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Wikipedia refers to Social
Media as “the means of interactions among people
in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in
virtual communities and networks”.
Most of us know it as Facebook, Twitter and the mass of other
computer networks which have sprung up over the last few years enabling
us to share everything from important news to what we had for breakfast
We’re not going to attempt to look at all the major networks
here. Some of the lesser known ones such as Tumblr
are still huge with many millions of users, and some others
have specialist audiences. There are also vast networks in other
languages such as Weibo (China) and Orkut (Brazil
So which of these networks should your business try to
capitalise on? You certainly shouldn’t attempt to maintain a presence
on too many of them, and in reality unless your company has a
specialist technical marketing requirement, 2 or 3 will do. At No Worry
Web whilst we post to the all of these for completeness, in reality
only Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are of major concern to us because
of the type of business which we are in. Lets look at key points of the
major networks here.
Facebook, started at Harvard University as a simple photo
comparison and comments site, and is now the largest of these networks,
with over 1 billion active users. It is focused on private individuals
but companies are able to operate “Pages” which enable them to promote
their products and services. If your business sells directly to
consumers, you need to be active on Facebook, interacting with your
customers and offering them a voice to comment on your offerings. If
however your are selling to other businesses Facebook can be less
useful and you may find Twitter more beneficial.
Twitter is a “micro-blogging” network which enables its users
to send and read text-based messages of up to 140 characters. I think
of Twitter as a news feed which can be used to share information and
links quickly and easily with other users who “follow” you. In business
this means that you can build up a network of other business users who
are potentially interested in what you have to offer, and keep in touch
with them by sharing comments about, and links to, blogs and other web
information. Importantly the information you share should not be a
stream of your own publicity but mostly articles and information which
your followers may find useful, occasionally accompanied by a
Everything about Twitter is pared down to the minimum, so
there is little opportunity to add copious information about your
company on your twitter page like there is on LinkedIn or Facebook.
However despite that you can make your Twitter page look very
individual, and full of useful information with just a few minutes
work, and we’ve shared how in this video showing how you can Pimp
Your Twitter Page.
This is Google’s answer to Facebook with many similar
features. It appears to have more of a business focus, at least in the
UK, but is relatively low profile compared to Facebook and Twitter.
However don’t ignore it just because of this, remember Google’s
pre-eminent standing in the search industry. It will pay for your
business to at least have a presence, and to have a Google Places entry. You can also
promote your blog using Google’s authorship links with your Google+
page. which you can find out more about by reading our post Get
Your Photo on Google Search. As with Facebook you will need
to have a personal profile in order to operate business “Pages”.
LinkedIn is a site for professional networking and focuses on
connections between people in the business world, and on employment
search and selection. If your business operates in the business to
business environment it is worth making sure you have a presence here.
Again you will need to register as an individual and can then operate
comprehensive “Pages” for your company. By joining “Groups” you can
connect with others with similar interests and get your message shared
across surprisingly large numbers of people.
Pinterest is a pin-board style photo sharing website, which
allows users to create and manage theme based image collections such as
events, interests, and hobbies. It is possible for your business to
operate “Pages” which act a little like a virtual shop front and this
can work well in promoting your goods. If your business is in the
creative industries or has a product which is photogenic it’s well
worth exploring Pinterest, otherwise it may be better to put more focus
on another network.
About the Author
John Norton, is a senior business and
finance professional with a big four, blue chip, software and
technology background, and board level leadership experience in
finance, IT, operations, customer service and general management.
He is owner of No Worry Web, which creates and manages small
business web sites and social media presence, for an all-inclusive
monthly fee. For further details see www.noworryweb.co.uk
or call 0845 5191 275. Authors Google+
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