Let’s go for an English post this time 🙂
Though I don’t like the ‘use social media for your business‘ hype, I totally acknowledge that (when used right) using social media has a very positive influence on your business, and can (and will) get you and your company better known (and more customers).
(when used right)
This is most important. For real. Let’s go over the (most important, imho) social networks one by one:
I have (of course) searches on twitter for the products we create and sell, and to be honest, if I see the tweets most of my competitors send out, I vomit a little in my mouth. It’s all blunt commercial, like old school folders in your (snail) mailbox. WHO LIKES THOSE? (well, some of us actually DO, but not ALL the time, do we?).
As I already blogged in Dutch recently (some of the stuff in this post is similar to that one); I like my social media to be social, and from the response I get I can tell you I’m not the only one.
In this digital age we like to communicate with REAL people, that is why it’s always best to add a name (or initials) to your tweet if you represent your company’s twitter profile (usually with a “^” before it, Dutch example here at T-mobile Webcare), or, if possible, just use a personal profile so people can communicate direct.
Sure you need a business page (here’s ours) here, and sure you can use it for your promotion (as I should do more, and am planning to), adding like special facebook only promotions (click the ‘welcome’ tab on our profile ;)), or just interacting with your clients/contacts.
However, if you have the possibility and personality that allows you to make close personal contact, I’d recommend interacting with your contacts through a personal profile. Sure there will be less reach (I’m NOT adding everyone to my friends list just because they’re our clients, there has to be more of a connection), but if you really interact and add some value to your network (by whatever, just posting your favourite recipes will do), you’ll get a great circle (huh huh, google plus is up next) of ‘ambassadors’ that WILL recommend you to their friends if they are looking for a company that creates/delivers what you do.
At first I was a little sceptical, remember Buzz & Wave? I have to say that I’m now starting to REALLY love plus’s possibilities; being able to share with specific people through your circles, checking in with Google places (again, here’s ours) and being able to build a network that doesn’t make you refuse people because you don’t know ’em (like I do on facebook) or because they’re only promoting their business (like LinkedIn, at least in my experience).
There were a lot people asking for ‘business profiles’, but honestly, I don’t need one. I’d like to see our Google places profile a little more, but mostly, I’m happy communicating from my personal account.
As I’m trying to explain in this post (hope it works); I’m totally convinced it’s much better for your business. Even if you’re the CEO of a multinational. Of course, if you don’t LIKE to communicate with your clients/contacts, just DON’T.
I’m still no fan of LinkedIn, though I have to admit it works for a lot of people. I won’t say too much about it (anymore, I did before) besides to treat your contact just as you’d like to be treated yourself. Whenever I log in, I DO answer questions I get, and every once in a while I visit some of the groups I joined to add my comments/visions/answers to the topics there, but as said, I’m no fan, so that doesn’t happen too often.
To get the links complete; here’s our company page at LinkedIn, which I hardly ever update.
Why I wrote this post
I came to write this post after reading this (very true) post this morning. The post I’ve just written is about me and our company, use whatever you can use for yourself and just forget about the rest.
It’s like this (from the Entrepreneur post I just linked to):
In my view, there is no “one way” to manage your online positioning using social media. Instead, each company’s marketing strategy should differ depending on specific goals and target audiences.
Basically, I use our business pages as some kind of a storefront, that might just attract you to visit our company. When you come in, you can talk to an employee (on social media, that’s me). The employee is the one who MAKES the sale, the storefront isn’t.