Three clients have asked me to explain the benefits of using social media in the past week. All three have one thing in common- they rely on word-of-mouth and referrals to gain new clients
“Our core business does not originate from social media”, I’ve heard this and other variations one too many times.
It’s important for every business not only to consider why social media is a necessity,, but also to consider ways to stay relevant regardless of your business model. An entire generation has now grown up with social media. How do you intend to reach this generation? Not being involved in social media in today’s market is like only listening to music on a tape recorder- your’e going to miss out on a whole lot of new material. You can’t be dependent on outdated marketing models to generate new customers.
Having a strong social network builds credence. People view you as a “real” or genuine business. As consultants, we advise our clients to have a minimum of two active profiles on social networks. Depending on your business model, we recommend Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest. If you primarily do business with other businesses, LinkedIn will be your network of choice. A consumer-driven company, on the other hand, should make sure their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram presence is strong.
Once your networks are determined, make an effort to grow the audience. Tell people who you are, and set a schedule for your posts and comments. Participate, and above all, be consistent. Posting one week, with nothing to follow up with on the next, is not good.
A variety of software is available that can automate your posts. We actually plan our posts each quarter by using both Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule. We compensate in between with live posts so that we respond to in real time.
If you’re still not sold – I encourage you to start with one platform and set a realistic goal. I’d love to hear your results!