If you’ve read any of my blog posts about social media, you’ll know that the trick is matching the right channels to your business aims.
It’s not always easy. So, to put you on the right track, I’ve outlined the benefits of a variety of social media.
Let’s start with…
A high quality business blog can help you build your brand, as well as earning you a loyal following of people who can spread the word with a variety of social media. If you get it right, your readers will give you lots of publicity by sharing your posts on Twitter or social bookmarking sites.
That said, the heyday of blogging seems to have passed. The overall number of active bloggers has significantly reduced and the blogosphere has shrunk, with far fewer new blogs being established in the past 12 months. It’s thought that other social networks have eaten part of blogging’s market share
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Fewer blogs means less competition, and you may find it easier to position your own blog as a source of authority in your market. This will win you respect, influence and – of course – sales.
Social network profiles
Profile pages on social networks need to provide an accurate reflection of your business and what it stands for. As a bare minimum, you need an appropriate company bio and a link to your website.
Don’t be afraid to use your profiles to stand out from the crowd. Take a look at the Coast Digital Twitter profile and you’ll see that we’ve covered the essentials and had some fun with the design of the page – after all, we are a web design agency.
In essence, social bookmarking is a way of storing, finding and managing web pages that you would like to return to in future. From a business perspective, a social bookmark can be a valuable assertion that visitors have enjoyed your online content and would like to visit it again.
However, the important thing to remember is that different content should be produced for each bookmarking service – a ‘one size fits all’ approach will very rarely work. If your content is popular on Digg, there’s no guarantee it will enthuse people over at del.icio.us.
Social news sites
Social news sites give you another opportunity to reach an entirely new audience. They can earn you brand awareness and provide good link bait opportunities (which your online marketing agency will love).
Bloggers and journalists, in particular, tend to use these sites – so if your content is interesting enough, they might even publicise your efforts and provide additional SEO value.
Niche forums enable you to target smaller online communities that are highly engaged and genuinely interested in specific topics. As you’ll know if you have any experience with pay per click advertising, high relevance will result in high value traffic.
Approached correctly, a social media strategy targeting niche forums can also feed your message back into the major channels. This will result in a wider-reaching and more integrated campaign.
The proof is in the pudding
Regardless of which social media channels you decide to use, make sure you have some clear objectives in mind – and don’t be afraid to change your approach if something isn’t working.