With, quite literally, hundreds of social media channels on the web today it is absolutely essential that you take the time to understand what they all do and whether they are the right ones for your business. Some social media tools are intended for specialist niches and not all can be applied ‘across the board’.
A good place to start is to look at which social media channels you think will be useful for your business. Start by considering the popular social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter as well as video sharing channels such as YouTube and Vimeo. Look also at the ‘social bookmarking’ sites like Stumbleupon and Digg. Have a good look around these channels and see if there is any content there already that is relevant to what you do and what you can offer.
The advantages of Social Media for UK Business
Using Social Media to create awareness of your business and your brand has many advantages for you, including access to a huge potential market and of course most social media sites are free!
The popular social media sites are used by millions of people each day, all over the world, including here in the UK, which brings two immediate benefits to your UK business:
a) People from all walks of life and all backgrounds use social media and if you are also part of it they will be able to learn about your company and your products and services and, moreover, they can inform their own ‘social networks’ about you.
b) Because social media sites receive so many millions of visitors the search engines are there all day, every day – this means that whatever content you publish via social media will be indexed (i.e. feature in the search engine results) almost instantly and certainly far quicker than it would if you simply published it on your own website.
The best things in life really can be free
Most of the popular social media channels such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are available free and because they already have a good infrastructure in place you do not need any programming or HTML skills to sign up and use them.
The owners of the social media sites take care of all the issues that need to be addressed, e.g. file storage, hosting, data security, back-ups etc. The popular social networking sites can be pretty much relied upon to get these things right but if you are considering joining other ‘niche’ social networks you need to make sure that these sites have ‘integrity’ and have suitable security, copywriting and data storage policies in place.
Here are a few questions for you to consider before you take the plunge into the world of social media:
- Is blogging a good way for you to promote your business? (It usually is!)
- Are you going to blog and use your RSS feed effectively?
- Can you resource the blog post creation in-house or should you outsource to a professional such as WSI IMS
- Which social bookmarking sharable networks will you link your content with?
- Is video appropriate for your business?
- If you are creating a video, which video sharing websites will you post them to? If you are going to use YouTube, will you be creating your own dedicated channel (recommended) and do you know how to optimise it?
- Which social networks will you join first?
- What do you want to achieve from your social media campaign? – set specific objectives and measure your progress regularly
- Do you want to build your online brand, build trust and online credibility?
- How will you be monitoring your campaign?
With so many social media sites for you to choose from you need to know what your objective is in order to help identify which channels provide the best opportunity to you to reach your social media goals.
Please comment below or visit WSI IMS if you require additional information or help in choosing which social media channel is the right one for you.