Hello WA Members,
I don’t know about some of you but the sea of social media is vast! And, after a year and a half of being here on WA, I am just beginning to get a grasp on the major seven – Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. Ufff, and of course, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the hundreds of other social channels that exist.
However, recently I have attended two classes on social media that were excellent at my local university through their continuing education program and I am pursuing a certificate in social media in business. Because, if there is one thing I know at this juncture, it is that social media is critical to a business’ success.
I have also decided to write a series about social media here to help demystify it. I realize there are a lot of questions and unknowns about social media and I would really like to help clear the fog on this topic.
Also, I realize this is a long post but I promise it will be well worth your time!
So, what I would like to share with you for the first of the series is the purpose and voice used with each major social media channel with a few details.Here goes:
Google+ - Google is critical tool in your tool belt. As Kyle has mentioned, Google plays favorites and they like their own social media channel best! As Kyle has stated, Google owns 65% of all searches done through the Internet and 98% of searches done through mobile. So, consider this media channel your best friend at the party! The voice of this channel is one that is professional. It tends to be a more serious audience; one of peers and clients. The purpose then is to connect with peers and clients to create opportunity and exchange ideas.
A few details about Google+ to know are:
- You can create different circles for different lines of business—awesome thing to do to keep things separate but yet in one place! I am developing several lines of business so this is especially time effective for me.
- It has several tools available to you which is also another really good reason to get familiar with the channel.
- Don’t forget to enter all of your websites into the Profile/About then scroll down and look for contributor.Then, add your websites and articles.
- Consider having your banner for Google+ by someone on Fiverr to make it look professional.
In a different post, I will discuss the top 5 things you should doing in each of the channels regularly, once you have devised your social media strategy.
Facebook – I really like Facebook and here’s why. Facebook requires everyone to have a profile main page. But, then, you can create a separate fan page for each line of business! And, it’s free! Why wouldn’t you do this?! In fact, fan pages are unlimited! So, the voice for Facebook is casual and fun. People tend to use the main page to connect with family and friends. Your fan pages can be casual and fun too. Facebook is getting more into video so videos are encouraged. The purpose of Facebook and your fan pages is to engage your customers in a fun way and to reach tons of people in your demographic by boosting your posts (highly recommended).
A few details about Facebook to know are:
- You must create a general profile first in order to create a fan page. Whoever you have on your general profile cannot see what is on your fan page and vice versa. The only way to have friends or family on your profile to see what is on your fan page is to invite them to your fan page from your fan page. Hope that makes sense. Think of it as completely different audiences and pages.
- I just found out that you can create different groups on Facebook too. Not sure how to do this yet but I wanted to mention it if you want to explore that in your general profile.
- In boosting your posts on your fan pages, you can do this for as little as $5 and you can get great results. I think this service is better than sliced bread and a definite guest at my party!hehehe
- Consider hiring someone on Fiverr to create your banner for your fan pages. And, you can even hire someone to set up the whole page for you to get started. But, if you have the time, it’s good to do it yourself the first time to get the hang of it!
- Oh, another little tidbit is that you can schedule ahead of time your posts! Most people don’t take advantage of this cool feature!
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a channel that I started with and fully created because it was a good place to develop my base profile and describe in detail what you do. I have a multitude of things that I dabble in and have lines of business in. I built my profile fully out in this channel and will copy parts of it to other profiles that I mentioned in my previous blog on developing your Game Plan with Social Media (https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/iceskater20/blog/social-media-what-s-your-game-plan-try-this). The voice used with LinkedIn is definitely professional. What I like about this channel is that you are connecting with many of your peers in various industries and it is fairly easy to develop yourself as an expert in your area of expertise. I would say the overriding purpose is to establish yourself and your business and to explore partnering opportunities and connections.
A few details about LinkedIn to know are:
- LinkedIn allows you to write and publish articles and by the way, you can put your link to your site at the bottom of the article.
- LinkedIn also allows you to post projects and samples of your work. Pretty cool.
- You can also add a promotional link or a YouTube video now.
- The list is long on items you can now include on your company page—40 items actually that I know of. Anything from a certificate to surveys, etc.
I also like LinkedIn because it’s an easy channel to work with. It’s easy to navigate and a good building block to other social media channels because if you can describe what you do and who you are there, you can transfer that information to other profiles with other channels.
Twitter – I’ll be the first to admit that I am not crazy about Twitter. But, like the rest of the top 7, it has its place and works well for certain businesses; especially those that have frequent events or fund raisers. Twitter has an informal voice; in fact, using a business voice at all times may alienate your fans. It’s also a good place to develop your hashtags (a whole other topic) as is Facebook. The challenge with only 120 characters per Tweet is to add value and not just talk. With each Tweet, ask yourself, “Will this tweet add value to my audience?” The purpose is to keep your fans or customers informed. If you have a business that does not do events or things that involve the community or has very little activity, I would say this may not be the channel for you.
A few details about Twitter to know are:
- If you want to use this for business, be sure to mix business value with interesting, touching or funny Tweets. Keep it interesting.
- Mix up the medium and use photos, infographics, videos and slide share presentations.
- This channel is about engagement big time.This is one that you will want to do regularly and more often than most.
- Consider Fiverr to do your banner for this channel too.
YouTube – YouTube is a really cool video platform and channel. And, it is one that can open really interesting doors to opportunity. I once read about a dance studio where an owner committed to doing 90 videos in 90 days—one per day.She accomplished her goal and got more business than she ever dreamed.In addition, she found herself getting requests from other dance school owners across the country to help them build their clientele.That was totally unexpected and has paid her in dividends in consulting fees! So, if you have a product or service that can be talked about and/or shown or demonstrated, this is a great channel! The voice is one of relativity and informational. If you have heard the term, the video went “viral” it’s because YouTube is about talking to things that are relevant, cool or new. It is about things happening now! It does require a little education on how to make compelling videos, edit and post them but with a little practice it gets easier over time. The purpose, as alluded to above, is to inform. It’s the best “how-to” platform I know of!
A few details about YouTube to know are:
- You can attach links and advertising to videos. Links can be added in your descriptions. Advertising is another ball game and honestly, I have not done this yet but I know it can be very profitable if interested.
- You develop a channel for each line of business.I have an ice skating channel as an example.
- You can imbed links on your websites to your videos on YouTube which is much easier than loading videos on your site and don’t take so much time to download.
- You can create play lists.
- You can create keyword categories or keyword playlists.
- Oh, and did I mention that Google owns YouTube? Well, just know that it’s just another way to be a favored guest at their party! YouTube videos rank well.
Pinterest – This is a channel I am still figuring out myself and how best to leverage it. From what I have gathered so far, it seems to work best if you have a product to show and sell. It’s a bit of an “artsy” channel as well. This channel is best summarized as the company of "catalog of ideas," rather than as a social network, that inspires users to "go out and do that thing” per the owners. Users can upload, save, sort, and manage images—known as pins—and other media content (e.g., videos and images) through collections known as pinboards. The voice seems to be informative and sharing.The purpose is to show products and images of products.
A few details about Pinterest to know are:
- When you sign up you will create your initial “boards.” Give your first board and others creative names.
- Create your own images to avoid copyright infringement.
- Great place to use hashtags.
- Can add video and quotes with images.
- You pin those board you like and others can pin your boards.
Instagram – This is another channel I am learning more about and I think there’s some real opportunity for this one too. The voice seems to be more casual and respectful. It’s about relevancy as well and beauty. People are sharing photos of their lives. The purpose of the channel seems to be to reach peers in your field or to reach customers with your products or anything you can take a picture of. You can also use Photoshop to do cool things to your pictures and share that as well so it does have an artistic bent to this channel too. Instagram is owned by Facebook.
A few details about Intagram to know are:
- Any photos posted then become property of Instagram and can be sold. This is true with Facebook photos and video too.
- Instagram has some cool tools to modify your pictures too.
- The demographic of the users tend to be a younger audience.
- Following others having them follow you should be about equal. It’s a very reciprocal channel.
- Has a filters feature that allows you to instantly modify your picture before posting.
Final thoughts to consider:
- Don’t feel like you have to utilize all these channels but pick 2-3 to focus on in the beginning.
- Consider starting with LinkedIn or About.me (not discussed here but just a professional profile on the web) and build out from there. Start with more static channels and then move to your channels that would work for your specific product.
- It takes time to build out these channels so take on one at a time and work your way through them.
- Consider your products or business line and see which serves your purpose and voice best.
- Put together a social media schedule to figure out posting timelines for each.
I hope I have shed some light on social media and I will be putting together my next post on social media soon.