Social Media Success in Two Words or Less Social Media

How is your business leveraging the unique qualities of each major social media channel?

One of the commonly expressed social media challenges is communicating a congruent business or brand message while managing multiple social channels.

The solution is to distill the primary success factor for each social media channel into just a couple of words – or less.

Then commit these words to memory to organize your social media marketing process.

Each social network has a theme that can be defined in two words or less

Use this to guide your social media marketing.

LinkedIn is for Business Professionals

The true power of LinkedIn is in your second connections. If you are making connections on LinkedIn to create new opportunities, just as you would by exchanging business cards at live events, you will discover that your hundreds of first connections translate to hundred thousands of second connections.

Thus, you only have to connect the dots on LinkedIn to create more business opportunities than you can probably handle.

Facebook is for Showing Off

The cardinal rule of Facebook is to keep everything positive. You want to show off – to celebrate life and business – and to help others do the same by leaving encouraging comments or sharing their message on your newsfeed.

There is often more than one view to certain issues. Therefore, it’s best to simply support your view and those of your friends. Anything else is counterproductive.

Twitter is a Fire Hose

Twitter is as close to traditional marketing as you will get with social media. The Twitter stream is largely populated by advertisements, announcements, and a blend of conversations. Many of them announce “look at this,” a good number say “buy me,” and some ask “how are you doing today?”

If you use Twitter to accomplish all three, you will get the most value from it.

Pinterest is Visual

Photo pinning site Pinterest is clearly visual. Pinterest is commonly used to share photos to communicate what you are passionate about. While this is effective, you can take it a step further.

A more useful way for leveraging Pinterest for business is to create “how-to” images that illustrate how to best use your products or services.

Instagram is Intimate

Instagram is seductively intimate, at least for now. This was true for Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks during their early days. Plus, Instagram seamlessly integrates with Facebook to give your photos further reach on larger platform.

Therefore, use Instagram to be more intimate and personal with your communities, while also leveraging its integration with Facebook. Also, be sure to use hashtags with Instagram to drive your message on its platform – and Facebook.

YouTube is Experiential

Your business should consider using YouTube to take your ideal buyers on an experiential journey.

The number one challenge of local businesses is getting people into the store.

A viable social media strategy for accomplishing this is to create videos for using YouTube to bring the in-store experience to new buyers.

Google+ is an Identity Service

Google+ wants to be everyone’s window to the social web. 

Just recently Google+ began rolling out personal URLs for everyone. This is a signal of things to come; namely, that Google+ wants to be everyone’s window to the social web.

Initially thought to be Google’s answer to Facebook, Google+ has proved to be much more than a social network. By allowing users to import their feeds from where they publish content around the web (including other social networks), Google can more easily index that information for search.

You cannot ignore Google+ if your business wants to be relevant for the millions of consumers that are searching the web to find new businesses to serve their needs.

Back to you. 

How is your business leveraging the unique qualities of each major social media channel?

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, helps mainstream small businesses create exceptional customer experiences that accelerate business growth. Get more from Jeff on LinkedInTwitter and Google+.

Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)

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Small Business Social Media Accountability

Small Business Social Media

Recent tragic events here in the United States (and around the world) have heightened awareness of the global reach of media, especially social media, and the consequences for businesses using it.

Small business advertising has historically been local, making it easy to craft messaging that is appropriate for the targeted audience. However, now any piece of digital content has the capability of reaching audiences far removed from those for which it is intended.

This creates new responsibilities that many businesses are only just beginning to fully comprehend.

Your small business may be local, but your words spread far and wide, and that has consequences that can dramatically affect its reputation.

It is prudent for every business to recognize that they are a media company, and with that comes responsibilities for which is must be accountable.

Have a Larger Perspective

Many businesses autopublish information on their social media channels. This practice is useful for convenience, provided the content is monitored. Unfortunately, many influencers and businesses were swept into a controversy in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy, largely because what they were publishing had gone unchecked.

This is precisely why delegating the social media function to a low-level employee is not a good idea. When this is done the risk of making making poor decisions rises significantly.

To be sure, this may also hold true for media agencies that are inexperienced, or do not know your business well. And let’s face it, nobody knows your business like you do.

The solution is to weigh what is published against the values and beliefs of the organization.

Naturally, this larger perspective has to come from leadership, and it has to be clearly articulated in a manifesto or core values that everyone then adheres to.

Choose a Professional Approach

Zappos is an example of a company that manages their social media well; and this is accomplished by simply linking its employees’ social media sharing to its ten core values, which are focused on achieving world-class customer service.

When a business is intensely focused on the customer, it’s messaging necessarily becomes more professional. It’s when businesses seek to draw attention to themselves that the message can be interpreted to be self-serving, insensitive, or shallow.

Vital elements of the media message to carefully consider are these:

Language – We are judged by our words. Using profanity or slang rarely postions a company as edgy or cutting edge; it is likely to be viewed as amateurish at best, and more likely unprofessional.

Timing – Choosing your timing well respects your audience. This includes both the hour and day of the week.  Nobody wants to receive a business message on a weekend, with the exception of a light wrap-up of the week.

ContentContent is king, so design it for royalty – your customers. It’s quality reflects your personal and business brand.

Stories – Stories should entertain, educate, and inspire. They should deliver value and never make people feel uncomfortable. Stories about exceptional customer experiences are nearly always be appreciated.

Personal or ImpersonalBeing too personal or too impersonal is not advisable when working with clients and customers, and so it is with your social media. Just be social.

Accuracy – Do your fact checking and avoid racing to report news that you have not verified as accurate.

Be a Responsible Publisher

Have guidelines that you live by. Minimize automation as much as possible, and always bring the wisdom of experience to bear on your social media marketing.

Responsible online publishing is now essential.

Learn to hold your business accountable for its social media, because its extended communities already are doing so.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, helps mainstream small businesses create exceptional customer experiences that accelerate business growth. Get more from Jeff on LinkedInTwitter and Google+.

Jeff is also the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – Just Released April 2013 (Wiley)

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