Here today gone tomorrow or here today and here to stay? There are many debates floating around about the importance of social media and its support in generating new business, income and interest. The problem is whether or not you are on the right platform, investing your time in the right tools and sites and whether or not these will bring a return?
This article takes a quick look at the sites which are most beneficial for UK businesses.
1) Twitter- I won’t go into too much detail here but Twitter is a great way to establish contacts, share interesting information and build a brand name. IF you share relevant information and follow others who share information which is relevant to you then you will soon grow your twitter profile.
2) Facebook- A tough decision to make as it depends on what industry you come from. For example B2B with an industrial end user may find that their Facebook page is difficult to grow as its not the typical route for businesses to use to make contact with one another. However if you are B2B with the end user being a consumer, then creating a Facebook page can build your brand name and identity to strengthen your competitive selling within the B2B sector. Finally B2C is a must. No matter how small your brand, if you are interacting directly with consumers you must have a Facebook page to build a reputation and allow fans to interact with you.
3) LinkedIn- A useful tool to grow the personal side of the brand. This takes more commitment but portraying a personality and advertising the people who work for you (and are therefore internal customers) can support the business where buying cycles are long. LinkedIn works well for B2B industries, especially when users join and communicate often on group forums related to their line of work.
4) Pinterest - A new find for me but the potential to use this site as an online pinboard means an opportunity for businesses to push their brand. People post images that they love to their own board which is shared amongst followers. The benefits of a B2C or B2B2C company is that a brand page with interesting images could attract customers and improve brand awareness.
5) Digg – Articles are a way to improve your search engine results and provide information to potential customers. Even if you write about the latest news in the industry you work in, it shows customers that you are knowledgeable and therefore more trustworthy. Digg is a fantastic way to promote articles to generate more hits. Plus Google searches the website regularly which will help improve the article’s visibility.
6) Triberr – Another new find for me recently. Triberr is effectively where you gain support from other ‘tribe’ members who share the same interests as you do. You have ‘bones’ which you share as a type of payment incentive for other tribe members to re-tweet and share your article. Find yourself in a good tribe, and you are sharing your article to a gigantic network.
7) Klout - Measuring social media is important and Klout is one of the better tools to measure how influential you are within the fields that interest you. Let’s say you regularly write about marketing and share information about this. Klout will give you a score based on how many people read the links you share, re-tweet these links and respond to them.
8) Empire Avenue - My favourite tool and one which I want to sell my personal account on here http://empireavenue.com/GECKO87 This is the most fun tool to measure your social media on. Its a financial game where you trade in purchasing shares, monitor dividends and you interact with other shareholders. The aim of this site is to interact as much as possible with relevant people to increase your share price. I have found that this isn’t the best way to build your brand as many of my contacts are based in America, however it’s a tool which you will want to return to as it rewards you for your social media efforts.
The one problem with using so many sites and tools is that it can all become overwhelming. You must keep sight on the reason behind creating a social network for your brand. Ultimately businesses invest in social media to see a return, but it’s not a quick process. Social media requires time, nurturing and investment before you can reap the rewards so ensure it is the right step for you.
Note: There are a few more tools which I would recommend such as Tweetdeck. However I didn’t want this article to drag out past the length of a persons’ leg. Keep an eye out on posts and articles to measure which tools are right for your business as wasted time is wasted money. For example you do not want to invest heavily in something which will end up like MySpace now do you?