Before you jump in head-first, take a deep breath and work out the exact purpose of your social media activity, if your client base is consuming social media and what it is they are consuming.
Remember, when it comes to social media, no one size fits all. What works for one industry sector or organisation does not necessarily work for another. If you’re unsure about where to start, check to see what your competitors are doing and if what they’re doing appears to be working.
LinkedIn: This is a great place to start, particularly for businesses targeting other businesses. This is strictly a professional network used to display professional accomplishments and connect with those in similar industries. It helps build trust, allows for regular dialogue with business networks and for you to position yourself as an expert and authoritative voice in a specific industry. Take the time to research and only join groups that are relevant to you and your potential clients.
Blogging: Blogs are most likely to be used by B2B companies. Blogging involves posting regular stories, pieces of commentary or other content which can be accessed and read by customers and other industry professionals. If your goals are position your business as an expert in its field and drive traffic to your website, a blog is the number one way to do so.
Facebook: This is ideal for businesses working directly with consumers and is particularly good for those in visually-oriented industries (e.g. travel, retail and fashion). This platform can act as a terrific one-stop-shop for information on the latest events, services, products and special offers and is a great channel to engage with consumers and secure customer feedback.
Twitter: This is best used by businesses with a lot to say, share and ask. It is ideal for asking followers to provide their opinion and for finding and connecting with users who are interested in the same topics. It is also great for making quick, short updates about your brand, product or service, events, major announcements, changes, new blogs and for responding to customer service queries.
YouTube: This is a wonderful way for businesses of all sizes to engage with their audience, to showcase their expertise and thought leadership, raise company awareness and to respond to crises. However … and this is a big however, you need to have something that is worth watching – something that is educational, informative, humorous or serious and most importantly, relevant to your business.
Google+: This is largely being used by technology-oriented industries such as engineering, web design and software development and is a wonderful source for sharing interesting articles, blog posts and information.
Once you have worked out which social media platforms are best for your business, tackle them one at a time. Focus on being the best you can possibly be in one area before moving on to the next. Owning one space and doing it particularly well is better than trying to be across too many platforms and doing none especially well.