Our ramblings about website design and other things

Posts tagged: Social Networking

To Social Network or Not?

A lot of smaller businesses ask us if they should appear on Social networks such as Facebook and Twittter and our answer is usually yes.

Small businesses tend to be comfortable  generating new business by word of mouth, referrals and other traditional marketing methods but less so by newer ways. The key to using Social networking is to make sure some resource is allocated to do this properly as if done incorrectly it can have a negative effect.

We generally recommend Social Networking is used to re-enforce your general marketing message but in a more informal way, the language used can be different and often the messages delivered can be different or from an alternative viewpoint.

One thing is for sure today business and personal lives are merging and crossing over with many users of devices such as smart phones and tablet PCs preferring to use one device for business and pleasure so people expect to see a range of information and messages. You must always remember with Social Networking your customers have taken the decision to follow you so they want to hear what you have to say so you are not trying to force information into their inbox or their post tray.

 

Are you on Linkedin ?

If you are not then you really should be as LinkedIn is a professional, business networking tool. It has been viewed by some as falling into social networking area but even though many of the same modes of operation are employed, the focus is on professionals, professional dialog, professional opportunities, and companies in essence a business tool.

Many people like to network as part of their quest to get business and this can be in the form of shows, exhibitions, conferences etc where you meet like minded people but Linkedin can allow you to do this from your desktop.

There are a few things to watch out for if you are using Linkedin

  1. Complete your profile – ensure you add all your work and education experience and do not leave it part completed.
  2. Add a photo – add a photo but make sure it conveys the professional image you would like to show rather than an image of you relaxing on holiday.
  3. Build your Connections– Use the Add Connections wizard to see who you know is already on Linkedin and request connections from there as you meet people ensure you add them to your network.
  4. Endorse Me– Make requests for contacts to endorse your work and recommend you but be careful who you ask so that you avoid offending someone and avoid the situation when you see someone looking for a job suddenly getting lots of endorsements in a short space of time, be patient and build them gradually.
  5. Join Groups – By joining groups you are widening your networking circle

The more you put into Linkedin the more you will get back out of it.

Twitter or Not ?

The question here is should a business use Twitter as a marketing tool to interact with their customers ?

The answer we would give is it depends…..not much of an answer you may say but we would look at factors such as the type of business you are, the type of customers you have and the messages you are trying to convey.

Twitter can offer any business a significant marketing opportunity, but making it work for brands requires a lot of thought and thorough planning and your expectations must be clear in advance of any plan.

Businesses should also note that even brands that have been relatively successful in adopting Twitter as a messaging platform have a relatively small number of followers compared with celebrities, politicians and marketing evangelists.

The use of Twitter is a balance as businesses need to avoid updating too infrequently with a danger of losing interest and on the flip side too frequently to avoid bombarding users with too much marketing information. Followers need to feel that the Tweets are coming from a human rather than a marketing machine, we often feel Twitter works best with informal messages.

It is important that Followers are rewarded so Tweets should include special offers, money off or information that is not released via other mediums or maybe in advance of other mediums.

So what is the answer to the question Twitter or Not ?………It depends 🙂