I am asked the question which social media channel to use, frequently. There seems to be huge confusion around the use and benefits especially when focusing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Some believe that Facebook is not a platform for business and will rather spend time in LinkedIn. Others is of opinion that Twitter is confusing and prefer to just shy away. It is apparent that the choice of social media channel is mostly done based on personal preferences, perceived business requirements or skill level.
So which channel do you use and why?
Now this might be surprising but I recommend for any business you need to use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn daily. There are others that you can also benefit your business like Pinterest and Instagram but the focus should be on these three main social media channels.
If you understand each channel you will be able to define realistic goals and expectations but more so reap the benefits of social media.
Facebook is primarily for people engagement. This is an excellent channel to connect and build relationships with the people utilizing your products or services and therefor a social channel for customer service. Understanding your customer persona will also assist in targeting the right audience assisting marketing and sales activities. Facebook is time consuming and the results slow. If you want to build a huge following quickly the only way will be to use the Facebook advertising feature. Organically it is not possible to create a huge following in short time frames. However, if Facebook is used primarily for customer service your growth can be relative to your customer base. I recommend that you use Facebook for customer service which will also create a customer centric brand image for your business.
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Twitter is an excellent tool for increasing website traffic. Twitter’s main purpose is to create awareness of your brand, to advertise or distribute your content and to generate leads. It is a good source to increase website traffic. Building relationships using Twitter is extremely difficult but through features like Twitter chat it is possible but requires dedicated focus and time. It is best to find your targeted audience quickly and invite them to join you on Facebook and LinkedIn where it is easier to manage and build relationships.
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LinkedIn is a business social media channel for business. The primary goal when using LinkedIn is to establish business relationships (I am excluding the job features of LinkedIn). Utilizing the content publishing, Pulse, feature will assist in branding you as an expert in your field. All features of LinkedIn like groups and company pages are for purposes of introducing your brand or business and do establish engaging relationships. One of the biggest challenges of LinkedIn is that every member is seeking business opportunities which potentially can jeopardize relationship building. As an example, I as an Internet Marketer target members in the Insurance Industry, while the Insurance member view my profile as a business opportunity. Now one of us will say No first and the relationship becomes challenging. This must always be handled with cautions and I advise upfront honesty – I am not in the market for Insurance however I can assist you with marketing your service. LinkedIn as a social media channel has its built-in activity restrictions and growing a following is slower than Twitter but faster than Facebook. I recommend spending time focusing on building strong business relationships which will assist with future introductions and referrals. Always approach every new (and current) connection with a serving attitude willing to assist rather than servicing your own interests and LinkedIn will work well for you.
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If you approach Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in this manner you will focus the three main business activities daily namely:
- Lead Management – driving traffic to your website
- Marketing and Sales – building strong business relationships
- Customer Service – creating brand advocates ensuring referrals
If you experience any challenges in any of these three social media channels I highly recommend the following online training courses: