Social Media for Small Businesses
Big Brands have the budget to employ all three of the main social networks used for business today, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (see stats here →). They will be advised by a digital agency on the implementation of these and perhaps the content delivery.
For companies on a smaller budget, before thinking about social media it is best to check whether your business has the time to regularly update your chosen networking site. A blank feed does not promote your business, it may do the opposite.
However if you do have capacity, try to make the most of this free marketing opportunity! Providing the content is interesting, social networks are a great for brand awareness and broadcasting information quickly.
To streamline things it is recommended to ‘slice and dice’ content where possible, whilst still ensuring the content is interesting and not bombarding people with content that will eventually push them away.
For instance, write a news story on your website, and then inform your social networking audience of it. Similarly, run a competition on Twitter which is promoted on your website.
In terms of which social network to use:
- Facebook tends to be used by B2C businesses, as it is seen to be used by people in their private time (people are connected to friends, there are games and so forth). Therefore as a minimum, companies will setup Facebook pages which are free and then facebook apps if they want to increase brand awareness.
- Twitter tends to be used by B2B businesses, journalists, celebrities and politicians as anyone can see your feed so it is a more public form of communication. It’s also often integrated into company websites, as Twitter provides a widget and it’s a quick way to keep the information on the website fresh.
- LinkedIn is used on a personal level as a career building device for people wishing to keep in contact with those outside of their current workplace. It’s also used by companies that are service lead, who tend to link directly to staff profiles on LinkedIn. These CVs have a greater feel of authenticity as again it’s in a more public environment.
Make sure if you are using a social network you promote it on your website though, as this is still the first place people look when they want to find out about a business.
Finally, for those that do not have time to update all three of these networks regularly, you can link your Facebook feed up to Twitter and Twitter to LinkedIn. This way if you are posting that a new product has been added to your website on Facebook, those following you on Twitter and connected to you via LinkedIn will see it also.