Social media is a great way to promote businesses and engage with your clientèle or audience. That doesn’t mean that ‘Facebook’ is for every business, so take a look at what ‘Twitter’ and ‘LinkedIn’ can offer for your business.
My general rule of thumb is that face-to-face public dealing companies should use Facebook firstly and then Twitter secondly. Business-to-business companies should (I think) use LinkedIn and/or Twitter depending on their resources. Resources are important because Twitter is more demanding of your time in my opinion. It’s not really OK to occasionally take to Twitter, you should really be able to almost constantly monitor it, and be prepared to engage daily. Facebook is fine for occasional engagement and I have seen LinkedIn used as both fairly passive, and also very vigorously when it comes to updates etc..
This area is not so much a choice as a necessity, you will have to think up a strategy – be prepared to pursue it, and if it doesn’t yield results, be prepared to switch it around. Social Media is ever-changing, so having an eye on what is going on is vital for your business. First rule is always to take a look at what your competitors are doing – and try to do it better. Learn from the mistakes of others, take a look at other sites and try to work out what works well and what could be done better.
Formulate a strategy that makes sense – used ‘joined-up’ thinking and measure the results. Once you take the plunge, make sure your website is linked to your twitter/linkedIn/Facebook etc.. accounts – make sure you cross-reference (Tweet about your LinkedIn updates, mention them on your facebook page…). Make sure you are using common themes such as logos and background colours etc.. that reinforces your ‘brand’.
The really important thing to help you decide what works and what doesn’t is to measure the results. Keep a record of how many ‘likes’ and followers you are picking up – see how that changes with the different platforms that you engage with. At then end of the day, make sure you are spending your social engagement time wisely and that you can show an end result.