Making the most of social media: Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn

Jun 17, 2015 by
Making the most of social media: Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’re probably aware that social media marketing has become an excellent tool for driving traffic to your site, generating brand exposure, cultivating a positive relationship with your audience and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.

By In 2016, it is estimated that there will be around 2.13 billion social network users worldwide, so if you want your message to be heard and your brand to be recognised far and wide, you need to use the appropriate platforms of our day and age. In a previous article, we covered some of the tactics you can use to market your products effectively using Instagram. In this article we have more tips on how to make the most of your marketing endeavours on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

“Building a successful brand isn’t just about ROI; it’s also about building authentic relationships with people.”

– HootSuite CEO, Ryan Holmes


Facebook

With over a billion users worldwide, Facebook is the world’s most frequented social media site. Facebook’s unique features also makes it the best social media platform for cultivating a two-way dialogue with your audience so that you can cultivate a sense of community and keep people informed about your products, services and other developments. Research indicates that posts which ask a question receive 90% more engagement than standard text-based posts – not only is this a good tactic for making people feel included in your business, it’s also crucial from a marketing perspective to gain a greater understanding of your customer’s needs, and more importantly, what the weaknesses are in your business that you can (hopefully) correct. Facebook even has the option for creating a poll for your questions, which can make market research even easier.

cambridge-web-marketing-co-blog-content-image-paul-coelhoAs we already know, in a world where people are constantly bombarded with information, visual content tends to grab more attention than traditional text-based content. For this reason, Facebook posts with a photo generate 120% more engagement than simple text. Photos are a great form of social proof, and by showing happy customers using your product, other people will feel inclined to make a purchase – this also helps to build a sense of community around your brand. Offering special deals to people who follow you on Facebook is another way to help people to feel engaged. For example, author Paulo Coelho has been very successful at using Facebook to cultivate engagement by posting photos of fans from around the world reading his latest book. Similar tactics can be applied for many other businesses, given a bit of lateral thinking.


Twitter

Since Twitter boasts 288 million active users per month, with over 500 million tweets being sent per day, more and more businesses are jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. While Facebook has far more users, Twitter has the advantage that updates are in the moment, making it an ideal platform to use if you want to establish yourself as a source of the latest information regarding your niche. As discussed in a previous article, many companies now use their Twitter as an extension of their customer support services, with people using the company’s official Twitter account as a point of contact when they want their queries answered. When people ask you questions, make sure your responses are swift and informative (even if the individual is not satisfied, others will see that your business takes its customers seriously).

On Twitter, it’s advisable to behave like a normal human being and actually communicate with people – there’s nothing more repelling to potential customers than a Twitter feed which reads like a spambot seeking to self-promote instead of engaging. As with Facebook, posting images on Twitter leads to increased engagement – using catchy thumbnails to get people to click into infographics and blog posts hosted on your site is an excellent way to ensure that your content gets read. This tactic also helps to boost your site’s SEO. While keeping things casual and engaging in conversations on Twitter is recommended, it’s always important to remember that upholding the integrity of your brand is paramount. While your social media tone of voice will depend on your niche, there are certain boundaries which absolutely should not be crossed. In the words of bestselling author and leading marketing strategist David Meerman Scott:

“Confused about social media ethics? Apply the “Mother Rule” – if your mother would say it’s wrong, it probably is.”

LinkedIn

cambridge-web-marketing-co-blog-content-image-linkedinUnlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is not a channel dominated by visual content. Never the less, LinkedIn offers its own unique advantages. Because LinkedIn is designed specifically for business networking, it has become an important source of revenue for B2B sales for many companies. Unlike other networks which people may frequent for fun, people don’t mind being pitched to on LinkedIn. It may even be the reason they are there in the first place. Evidence shows that 50% of LinkedIn members report they are more likely to buy from a company they engage with on LinkedIn and 93% of B2B Marketers consider LinkedIn to be the most effective site for lead generation.

While all popular social media platforms are good for fostering engagement, LinkedIn is particularly useful since you can join highly targeted groups full of professionals, all working within a particular niche. This not only gives you an excellent opportunity to contribute to discussions and position yourself as an expert, such groups are ideal places for soliciting feedback, advice and even business arrangements too. Interestingly, the three dominant niches on LinkedIn are tech, finance and manufacturing, so if you are looking to network within these industries, there is sure to be a LinkedIn group for you. Groups are also an excellent place to link to your blog posts, since audiences are likely to be more receptive (provided you’ve picked the appropriate group).

As with other social media platforms, conducting yourself professionally is of paramount importance (LinkedIn groups are ?not the place to get into a flamewar with someone who takes exception to you, your brand or anything else for that matter). Filling out your profile is recommended, with a complete history for your business, key achievements and most importantly, testimonials. LinkedIn allows for other users to give you recommendations – try to accumulate a good selection of these as they serve as proof elements for your professionalism and skills. If one of your associates sends you a poorly written or misrepresentative recommendation, it’s far better politely to ask for a re-write than suffer the long-term consequences of a misleading portrayal of your character and abilities! Finally, people trust people that they can see, so be sure to add a sensible picture to your profile (i.e. not a picture of your dog or favourite football team’s logo).


Conclusion

Whether you choose to market your brand using one of these social media platforms or all of them, the same basic rules apply: conduct yourself professionally, adhere to brand guidelines in terms of tone of voice and profile design, aim to inform your audience, cultivate a sense of community, encourage a two-way dialogue and, at all costs, avoid spammy behaviour. While each platform offers distinct advantages, all 3 can be used simultaneously to great effect (although it can add up to be a lot of work if you don’t have designated personnel for this job).

People don’t like to feel as if their entire worth to your company is the money in their wallet, so by using social media to open up a two-way conversation and post excellent content, you are sure to raise the presence of your company online, which in turn will lead to increased sales as more people become aware of your brand.

Images by MKHMarketing,?Paulo Coelho?and?Sheila Scarborough

Tags: