You’ve got your new site up and running. You’re ready to keep it updated with information about your company’s services and products. And then you see it…those little icons in your website design. The FB, the T or blue bird icon, the pin. What about those links to your social media accounts? Now what are you supposed to do?
Let’s be honest: there are companies all over that are more than willing to sell you books on how to run your social media accounts. While some are ready to charge you a $2,000 per month consulting fee. The goal of this blog post is to give you some general advice and some confidence that yes, you can do this. And keep in mind, it’s a bad representation of yourself if you link on your site to your accounts, but your accounts have no posts, unanswered comments and such. They are like plants, since you have to feed and water them to make them grow!
Let’s face it (pun not intended) – Facebook has the most social media users. If you’re facing a limited amount of time to keep up a social media presence, then this might be the place to be. You know how it works, what you can do here, etc. since you probably have a personal account there.
As far as tips go, keep it updated and current. Do you have some great photos to show off your office, staff, product or service of the month? Does your company page follow local brands or similar companies that you can like and comment on? When you have followers who comment on your posts, are you engaging them in a discussion or ignoring?
Beyond posts, Facebook has a suite of in-house apps ready for use, such as surveys, contests, games and more. You can also style your page to have icons that link to your own and functions, such as a customized contact form.
While Facebook might seem more sedate, Twitter might be best described as the manic, overly caffeinated sibling. From a company standpoint, Twitter’s 140 character limit for each post can seem daunting. But you can’t ignore so many users, especially younger followers.
As we noted above, the character limit is a stumbling block as to what you can say and do, but nothing is keeping you from Tweeting out a link to a page on your site, a link to a new photo, or to your blog and being more in-depth there. You could also use Twitter to have a more real-time discussion with folks: imagine using Twitter for an online chat with your fans or for customer service instead of email or the phone.
Facebook and Twitter might be the larger social media platforms out there, but don’t forget these guys…
YouTube – the work behind a video post might be the most intensive of all the updates discussed here, but on the plus side you can be the most creative here. You don’t need an expensive video camera these days; your smart phone would work just fine in most cases. As far as ideas go, how about a behind-the-scenes look at your company? Maybe a training or usage video for your product? Feel like interviewing a customer to get some testimonials? Keep in mind that posting on YouTube passes the bandwidth off to the Google company to handle and that there is a comments system connected to videos unless you block them.
Pinterest – this tool might be the youngest of our discussed platforms, but it’s seeing a massive growth in users. With an account here, you create so-called boards where you “pin” photos to a variety of topics. A good start in using this tool would to pin the same images you’d share or post on Facebook or Twitter. There are also some sharing features here; pinning an image here can send out notices via your Facebook or Twitter account.
Blogs – writing a multiple paragraph blog post takes more time, but this is your chance to expound deeply on a topic with links, images, custom formatting and such. Many folks use the well-established blogging tools at WordPress or Blogger for their updates. Remember: you can always use your other accounts to promote your latest blog entry.
What’s the take away from all of this?
At the end of the day, what’s the one thing to consider? Simple: it’s not called “social media” for nothing. You have to be social. You have to be engaging. This is not you standing on a table in a crowded room and yelling. Rather, this is you listening to various people and stepping in (when appropriate) to continue a discussion. When you stop interacting (or never talk) with your followers, the game is over.