@Anonymous - This is a great topic, as I have been trying to figure this monster out for a while now. Social media is one of those sensitive mediums where you have to use it the right way, and you have to use each one a little differently.
Personally, I stay off Facebook...that just feels like a personal medium, not exactly one of business use (for me). But depending on your business type, (ex. SMB) this could be a great way to spread the word through friends and family and drive some entry level traffic.
LinkedIn seems to be a place people go to professionally connect and learn from one another, so this is the place for, dare I say, "thought leadership." Being concise and bringing something valuable to the table is the key here. I tend to stay away from directly promoting my brand and instead promote things my brand can solve for and offer my self as a source for knowledge and work the brand in when the time is right (only you can determine this).
Twitter is for quick, punchy things. I tend to actually leverage twitter by promoting my brand and partner brands directly. I personally have not had much luck on twitter, so maybe take my thought here with a grain of salt.
As a whole, I view social media as a way to connect with your existing clients and potential clients and be seen as a human, and not just a marketer.
Happy hunting all!
I love to use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin Google+, Pinterest to promote our work and business.
In Social media site, there are many groups related to your niche where you can join and discuss about your product and services.
I could not agree more with @DustinT. I find that each social media platform has its own purpose. I too think of Facebook more personally - however, I know a number of businesses that have literally built their entire marketing programs on Facebook. You can target so specifically - which is especially nice if you have a niche product. For example, if your target customer is a mother of elementary school children, you can use look-alike audiences and other targeting tools on Facebook to put your product right into her feed. It's pretty awesome. It's worth exploring which platform would work well for your particular business. My big learning tho: it has to be managed so best to go one at a time.
I absolutely agree. When I worked in startups, I used a combination of Pinterest and Facebook groups to find niche audiences.
What has your experience been? Do these groups foster a healthy sense of community?
Social Media is a moving target, to say the least. In short, I use social media to point leads and clients to content lives in places I can control.
Remember you don't own anything on social media, you're merely renting space - since at any time Facebook can control what is ok to put on someone's timeline or LinkedIn can decide who sees a post you've published or Instagram can introduce an algorithm that changes the user experience drastically. The only place where you are in control is on a blog and website you own.
Incedently the best book I've read on social media is "Jab, Jab, Jab, right hook." You can read more about that on my blog - just search for "How to master Social Media - Read a book" on my blog (link to my blog is in my QB profile).
Social Media is a valuable tool to show people links to your service or product, your blog or your website. I also find that many of my clients tell me in conversation that they saw what I've been up to when they follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Being active on Social Media not only is good for my company's SEO (Google looks at an active social media account as one of their signals to measure your site's relevance in search) but also keeps my business in the top of mind.
And that's what marketing online is all about, right?
We use Facebook, Twitter, and a few others for our business. Also, we have 3 sites that all point to our one main site for online ordering. We also sell off of a few other sites, we have a pretty good SEO ranking on Google.
The social media space can be overwhelming, and I totally agree with @LeslieBarber that you've got to tackle them one at a time. Based on my own experience I think of each platform as having its own vibe and core usership. Facebook is great place to share your story (personal and business) and the audience skews a bit older than some other platforms. Instagram is young and hip, the land of aspirations - fantastic for more visual business stories (food pics for a restaurant, the best shot from a photographer's most recent gig). Twitter reads more B2B in terms of marketing, I think, although I haven't spent much time there.
When I was working on a project marketing to moms I focused on my Facebook presence. That just seemed to be the "street corner" where they were hanging out the most, and I only had time to do one platform well.
Social media is hard. I started off very shotgun blast. I talked to everyone who pretended to have a business. It was a lot of people every day and I didn't get much out of it.
I switched my approach, I am community based now. And I make sure that everyone I talk to is more in line with my potential client. Less energy and more return.
I will also say that I don't start every conversation intent to close. I look at it like a farmer planting a seed. It is a stepped approach:
1. Qualify the lead
2. Open dialogue to see if I enjoy talking to them
3. Begin to build a relationship, this is where I offer free advice and try to connect with them personally
4. Maintain dialogue and be a resource until they are ready
This long approach has been more fruitful than the quick approach to close method. It means someone I talked with 2 months ago may only now be turning into a warm lead ready to close. But I have found it to be the most successful approach, and far more effective than my other organic methods.