“Can I have a link to – insert social network name here – on my company’s website?” – some clients ask. And the answer is always a resounding yes. But more often than not, the next 20 minutes are spent arduously choosing which ones are the most appropriate. We have seen it time and time again. It is difficult to provide a straightforward answer to the questions: “Should we be on Twitter?” or “Is Facebook better than Linkedin?”. And in most cases, there are so many factors to consider that it would be a disservice to answer with a simple yes or no.
For that reason, we have decided to collect our thoughts on the subject and try to explain why the matter of choosing social networks can be the make or break of a company.
Even though we all use some kind of social network in our daily lives, most of us use it passively and for leisure. They’ve become our modern day diaries, journals, and photo albums. It is surprising that even as they have become extremely familiar when it comes to using them for our businesses, we find ourselves struggling to know what to do and how to do it. We have all been through the hesitation of jumping onto the social media wagon. For those of us who do, it is followed by the mild embarrassment of seeing those promising links on our websites left neglected.
Some years ago, blogs were the hidden victims of corporate over excitement. They were born out of a genuine wish to keep your company relevant but the reality is that they were the first to be postponed when more important things arose.
Now we are being seduced by the promise of a huge audience waiting for us on the other side of a sign-up page.
But there are too many, and with choices comes the conundrum of trying not to miss out on any potential customers while avoiding ending up with a dozen of links to outdated, barely used profiles.
Protect your brand, but don’t showcase empty profiles.
You may want to protect your brand by claiming usernames and profiles for your company name in as many services as possible, but make sure you only put the effort in the most important ones and let automatic systems update the rest so they don’t become a burden.
Don’t think of it as duplicated content, think of it as making your content available in as many formats and channels as possible.
In this time and age, plugins for your website and services like “If This Then That” (IFTTT) offer you a way to automate actions, called Recipes, that can save you dozens of hours of your time. So for example, you can send your tweets to Facebook, photos from Instagram can be added to your Pinterest boards, or you can automatically follow every user that favourites your tweets and use it as a lead generation tool. But that will be a topic for another article.
But how do I choose the best social networks?
The key is and has always been to firstly identify your necessities and only then analyse if any of the available options offers you a straightforward solution.
Sadly, the opposite seems to be true for most companies: First create a profile and then scratch your head for months trying to find its usefulness. In most cases, time sees us giving up completely and leaving it in the pile of things we’ll get to some other time…
Don’t let yourself be swayed by the buzz or the hype.
Even the best tools are useless if you don’t know how to use them.
After years of hearing Yellow Duck clients’ challenges and our first-hand experience when dealing with social networks for businesses, it is obvious there is still a major lack of understanding of the benefits and risks involved in throwing your brand into the social whirlwind.
Just to list a few: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Tumblr, Medium, StumbleUpon, Youtube, Vimeo, Pinterest, Google Plus… and that is only the tip of the iceberg. They are all sandbox environments that don’t tell you what to do but instead let you use all their features in creative ways, so anyone can find something for themselves.
Seeing that we are left to find the method in chaos, I decided to simply go back to the basics of all technology: To let them be the solution to an existing problem.
For these reasons, in this series of blog posts, we will be narrowing down some professional growth areas that can be easily covered with a good social presence, and we will offer ways to make the process manageable and easy to set up. The end result is not to limit the amount of social media profiles but to help you decide where to put your time and effort so it will benefit your short-term and long-term goals.
The first article in our series will answer what we think is the most important question:
My newly launched website is not on search engines yet or it’s ranking pretty low. How do I bring visitors if they can’t find me on searches? The short answer is, go social! We will be back soon to explain why, and to let you in the how.
For the time being, why don’t you let us know which are your most frustrating experiences when using social media for your company and let us show you how we can help?