At M&C we are passionate about social media and its potential, and we work hard to show clients what it can do for them. In the last 12 months, we have gone from managing social media for two clients to managing 10 now! However, we still encounter clients and prospects who remain wary of social media, and are not yet prepared to confront, learn and embrace it. Here are our top three tips for leveraging social media in business, regardless of the size of your company.
1. Be open-minded. Even if you don’t have a personal Facebook profile or Twitter account, you must learn what social media can do for your business. Visit competitor social media sites to find out what customers are saying about their brands, and you’ll see how finely consumers are attuned to business messaging. You need to park your doubts about social media, and think about the messages that your market and customers need to hear.
2. Social media is not just for youth or consumer brands. Regardless of their age, celebrity or line of business, more and more companies are making social media a key component of their digital marketing strategy. For B2B companies, for example, Facebook sites are almost more important than official company websites, prompting both Facebook and Google+ to ramp up their appeal to B2B marketers.
3. Social media is about engagement. It’s not about making a quick sale; it’s about crafting long-term relationships. Your social media presence should drive engagement with your customers and stakeholders. It should be relevant, tuned into customer concerns and should serve as an avenue to listen and provide feedback when needed. When companies don’t understand social media from this perspective, they can suffer significant setbacks (see my related post on women and social media).