fixing their problems quickly and effectively. It’s not talking about the weather, or what you had for dinner. It’s talking about relevant topics that make sure your customer remembers you in some way.

So really, would you rather be on hold for 30 minutes to talk to a human or gain a direct line of communication access to your favorite brand? Well now you can, and you should offer that for your customers too.

Consider your business meetings where you have face-to-face discussion with potential prospects, gaining their trust by building a relationship, and ultimately converting them into a loyal and happy customer.

Social Media aims to do the same, but now, the reach is instantly around the world and is much, much faster in developing lasting relationships leading to more sales, and more referrals for being on top of their mind.

“Oh, Brand X has a Facebook page, we need that too! Another free way to push our stuff!”

What’s that sound? I hear a loud and annoying alarm bell that’s constantly ringing in my ears. Where’s this bell coming from?

Your pushy marketing messages.

Do not use Social Media as JUST another promotional vehicle ONLY for your promotions. If you saw a page that only had sales talk, would you spend much time on it? What about a page that offers useful tips that help your everyday life or work? Most likely you’ll stay to read the content a bit more to see if it’s relevant to you.

It’s not to say that you can’t push your promotions, you can still do so by seeding it here and there, but you should be focusing on what can help or entertain your customers so that they see you in a positive light, keep you on top of mind, and not just a “company looking to gain my sale”

Meaning, you can shout all you want on how awesome your company is and that they’d be a fool to not buy from you, but until the potential customer knows you care and not just a number, they will not listen.

Here’s a breakdown of the major social sites you may already be a part of or should be thinking of joining:

Facebook launched in 2004, hit over one billion active users this past September which still makes them the #1 social site. Members generally share what they like to their friends and are increasingly using it to stay up-to-date with the brands they like. Companies can also use it to improve Google Rank along with nurturing relationships and enhancing Customer Service.

Twitter launched in 2006, have become one of the top 10 most visited sites and is described as the “SMS of the Internet.” Members tweet 140 characters at a time typically of what’s happening “at the moment” or “real-time” events and carry on micro-blogging conversation with friends, strangers, and brands. You will also see hashtags (#) to group conversations related to that topic.

YouTube launched in 2005 by 3 former PayPal employees, and purchased by Google in 2006, there shouldn’t be anyone that hasn’t heard of YouTube, the #1 video sharing site. This is a great platform to put a face to your company along with uploading how-to instructional videos.

Google+ launched in 2011 and while this multilingual social networking site isn’t as popular as Facebook, it provides valuable SEO and ranking benefits. It also integrates with other Google products like Search, YouTube, Android, Chrome, and Gmail. launched

LinkedIn launched in 2003 and this social networking site, used mainly for professional networking, is great for building contacts along with creating a company page to promote news/products. You can also have your employees link to the page, where potential contacts can reach out to the appropriate person.

Pinterest launched in 2010, and the social photo sharing site resembles a “pinboard” where members pin rich photos of anything and everything related to their interests, hobbies, inspiration and more. This site is great for companies with product photography and for those without, you can still re-pin related photos to your profession. Maybe you’re a dentist? You can create a collection of celebrities with pearly whites to encourage proper dental care.

Instagram also launched in 2010, is another social photo sharing site but typically used via mobile cameras for on-the-go uploading and includes digital filters to place various enhancing effects on your picture. (Facebook bought Instagram in April 2012 for $1 billion)

For companies starting out in social media, you should gather information as to where your customers are likely to be by searching for keywords at the social sites before making the mistake of trying to juggle all of them. Facebook and Twitter platforms can be searched via #ecommerce). You can also poll your customers asking them what social site they’re on or what they’d like to see you on. youtube social shares

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