Social Media

Map of Facebook

Increasingly people are spending time researching their purchases on-line, getting information from peers & forums etc.

Below we provide a whistle-stop tour of the main aspects of Social Media. When you're ready you can find details of our Social Media 'Ice Breaker' service that will get you started with the various networks. (More Info)

Setting up and integrating your Social Media Network channels with your website will allow your content to be distributed & shared.

Currently the major types of Social Media Network are:

  • Social Networks - Personal & Business Networks such as Facebook & LinkedIn are leading the pack
  • Blogging - Free services such as Blogger provide a platform to publish & manage content online
  • Microblogging - Twitter delivers real-time-bite-size posts to the mobile device/computer of followers
  • Online Video - Set up & upload video to your own YouTube Channel

Getting Organised

Even if you're not ready to dive into the social media pool just yet, it's still important to secure the best user or company name across relevant social media sites e.g. 'www.twitter.com/yourcompanyname'. You can click here to visit NameCheck.com to find out what is available.

Research & target relevant Social Networks

The relevance of individual social networks will vary from company to company. Listening out for Social Media conversations relevant to your company, brand or area of expertise will signpost you to networks on which your target audience most engage.

  • Twitter Search - Search on your brand or relevant keywords (tweets older that 7 to 10 days are only available if you bookmark them on a search engine)
  • Facebook Search - Search public content including fan, group & events pages
  • LinkedIn Search - The 'Answers' section is where you will find questions & answers relating to you brand, company & industry in general.
  • Search Engines - Google includes social media interactions in its search results. Specialist search engines such as Backtype.com are available.
  • Alerts - Set up Google Alerts for your brand or company name etc to listen out for relevant online conversations.

Generating Content: Who?-How?-What?

Thought needs to be given to extent to which you can practically generate the content necessary to feature on the various social media channels. In addition to the generating the content there needs to be enough human resource & time allocated to managing its distribution & potential engagement with audiences.

Obviously it's important that there is a clear understanding with guidelines if necessary that can be followed by those charged with these tasks stressing confidentiality etc.

Social Networks

Social Networks have risen in importance over recent years. Below we concentrate on the largest personal network in Facebook & Linkedin as the largest network for professionals.

Facebook

Facebook Marketing on Facebook can take the form of Facebook members personally endorsing companies & their promotions by clicking 'Like' buttons featured on the companies own website or engaging with content (competitions etc) featured on the Company page set up on Facebook itself.

These interactions are automatically featured in the Facebook member's 'news feed', that can then be seen by their friends. This 'soft' yet personal endorsement stands to carry credibility in the eyes of the endorsers friends, that a 'hard' advert is unlikely to have. Importantly some of the endorsers friends may well have a range of personal traits in common eg interests, age, & location etc in common, so making the endorsement relevant to those friends.

LinkedIn

LinkedInWith profiles concentrating on education, work history & professional interests members can develop a network of education & work related contacts. Through 'shared connections' members networks can be extended by asking their connections to introduce them to members to whom they're in turn connected.

Building a Linkedin Group centered on your area of expertise can allow you to develop a reputation for 'thought leadership', & attract good quality connections. Researching & joining other groups frequented by potential connections & providing thought provoking questions & well informed answers in 'LinkedIn Answers' is also useful.

Blogging

BloggerIf you feel you can generate compelling articles associated with your area of expertise you can potentially develop a valuable readership for your blog. A well respected blog that links back to your own website can boost the website's search engine performance.

We created our own Blog using the phrase 'web-design-east-sussex' for the name of the blog. In principle this can help improve our search engine performance for the search phrase 'website design East Sussex', for which we appear on page 1 of the Google search results. Please click the link below to visit our Blog:
www.web-design-east-sussex.blogspot.com

Microblogging (Twitter)

TwitterEssentially 'real-time bite-size' blogging limited to 140 characters dominated by Twitter. Tweets being received by followers (Tweeps) from the Tweeter can in turn be 'retweeted' to their own followers. The Tweet posts can be grouped by the use of hashtags - by prefixing words or phrases with a '#' symbol. The most popular topics, words or phrases are said to be trending.

The individual tweets can be viewed as 'micro newsletters', & so can allow companies to announce events such as product launches, availability & special offers etc.

We recommend the following:

  • Taking the time to complete your Twitter profile in full to prevent it appearing spammy.
  • Identify & follow other relevant & interesting Tweeters to help you 'get involved'.
  • Focus on relevant content & avoid 'what you had for breakfast style posts', unless you are an A list celebrity.

Other microblogging services include the location-centric Foursquare.

Online Video

YouTubeYouTube Channels can be set up to which your videos can be uploaded, to be either viewed on YouTube or embedded into your own website, blog or social network pages etc.

Where the necessary keywords & descriptions have been included uploaded videos can be found on YouTube & Google searches, so providing an opportunity to generate enquires, so potentially allowing them to support every stage of the Sales Support Cycle.

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