When was the last time you picked up a newspaper? A real, tangible paper. I would guess that unless you’re a big fan of the New York Times, you can’t remember. That’s not to say that you haven’t consumed content from traditional news sources, you probably have, just in a non-traditional way. The reality is that digital content, shared socially, is the new news source. While there is something endearing about the feel of a newspaper in your hands, the fact remains that they’re generally outdated before they hit the press. Today, news breaks on Twitter, not the TV.
What does this have to do with you and your business? Everything!
Google factors social profiles (or a lack thereof) and content into their search algorithms. People complain, and praise, on Facebook and Twitter. Your industry peers and potential customers look you up on LinkedIn before meeting you. All in real-time at the click of a button. Social media is the media, not simply a way to share news anymore.
If you’re not yet convinced that social media is something your business needs, head over to a previous post of mine: A Social Media Presence Equals Credibility. If you need no convincing, stick with me. We’ll be covering the core social media platforms you should consider when looking to establish a baseline social media presence below.
Platforms you can setup and forget about (for the most part):
Google My Business (aka Google+ for businesses)
As I said above, Google takes your social profiles and the content you share on them into account within their search engine algorithms. As you would imagine, Google My Business plays a big role in Google’s search rankings. Simply creating your page will help your business because the pages tie a physical address to your business. This means that if someone searches Google for what you do and includes a location near your business in their search, you’re more likely to pop up. Here’s a great tutorial on how to get your Google My Business account setup. They mention WordPress a few times, but you can ignore that content entirely.
Practically speaking, LinkedIn is a digital resume and professional networking site in one. Here, we’re more concerned with your profile as a business owner than we are with your business’ page. Since LinkedIn is the preeminent business-focused social network, you’ll find your peers and your potential customers here. People often scan the LinkedIn pages of people to qualify their experience and learn more about their professional background before agreeing to a meeting. Here’s a quick video that goes over how to get your LinkedIn profile setup.
Platforms you have to actively maintain:
When you hear “social media,” you probably think Facebook, and rightfully so. It really was the first social media platform to permeate society beyond teenagers and 20-somethings. There are now nearly 1.2 billion (yes, billion with a B) active Facebook users monthly. That means your customers and your potential customers are definitely there. Setting up a page that contains the pertinent details (address, phone number, hours of operation, etc.) is simple, particularly if you already have a personal page. Though, unlike the platforms mentioned above, you’ll have to put some time into maintaining your business page. It doesn’t make any sense to accumulate a list of people who “like” your page if you’re never going to share anything with them after all. At a minimum post/ share an update relevant to your business once a week and your page will never look like it has been abandoned.
Twitter is the other platform that is probably top of mind when you hear “social media.” Think of it as a real-time, mini-blog. Because there is a “stream of consciousness” aspect to the platform, people tend to interact with, and mention, profiles as they’re dealing with the businesses associated with them. It’s great for pushing out information about temporary deals you might have going on and sharing links to the content you’ve shared on Facebook as well. If people love what you’re saying they’ll share it (aka retweet it) and if not, it will simply get lost in the ether. Head here to some quick directions on how to setup your Twitter profile.
So there you have it, what we consider the top four social platforms you should consider for your business if you’re unfamiliar with social media. The purpose of this post was really to scratch the surface and provide some resources necessary to help you get your profiles setup. If you would like to discuss social media for your business with us further head to our contact page here or email me directly at Nick@WatchSM.com.