Social media encompasses any online interaction amongst the masses. The most notable examples of such networks are Facebook, Twitter and professional sites such as LinkedIn. Social Media provides as invaluable tool for companies to interact with customers and other businesses globally, as well as functioning as a modern marketing tool. Everyone from Coca Cola to Cambridge University Press uses social media as a marketing tool, so it really does pay to know how to best use these sites to your company’s advantage.
What social media networks to use for your business
Building up a successful business in the 21st Century means utilizing all the tools possible to make your venture a global success. In recent years, the number of possibilities available through social networks has increased exponentially. Despite there being the obvious avenues – such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook – the portals you should focus your campaigns one very much depends on your type of business. For example, although Facebook is extremely popular in the UK, Northern USA and Latin America, the most popular social network in China is Qzone, with Xing being dominant in Northern Europe and Orkut the e-place to be in India.
Also, different sites are suitable for conveying different types of information. Facebook is good for interaction, more informal comments, announcements, competitions and photo sharing, whereas a site like LinkedIn is much more formal. If you communicate through social media networks for your business clumsily, then you could risk losing potential trade. Twitter gaffes are often hitting the newspapers, where a company or an individual has posted something they have not carefully thought about, so be careful with your posts!
Golden rules when using social media for your business
Brushing up on your social media skills are a must if you want to attract and, more importantly, retain the desired target audience for your business. As social media is a truly global phenomenon, ensure messages do not get lost in translation. Avoid catch phrases or concepts that may translate to something in another language or culture – especially if it might be rude! Having a multilingual member of staff to run things by before you post them on the internet is always advantageous. If you are marketing to a more local audience, ensure you get your age and class demographic right and most importantly – don’t bombard. Customers don’t want constant messages filling up their inbox.