You should use social media if you have a business and want to do any of the following:
- Reach new customers
- Build relationships with existing customers
- Create awareness of your products or services through PR and marketing
- Decrease customer support costs
- Drive traffic to your website
- Find new employees
- Improve teamwork at your company
Social networks are now used by millions of people every day:
- Social networks are web-based, online communities of people with shared interests who communicate with one another and share information.
- Social networks allow you to connect with friends, family, colleagues, and customers online.
- Social media marketing is the use of social networks to promote your company’s products or services.
You should create a presence on the following websites:
- LinkedIn: Set up profiles for key employees. See “Getting Started with LinkedIn.”
- Facebook: Create a Facebook Fan Page for your business. See “Getting Started with Facebook.”
- Twitter: Set up a Twitter profile for your company or brand. See “Getting Started with Twitter.”
- Local Search: Set up listings for your business on Google Local Business Center, Yahoo! Local, Best of the Web Local, and Bing Local Listing Center, by visiting GetListed.org.
- Reviews: Set up a listing for your business on Yelp.
- Today: Set up profiles on the major sites. It takes about a day.
- Every day: Keep up with what’s happening in your industry or marketplace.
- Every week: Spend a few hours participating in conversations with people in your networks.
- As needed: Post news about your company.
There are five main reasons companies should do social media marketing:
- It is now considered a best practice.
- It drives traffic to your website.
- It improves your search engine rankings.
- It lets you join the conversation.
- It amplifies your marketing messages.
For details, see “5 reasons companies should do social media marketing.”
It’s easy to get started with social media:
- Sign up for LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, local search engines, and Yelp.
- Fill out the basic information (you can add more later).
- Join groups of peers and/or customers.
- Listen and get a feel for discussion etiquette.
- Get social by joining into conversations with your peers and customers. See “Connecting with customers through LinkedIn,” “Connecting with customers through Facebook,” and “Connecting with customers through Twitter.“
- For more in-depth information about using social media marketing, take a look at “5 Steps in a Social Media Marketing Plan“ and “Promote your business using social media.”
- For an overview of the components in an online marketing strategy, check out the Marketing Treasure Map video.
- For details on the most popular social networking websites, check out the slideshare presentation called “Free Online Tools to Create Conversations.