Perhaps the greatest element of social media for business is the ability to have conversations with your potential customer and other businesses. Much like a physical store, although you can’t really leave your shop when its open! Establishing your voice goes hand-in-hand with your identity online, and it’s important to understand you may not get this right the first time, or even tenth time of trying. it’s a learning curve you will go through.
Products and software go through many iterations before a company gets them right, and even when they’ve gone to market they still need upgrades. Your product and the way you communicate will go through similar changes, but you can do this live and it’s OK to make mistakes. Trying out different conversation topics and use of language in the way you post topics for discussion or to generate feedback on products is normal practice. It’s the best way to find out what works and what doesn’t. Moreover the speed at which you make changes and test new things will move your business forward faster. Finding your voice and identity is crucial to the long term benefits which social media can offer, but they can and will change over time.
Becoming an expert in your domain or being perceived as a trusted source of advice and solutions is the best place to be. This is hard to do this in the early stages and should not be a priority unless you have some amazing experiences and learnings to share. Aligning with existing expertise and trusted sources is a good starting point. The Internet provides a wealth of information but the sheer volume of content means there is too much choice and the options can be mind-boggling for those not so Internet-savvy.
Whilst your business is finding it’s Internet legs, identifying and curating useful information and visual treats is a great way to get a headstart. Posting this content on your channels on a regular basis (once a day is a suggested minimum) will gradually become a habit for both yourself and others on the platforms. Regularity will provide a marker for others and traffic to your site and social profiles will gradually build as a result.
The platform will also dictate the kind of content and language. For LinkedIn where the overriding principle is of business networking, the content you post may well be more technical and industry-focused. Facebook is more about finding customers and creating a community who like your work, and who hopefully connect you to their friends and so forth. Google+ can be viewed in a similar way too, to help grow your brand, whilst with Twitter you are limited to just 140 characters so it’s bite sized chunks of information to engage with your followers.
All this work revolves around building relationships and establishing your voice. You cannot be all things to all people, and as in life, some people will be attracted to your style and others won’t. Social media provides the ability to connect with a wide range of people and businesses, but it’s vital to connect with those you can do offline too, to really rubber stamp the effort. Some relationships will only exist online, especially if you display your images via a platform like ours, and with this comes a need to develop and establish your profile online.
There are many avenues to expand upon here so we’re just going to focus on Google+ for now, especially as it seems to be an increasingly popular tool for members. Social media’s ability to connect people is unprecedented and Google+ provides the most thorough solution to this and also to using other tools such as YouTube.
The power of your blogging (which goes hand-in-hand with your identity and profile) can be extended greatly through Google+, with people sharing, commenting and posting on your behalf simply by adding plug-ins to your blog. This will drive traffic and awareness, creating momentum to your business.