Social media and its many platforms provide us with the opportunity to talk publicly, voicing our opinion and discussing our passions whilst adding interesting topics of conversation to our digital lives.
Unless you have been hiding in a cave you will have heard of a micro blogging and social networking service known as Twitter. Created in 2006, Twitter has grown in popularity worldwide and is estimated to have 190 million users, increasing by 2 million per week, generating 65 million tweets a day and handling over 800,000 search queries per day (Quantcast).
Facebook crossed the 500 million active user mark in July 2010 and is known to dominate the world of social media by a huge margin. To put this into perspective, if Facebook was a Country it would be the world’s 3rd largest in terms of population.
Also, did you know?
- 200 million active users currently access Facebook through their mobile phones;
- More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, blog posts) are shared on Facebook daily;
- People spend over 11.67 million man-hours per month on Facebook; and
- Since social plugins launched in April 2010, an average of 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day.
So many of us are now regular users of social media sites with 77% of all internet users reading blogs (Bibendum Times). Whether this usage is for personnel or business interest, the value of involving yourself within the realm of social media and online communities is becoming more and more obvious. With this in mind we have prepared some handy tips for any business considering having a presence on social media sites:
1) Be prepared – Think long and hard before entering the world of social media. Have a clear action plan. What do you want to achieve? How will the business benefit?
2) Relevance – There needs to be a valid reason for having a social media site, don’t just do it because everyone else is!
3) Consistent Branding – Think about your social media site and how it fits in with your businesses brand / strategy.
4) Publish fresh content – The content on sites needs to be refreshed regularly. This also includes removing redundant content.
5) Make it appealing – there needs to be a reason as to why someone would want to visit or join your site. This could be in the form of a competition / promotion or to find out information about your products or services / comment in forums.
6) Promotion – You should incorporate this into your business communications. For example putting links on the home page of your company website / emails / letters.
7) Create mystery for non-users – Manipulate your page so that content non users can see is limited. Make the content they can see intriguing to encourage them to sign-up / register to be able to view the full content.
8) Feedback is not always going to be positive – with user created content consumers have the power to voice their opinions and in some cases it may portray your business in a negative light. The way to deal with this is to acknowledge; show users that you are listening, taking on board their views and offer a solution if appropriate. This can turn negativity into positivity and wow your customers.
9) Get creative – Using images / embedding videos are just a couple of things you can do to make your site visually appealing. Creativity is also a great opportunity to get the businesses personality across and stand out.
10) Monitor – Use web analytics software such as ‘Google Analytics’, to see which aspects of your site are most popular and effective and conversely which are of lesser interest.
Do you have any more tips you’d like to share with us? Please feel free to leave a comment!