Large businesses often do not understand social media, in fact they probably do not like social media and try to ban it, (For example not allowing youtube in the office!). However there are many benefits of social media for business if used correctly.
Do be realistic at all times, do not just use it as a selling technique. This is like cold calling or door to door sales and nobody likes to be sold to, remember people like to choose and make a purchase more than being sold to.
Here are some of the social media sites and how they can be used to benefit your business.
Microblogging is the term used to describe Twitter. Basically it is a site where you can post up to 140 characters which can include a link. However if you’re selling something you do not Tweet (post) to say “Hey buy my product at …”, nobody will follow you, or your network of followers. The best way to use Twitter is to form relationships with other Twitterers by ‘joining the conversation’.
Twitter asks the question, ‘what are you doing?’ and to be blunt put in what your doing, take part and reply to other peoples conversations, even if they are off topic, it adds personality to you, people may like to know that you love coffee. Have a read of why should I use Twitter and watch the video.
If you have an ecommerce or commercial business you need to know your customers and what they want, you want to be a professional or an authority on your area. So if your selling mobile phones, you would talk about mobile phones, different makes, different models, give advice on how to use some features. Never say “Go to my website ….”. The link to your website is there on your Twitter profile and people who like your advice and comments will know how to find your website.
A good use of Twitter would be to provide a URL to a product in this example a mobile phone, where you can offer a Â£50 saving just to your Twitter followers, this way it has an added benefit to your potential customers.
A very personal and popular social network, however you can create pages or fanclub pages and allow your customers to submit photographs, videos, comments and discussions. Do not be afraid of bad press. For example if you’re selling software and somebody says, “I could not install the software”, or “this software is rubbish.” you can speak to the person and resolve the issue directly on your Facebook page.
This will allow your customers and potential customers see how quick you are at resolving a problem. You will also see customers talking to each other and saying “How great your software is” and “how useful you are” and this builds up your customers trust in you, your company and your service or products.
Most companies stayed away from Youtube, however now more and more large organizations are using Youtube, for example the BBC, Sky News etc. You are now probably thinking “How can I use video?”. Well if you’re a photographer you could record a short video tutorial on how to take a good photograph. If you sell mobile phones you could show a short video of opening up the box, setting the phone up and show some of the features the phone has to offer. You can embed a YouTube video into your website which in turn adds value to your site.
The growth and popularity in social networking over the last five years is incredible, make sure your business takes part in using social networking websites, they are free and you need a website designer who can utilise yourÂ ecommerce designÂ and who understands the best practices in using social media to promote your company and your website.