Social media has become very important for business today. It is a strong component of referral networking, being a great way to learn about a referral. It is also one of the main pillars of good search engine optimization because Google goes through social media sites. There is Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Plaxo, FourSquare, YouTube, Myspace and Buzznet for musicians; AsianAvenue and BlackPlanet and others for ethnic communities; DailyStrength for the health industry; HR.com for Human Resources; Jiepang and Renren for China; Yelp for reviews. There are over 200 social media sites. How do you keep up? It is a flood. What if a customer goes on any of them and says something about your business? What are you going to do about it?
If you are being overwhelmed, or worried that you will be, it doesn’t have to be this way. Social media is so important that it would be worse to do nothing, but for your own sanity, you have to be selective about what you join. What can you do?
- Set up a service like Google Alerts to monitor your company name or industry. Who is talking about you or your company?
- Look at your Google Analytics, your traffic stats for your website, to see who is getting to your website through social media.
- Look at the big players in your industry. What social media are they using? Is it effective? Different social media works for different types of business, which is another huge topic. Read up what specialists in social media are saying.
- Determine who your ideal clients are, what are their demographics: gender, age, income, profession, education, location?
- Check the stats for each social media and see how they compare to your demographics. Where will you find your ideal clients?
- Find out how often people expect responses on social media. For example, Twitter is pretty immediate. On Facebook, people expect a response in a few hours, but you can add fresh content twice a week and no more than once a day. For LinkedIn, you can take days to respond.
- Then take all that information and determine how that fits in with your business and your available time. Can you do it yourself, or should you hire out? For example if you choose Twitter and you are on a computer all day, that will work because you can do a fast response. But if you spend all day at the top of a ladder? Kind of hard to tweet, or you’ll often be using the #HelpImFalling.