We all know the importance of social media for business, but not everyone knows exactly how to use it. Managing social media is very time consuming, and outsourcing is not always an option. Here is a guide to each major social network and how to use it.
As the most popular social network, Facebook serves a purpose for almost any business. This is often where people come to learn more about a company, after the website of course. It’s important to have all information up to date, a recent cover and profile image and lots of recently shared content.
There is no guideline for the kind of content that works best on Facebook. You can share links, images or ask questions to your fans. In general, anything with an image attached receives more interaction. So if you have a link to share, find an image to upload with it.
Remember, while sharing information on Facebook is important, nothing is as important as engaging with your audience. If they ask questions, make sure to respond promptly. Ask them questions as well. Fans love to share their opinion, so make sure they know you value it.
With only 140 characters to work with, you have to be more efficient on Twitter. That does not mean this social network is any less valuable. Twitter is where people talk to companies. If they have a question, comment or complaint, Twitter is where they are most likely to share it.
As with Facebook, followers on Twitter love to see useful content. So make sure to share lots of articles and websites that your audience will find value in. But at the end of the day, what matters is the conversations that you have. Be ready to provide answers, information and, more importantly, value to your customers on Twitter.
This is where social networks start to depend on your company and audience. Pinterest is a visual network. Users, or Pinners, share images. Sometimes these images have links attached, and sometimes they don’t. What matters is the image itself. The text written with it is rarely the focus.
If your company has lots of visual content, or an audience who loves images or videos, then Pinterest is the network for you. Third party content plays a huge role here. Your audience doesn’t want to see a constant stream of images from your company. They want to see images they can relate to, and that speak to them.
The whole point of Pinterest is to share, or repin, images. Users will only share images that they feel represent their personality or lives. So know your audience, and know what speaks to them.
Many companies have a difficult time using LinkedIn. Its functionality has changed drastically since its creation, and some businesses are not aware of what they can do with it. Traditionally thought of as a recruitment tool, LinkedIn now offers companies much more value.
A good way to look at content for LinkedIn is similar to Facebook. It is a place to share articles, websites and have discussion with your audience. What changes is your audience. While on Facebook, your audience consists of a wide range of customers, on LinkedIn your audience is more likely to be employees, die-hard fans or people who hope to work in your industry.
This can work in your favour, as this audience is much more likely to engage with you. The problem is, people don’t spend as much time on LinkedIn as they do other networks like Facebook or Pinterest. So it is important to remind your audience that you are on LinkedIn. Mention your LinkedIn profile in Tweets, Facebook posts and on your website. This will help drive traffic to your profile.
There is no way to dictate the use of social media, as it is so fluid. But there are certain guidelines that can help you get started. Do you have any other tips for using social networks? Share them in the comments below.