The following list is in order of importance, in my opinion. The reasoning behind this order is, if you succeed at one, move on to the next. My disclaimer here is, all of this depends on your market and the kind of publicity you are after. I’ll give a few examples of when I think it’s appropriate to use each of these marketing techniques.
LinkedIn: I am convinced that every company should have a LinkedIn page. These days, everyone is using this site to network with past, current and future colleagues. It is up to you whether you want to use LinkedIn for posting job openings or not but it certainly helps to have a basic company profile up. To me, there is nothing more annoying than employees listing a company they work at and when you click on the company name, nothing comes up. Yes, all candidates should go to the company website to learn about the company, but an informative blurb on LinkedIn will only help get your word out.
Twitter: This is where it gets a little complicated and you need to begin dedicating more time to being successful. I am not going to suggest that every company out there needs a Twitter page. However, I am convinced that Twitter helps build a brand. If your company is in an industry where you rely on customer satisfaction and more on B2C business rather than B2B then Twitter is for you. Informing customers about your business, getting their feedback and communicating back with them will help you succeed. Just remember, you must be consistent. Don’t use Twitter for the first month and then fall off the face of the earth. You want to attract, retain and grow your follower base!
Twitter, in my opinion, also allows a company to dip its toes into social media. LinkedIn gets the corporate information out there but with Twitter, you are expected to update on a consistent basis. The good and the bad is that you have to be concise and to the point. This is almost like your “elevator pitch” in 140 characters. Succeeding at being consistent and to the point will allow you to move on to the next step, if you choose to do so.
Facebook: Some may want to switch Twitter for Facebook in this list. I can agree that either one would serve the same purpose. However, I’ve put Facebook third because it allows you to write and share more. Once you’ve overcome sharing a little you can move on to sharing more. Facebook allows for a private company page, make sure the url mentions your company name, and it gives you a lot more freedom to share stories, receive lengthy comments, and upload photographs that stay on your main page. In my opinion, it is a lot easier to keep track of comments and stories on Facebook.
As with Twitter, you need to make sure to be consistent. If you put up a Facebook page, make sure to keep it current. There’s nothing worse than an interested party finding your page and seeing that the last posting you had was a month ago. Again, I feel that that Facebook is more for companies engaging in B2C transactions.
Blogging: This type of outlet is not for everyone. You certainly have to dedicate one person to update all of the previously mentioned sites, but when it comes to blogging, you really need to keep up with current content. A blog can’t just be 140 characters, nor should it just be a place where you share links to other sites. If that is all you do, then people will simply go to those sites to get their information and abandon your blog. Here are my tips for blogging success:
* Link people from your Twitter and Facebook pages to your blog.
* Share relevant and current information.
* Share the above mentioned info on a consistent basis. Decide whether you’ll update your content weekly or daily and then stick to it!
* Share relevant links. As long as your content is informative, people will not abandon your blog. Instead, they will go to your blog to learn more and will rely on it to get their daily dose of industry related news.
* Make sure to encourage conversations and possibly even guest postings by your readers, if appropriate. It’s always good to have a little variety.
* Look at your statistics! It is very important to look at your key log on rates, who is reading your blog, where they are coming from, and where they are linking to. You can also see which topics get the most hits, and perhaps this is a topic you should talk more about!
Blogging, I feel, can be used for both B2B and B2C as it depends on who your readers are. You can even have an internal blog that brings all of the employees together.
So what’s my final word? Make sure that if nothing else, your company has a LinkedIn page. If you then have the time and are willing to dip your feet into the social media pool, go ahead and explore your options. But if you do, be consistent and current!
I am moving tomorrow, so I apologize if it’s a little while before I write again.
Have a wonderful weekend and…what did you do today?