5 Ways Businesses Should Leverage Social Media

social mediaThe World Of Social Media is here to stay and that has major implications for the business sector, organizations and Corporate America.  There are over 200 million bloggers, over 500 million Facebook users, 50 million Twitter users and 34% of these folks post opinions about products and brands.  Theses shared opinions are a big deal, as 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 14% trust advertisements.

The problem with social media advertising is that many companies don’t have a clear understanding of how to leverage social media for their business.  There are a growing number of businesses whose primary focus and business model is to help organizations leverage social media and they will even do all of the social media work for you.

Here are 5 Ways Businesses Should Leverage Social Media

Know Your Voice- This is the golden rule as it pertains to Social Media.  If you are speaking on behalf of John Q Organization, make sure that you speak from that voice.  Businesses tend to confuse or overlap the voice of their personal brand with their business brand.

If you are tweeting or posting Facebook updates for your Coffee Shop, you should not be tweeting about mowing your grass, unless of course you are mentioning that it’s time to have a nice cup of Joe afterwards.  An easy solution to make sure your business voice is the one speaking is to ask this question before posting — If my company could tweet or post, would they share this?

Be Social- The most important thing about social media is the social part and not the media.  If you look @Starbucks  and @Southwestair  Twitter streams, they are always interacting with customers and people.   Be Social, Be Accessible, Be Social, Be Relevant, Be Social, Be Authentic, Be Social, Be Real, Be Social, Be about Your Brand, Be Social, Be Entertaining, Be Social and did I mention BE SOCIAL!

The statistics that I shared in the beginning of this post about 78% of customers trust peer recommendations drives home the importance of being social.  I think that research could be extended to say that people are more likely to trust and promote brands they feel connected to.  Be Social!

Make A Name For Yourself- This is a two-part solution.  1.) Make sure that your Twitter and Facebook names are simple, easy to remember and relevant to your company.  2.) Make a name for your company by being active in the world of social media.  Have tweet-ups at your place, provide social-media only specials, have promotions that demand viral interaction and be creative.  @dealsplus  is the master of demanding online viral interaction.  It does not matter if your company is large, small, on-line, or has a physical location, you can Make A Name For Yourself. Familiarizing yourself with the 111 Twitter Tools will help you to become efficient at making a name for yourself.

Make Your Profile Work- Make sure your Twitter and Facebook profile represent your company.  If your business is a coffee shop be sure to have your logo as your profile pic. and not your personal glamour shot.  Check out my 6 Ways To Make Your Twitter Profile Work.

Have a Primary Social Media Application- The cool thing about the success of Twitter is that Facebook and Twitter have become kissing cousins.   There are many applications that automate the connection of the two platforms.  Although I encourage the multi-updates in both spaces, it is helpful to focus on one platform as your primary.  For me personally, my primary is Twitter, although every single tweet goes to my Facebook community.

It is great for a business to encourage their customers to connect with them on multiple Social Media medians; however having one or the other as a primary helps with clarity.  Imagine your company as bi-lingual.  The question is: Is your company’s native language Twitterese or Facebookese?  Answer that question and speak that language to your customers.

The bottom line is that Social Media can definitely be a benefit to every business and business owner.  Use It, Try It, Be It, Become A Fan Of It, Study It, Know It, Become Good At Leveraging It.  In the future, “It” Can Make or Break Your Company.

“It” Is Social Media!

What do you think?  What companies do a great job of leveraging Social Media?  Share your thoughts.

  • Here’s an easy test to see which companies/people are doing a good job with social media:

    Tweet, “Can someone at [INSERT COMPANY OF CHOICE] point me to where I can learn more about it?” (Or really any question that involves them.)

    -Good = someone else, a fan, points you to some answers… specially to a website or twitter account.

    -Better = someone in the company replies with a link.

    -Best multiple people in the company get back with you, or someone from the company and a fan both get back with you.

    I try this fairly often actually, and it’s a lot of fun and helpful for learning how the best do it.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  • Please don’t tweet about mowing your grass ever. That’s just crucial in keeping the balance of life in Twitterville. 🙂
    What is already mentioned above is spot on both in the post and comment, I agree. What’s really bad is a company that creates a Twitter or Facebook site and never updates. Hello? Are they serious? That’s mind blowing, is just “creating” on a social media network enough?
    Really. I say that in love ppl. 🙂
    M_

  • Very good point. I mainly play with twitter to see what companies are on there and interacting with the fan base. If they get back to me within the span of an hour, they are doing something right when it comes to Social Media. If not, I usually wonder if I should contact them and help them get a social media action plan going. 😛

    Every business owner/marketing department should read this article. It lists some very basic but powerful points that should be undertaken.

  • Along with be social, sites like twitter and facebook open the floor for actual engagement that help cultivate audience relationship, interaction and learning. As with all things, it’s a win-win when used for good.

  • nice post. thanks.

  • Always rockin’ it – thanks Scott. Quick, easy, power-packed! 🙂

  • One thing I’d like to add is that because of social media, word gets around pretty fast…so once you make a name for yourself…keep it clean…and be what you stand for. 🙂

    People sometimes let their online persona represent them too much by putting out too much information. Don’t let it happen…way too many people have lost jobs and opportunities that way.

    Great post, Scott…keep ’em coming. 🙂

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter for questions, comments or violent reactions)

  • Hi Scott,

    You really drive home the importance of being “social”! It’s funny how some people get into business which SERVES people,yet afraid or not committed to interacting with them.

    To answer your question, there are a few that do a great job at leveraging social media, although the one that stands out for me is Jet Blue. They are really are on top on responding to Tweets that mentions their company.

    Thanks for sharing this great article! All the best.

  • Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

    Great post! learning the “social” part of social media. Thanks for sharing!

  • Excellent post, Scott.

    I think your best point was speaking the primary language of your audience. I know that I have far more people connected with me in Facebook, but am eager to connect with people via twitter.

    Very helpful.

  • wow, recommended tips..

  • nice post. thanks.

  • I saw this really good post today.

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