10 Dec Social Media for Dummies
The term “social media” has been bandied about by us web industry types as a catch all phrase for a number of different web technologies and sites. These include Twitter, Digg and Facebook. If there was a holy trinity of social media, those three would be it. Everything else is not incidental, but if you are going to start on the path of promoting your business via social media these are the three technologies and sites that you should pay the most attention to.
While a website gives your customers instant access to your business, social media takes everything a step further and allows your consumers to interact with your company and its products on a more engaging level. It could be argued that encouraging this interaction and engagement is many times more profitable to your business than spending money on static advertising such as TV, print or radio. The thing that most business owners want to know when they come to us is how to get started on social media. For each of the technologies named below, take a few minutes to visit their websites and explore the technology in order to immerse yourself in the topic a bit rather than just taking our word for it. There is much more to each site or technology than the brief paragraph that we have given you on it.
Twitter – www.twitter.com
Your company should have a Twitter feed that is advertised and linked to on your main website. This will allow fellow Twitterers to “follow” your company as you post new information in real time. Twitter should be updated a few times throughout the work day in order to maintain a constant flow of information to your followers. A good tool to use to do this is Digsby, which may be downloaded from Digsby.com. This tool also allows you to see short descriptions of e-mails as they come in, which saves you the time of checking your inbox. In addition to many other features including being an all-in-one message client service, Digsby allows you to post new tweets “on the fly” without doing anything more than opening up a box quickly on your taskbar. Twitter gives you the power to advertise promotions instantly without having to wait for a customer to open an e-mail or click on your site. It shouldn’t replace e-mail blasts altogether, but it does engage your followers more directly.
Digg – www.digg.com
If you have a company blog, you should make the contents of the blog “diggable”. Digg is a website that allows users to share content with other users from anywhere. These are known as “social bookmarking” sites, and StumbleUpon and De.lic.ous are two others. One of the objects of a lot of internet marketers is to make their blog entry hit the first page of Digg – in your case you only need to make your blog accessible to Digg so that your loyal customers can share the content with their friends. How do you do this? If you have a WordPress blog installed, there are many plugins which allow you to share content on various social bookmarking sites, including Digg. One of our favorites is Bookmarkify, which can be downloaded from here.
Facebook – www.facebook.com
While you may not have heard of Twitter or Digg, you’d have to be living under a rock in order to not have heard of Facebook. Your kids are on it, you’re on it, your employees may be on it too much for your liking. Turn their interest in Facebook to good use in creating a page and group for your company on Facebook. Some businesses think that it is enough to create a page on Facebook – this simply isn’t the case. A page is static and doesn’t encourage any interaction between customers. A group allows you to have a Wall, Discussions and posted photos. Facebook is a place for you to be more casual than your website – post photos of your office, staff and other fun items to give your customers more of a sense of interaction. Interaction is what Facebook is all about.
We think you’ll agree that we’ve given you enough homework for one day by just checking out one of these technologies. Pick the one that is most appealing to you and get started today!