As a business leader, why do you need to be involved with social media? Canada Wide Media offers Social Media 101 for Business to show you why--and how.
Welcome to the world of social media! Whether you’re new to social media or have already dipped your toes in the water, you probably know that social media tools can benefit your business.
In fact, social media provides cost-effective ways for businesses to attract an audience and engage directly with their customers. While social media can facilitate your efforts in communication, interaction and engagement with your audience, it isn’t always a panacea for every business.
It takes time and resources, not to mention trial and error, to establish a social media strategy that works for your business. Approach it strategically and you can maximize your time and resources by selecting outlets and approaches that make the most sense for your business.
To help you make those decisions, we have outlined some of the strengths and weaknesses of the most popular social media tools below. If you would like to take the plunge into using social media for your business, this guide will help you get started!
You’ve heard about Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but these are just a few of the most popular social media sites. As a whole, social media consists of Web sites, applications and tools that facilitate connections between people, content and brands.
Whether you realize it or not, your customers are already using social media to discuss, evaluate and recommend your business. Being part of that discussion is no longer an option. Without an official ambassador, your brand is vulnerable to misinformation and misrepresentation.
By using social media to communicate directly with your customers, you can take control of your brand image, build on positive exposure and grow your customer base.
Effectively used, social media tools can enable your business to establish meaningful connections with customers for a variety purposes and goals, including:
Just like traditional media outlets, social media sites and tools tend to appeal to specific audiences, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Few businesses have the time or resources to establish a presence on every social media outlet, so taking some time to determine where your social media efforts will reap the most rewards can save you both time and money in the long run.
Here’s a look at some of the social media channels you may wish to explore:
This social networking site allows users to build a profile to connect with friends. Businesses can build fan pages in order to interact with customers.
Benefits: Brand exposure, two-way communication with customers, loyalty-building.
Drawbacks: Low click-through rates, no SEO gains.
DIGG, STUMBLEUPON, REDDIT
These social news sites enable users to share links and vote for their favourite content.
Benefits: Brand exposure, click-through traffic, and excellent SEO.
Drawbacks: Limited two-way communication, large time investment, marketing-only approach is unwelcome.
Various video sharing sites allow users to post videos, add comments and embed videos on their own Web sites.
Benefits: Brand exposure, feedback, two-way communication, and excellent SEO.
Drawbacks: Low click-through rates.
Photo sharing sites allow users to post, organize, and share their images.
Benefits: Brand exposure, excellent SEO, user-generated content.
Drawbacks: Low click-through rates.
This micro-blogging platform enables sharing of 140-character messages and links.
Benefits: Brand exposure, feedback, two-way communication, click-through traffic.
Drawbacks: Large time investment, marketing-only approach is unwelcome, limited SEO.
BC Business Articles
Social Media: No “A” for Effort
Social Media Lesson No. 1: Making Camp
The Cultivators http://www.bcbusinessonline.ca/bcb/business-sense/2009/06/30/cultivators
How I Finally Came to Twitter
Friends with Benefits: A Social Media Marketing Handbook
Darren Barefoot and Julie Szabo, 2009,
Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust
Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, 2009, John Wiley and Sons
What Would Google Do?
Jeff Jarvis, 2009, Collins Business
Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
Seth Godin, 2003, Portfolio Videos
Twitter 101 for Business
Chris Brogan: Community and Social Media
Copyblogger: Copywriting Tips for Online Marketing Success
Mashable: The Social Media Guide
SEOMozBlog: The Web’s Best SEO Resources
GrokDotCom: Marketing Optimization Blog