This blog was written as a guest entry for John Bradley Jackson, author of First, Best, or Different.
MAXIMIZATION really depends on the type of business and whether their target market is primarily found on LinkedIn. Assuming that it is I would suggest active participation in the LinkedIn community. This can be found in a variety of areas such as adding applications, starting and joining groups, updating status, etc. The key word here is what is now being referred to as the 5th P of marketing: PARTICIPATION. These variables again are dependent upon the type of business but for most businesses I would recommend integrating into a variety of social media platforms. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all work well together and can all be used for promoting and marketing a business in a professional manner. When using social media you want to look at every tool individually and be creative in how you can apply it to your brand. LinkedIn sends out a weekly newsletter of the status of your “connections”, what can you do to get people’s attention? Do you have a company or personal blog, why not share it on LinkedIn?
By utilizing multiple social media tools simultaneously you are essentially creating a community within a community. When setting up multiple tools you want to be sure to link them to each other and let your audience know the other sites you belong to. Building a community around each brand requires a custom strategy because not all brands are marketing towards the same audience. For instance, a social networking site such as MySpace typically has a younger audience and therefore would be better suited towards companies with a younger following such as surf apparel. Although a surf company should keep this as their primary focus, they should not stop there because there are growing numbers on Facebook as well. In order to engage your audience you want to utilize tools on each site such as bulletins to announce upcoming sales, status updates to remind them of events, photos from the latest surf competitions, etc. All of these tools are ways to reach your market and engage them in your brand which, brings us to…
On the other hand, Twitter is a tool that just about anyone can and should utilize. Twitter is a micro-blogging tool that can let your “followers” or customers know what you are up to.
EXAMPLE A: You are businessman landing in Houston for the night and are looking for a place with a happy hour special. Wouldn’t it be nice to search Twitter and come up with the latest tweets about happy hour hot spots in Houston? You can.
EXAMPLE B: Your favorite restaurant or café changes their specials daily like Rustic Bakery. Wouldn’t you rather get a text message to your phone everyday with the specials instead of having to access their website or call them only to find out what they had that day didn’t interest you. You can.
Furthermore, there is an application that can auto-update your Facebook status whenever you update you Twitter status thereby saving you time.
Many critics argue that social media is a waste of time. It is true, social media can eat away at precious work hours but there are ways to structure yourself in order to manage your social media efficiently. One such tool I suggest is referred to as a social media system. By categorizing tasks to be done daily, weekly, and monthly you can generally assume you are not falling behind, that is if you are actively participating and engaging in an organic fashion. Social media requires social skills and the key is to be sincere and creative in your posts. As the saying goes you get what you give and the more creativity you put into your social media the more engaged your followers will become.
For some businesses and entrepreneurs there are not enough hours in the day to manage this type of media on top of their daily mountain of chores. Not to fear, a recent study has this to say:
“Yes, this is more difficult than having an agency design a standard banner, and buying some pay per click inventory. No pain, no gain. This strategy requires more follow-up within your company, and you will probably have to put an employee full-time in charge of a project like this. For that role, look for a single woman between the ages of 25 and 34. “
…and if you are shopping for you own Social Media Consultant that fits this criteria, you may contact me at any of the sites in my new social community: