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Work Smarter, Not Harder with Social Media

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Work Smarter, Not Harder with Social Media

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There are so many social media platforms to choose from! To choose the one(s) best for you, take 2 things into account: your industry and your target market? You also need to have an understanding of each of the platforms to make the best choices.

 

Consider the Big 4 (at least in my book), Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ (yes, I'm a Microsoft Partner and I said Google), and what each has to offer. While considering each, it is important to ask yourself what is the platform (what does it do), who is using it, and what’s in it for me (WIIFM).

 

TWITTER

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a Microblogging service, Social Network, Real-Time Information Network and Social Search Engine all rolled into one. In short, Twitter is a place where people share what’s on their mind—and it can be great for your business.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-quickstarter/.

 

Who is using Twitter?

There are now over 550 million registered users and 215 million monthly active users on Twitter. Twitter was the fastest growing network with a 44% growth from 2012-2013 and 34% of marketers use it to successfully generate leads.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/01/17/20-social-media-facts-and-statistics-you-should-know-in-2014/#T....

 

WIIFM?

The biggest takeaways on this platform are building customer relations, driving traffic to your sites and landing pages, and establishing your brand as a industry leader.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-quickstarter/.

 

FACEBOOK

What is Facebook?

Facebook is the most widely used social network worldwide having over 1 billion active members of all ages! Facebook is a great way for businesses to connect with existing customers, make new contacts, and get the word out about products and services.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-quickstarter/.

 

Who is using Facebook?

More women than men by a slight margin (63 to 70 ratio) with average incomes of $49,999 or less a year (followed closely by $50-$75K). On the education level front, the numbers are about the same with high school grads slightly leading some college and college grads. Until recently, the age range most using the platform was 18-29 year olds followed closely by 30-49 year olds. That paradigm is shifting as more teens and young adults are leaving in favor of other platforms due to the influx of their parents.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-quickstarter/.

 

WIIFM?

So what’s in it for you? In a word: FANS. Gathering and maintaining a loyal base of fans is the name of the game followed by testimonials which also relates to those fans.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-quickstarter/.

 

LINKEDIN

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a cross between an online resume and an interactive rolodex. Get it on your computer, or get it on your mobile phone. Either way, it gives you immediate access to your complete network.

Like other social networks, it all starts with your profile. From there you can mine your network for connections, join group discussions, ask and answer questions, and stay up on the latest news and trends in your industry. But it quickly expands into a B2B (business to business) and B2E (business to employee) platform as well.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-quickstarter/.

 

Who is using LinkedIn?

LinkedIn boasts a new member every 3 seconds adding to their 70 million members in 200 countries as well as executives from all Fortune 500. Professionals with LinkedIn profiles is growing daily! It is heavily used by recruiters and job seekers alike.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-quickstarter/.

 

WIIFM?

LinkedIn’s primary purpose is job seeking BUT you can also drive traffic to your sites as well as get recommendations about you and your organization.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://blogs.constantcontact.com/social-media-quickstarter/.

 

GOOGLE+

What is Google+?

Google+ is a social networking website, but more than that, it integrates with the entire Google stable and it carries significant weight in terms of SEO and organic search visibility.

Google+ was launched as an invitation only social network on the 28th June 2011. As it became apparent that there was a lot of demand, the new social network was opened up to all.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://socialmediatoday.com/ubersocialmedia/1632481/google-plus-why-your-business-needs-it.

 

Who is using Google+? (Source: 9)

So what are the latest numbers? After 3 years, there are now over 1 billion  with Google+ enabled accounts and it has reached 359 million monthly active users. Google+ is growing at 33% per annum with the 45 to 54 year old bracket increased its usage by 56% since 2012.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/01/17/20-social-media-facts-and-statistics-you-should-know-in-2014/#T....

 

WIIFM?

So why should I care??? I am with Microsoft!!! Well, here is why. Using Google+’s circles, you can place followers into categories, similar to email lists which allows you to share more efficiently. Google offers a social advertising platform called +Post Ads. The program enables you to create a Google+ post on your business page, then turn that post into a web banner ad. Google+ offers a program called Interactive Posts. It gives you more than 100 different action buttons including “Subscribe”, “Share,” “Buy,” “Play,” and “Download”. By far and away the #1 reason is SEO. By sharing pages from your website on your Google+ page, you are helping your business rank higher in the Google Search Engine.

 

I love Microsoft but, let’s face it, even Microsoft has to hand this to Google.

 

Want to learn more? Visit http://blogs.constantcontact.com/product-blogs/social-media-marketing/what-is-google-plus/ and http://www.forbes.com/sites/netapp/2014/05/27/google-plus-for-business/

 

Ok so why am I doing this again, you may be asking. Take a gander at these stats.

  • 93% or marketers use social media for business with good reason since Facebook has 1.15 billion active users followed by 359 million for Google+, 215 million for Twitter and growing!
  • 70% of marketers have used Facebook to gain new customers and 34% have used Titter successfully for lead generation.
  • 47% of Americans say that Faebook influneces their purchasing decisions.
  • 70% of brands (your competitors) have a presence on Google+
  • And… Need I go on?

Want to learn more? Visit http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/01/17/20-social-media-facts-and-statistics-you-should-know-in-2014/.

 

Now that you have seen some of the platforms and know why it is important to have a social media presence, you need to know what Rules of Engagement are.

  1. Social media is relational, not transactional
  2. Organizations must have a dedicated social media evangelist.
  3. An organization should focus on engagement and not on numbers.
  4. Define your core audience and identify your area of expertise.
  5. Content is king.
  6. Updates should be consistent and frequent.
  7. A Social Media platform must be manifested.
  8. A Profile must be perfect.

Want to learn more? Visit http://socialmediatoday.com/joshleatherman/331973/8-essential-rules-social-media-and-business

We are now going explore tools that my company has used and we have found to help with #5 and #6.

 

CONSISTENT AND FREQUENT UPDATES

Building your brand is vital is today’s market. Keeping your brand out there is just as important if not more so. Your customers and potential customers need and want to get to know you. They also need to be reminded of you so you are who they think of each time they need services and/or products you provide.

 

Hootsuite is a tool we use to our presence present. Hootsuite allows you to login to and see multiple platforms as well as post to all of those simultaneously platforms. We also use it to schedule posts by putting our posts in a spreadsheet and uploading them.

 

 

CONTENT IS KING

Bill Gates said that in 1996. He was right about it then and it definitely applies now! Content IS king. By providing content that is timely, creative, and, most of all, informative, you can build trust. Building trust can help bring in more potential customers as well as keep your current customers trust in you high which strengthen your brand and you in the forefront of their minds.

 

CMS uses rFactr which provides content specific to Microsoft technologies and articles. rFactr also provides strong analytics tools. You can see how each individual piece of content is being received, how much engagement there is around your and others content, how much your network is growing and where the growth is coming from as well as how your campaigns are going.

 

 

In summary, don't be scared... take the dive! Find out which platforms you should be on and get on them! Use the tools to help you and be consistent. If you are still unsure, follow those who are in the same industry/field as you and get your ideas from them to start. Get your brand out there or be seen as yester-year's company and be left behind!

Peace and Blessings,
Nikkia T. Carter, MCPS, MS, CTT
CEO/Owner, Carter-McGowan Services, LLC
Free Monthly Business Technology Webinars/Q&A Sessions and Helpful Tips: http://ow.ly/yVSFM
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