As a recent adopter of social media, we’ve very recently discovered the plethora of options out there for businesses and professionals to use. With the recent social media boom there are more sites than most marketers can wrap their heads around! Have you heard about all of the options that are out there?
Twitter and Facebook: These two social media giants are easily the most popular way businesses and professionals are currently communicating with customers, prospects, other professionals and the general public. Racking up followers and ‘Likes’ is a great way for a company to build an online presence and increase brand recognition. Additionally, many marketing professionals use Twitter as a forum for a meeting of the minds—using hashtags to track discussions, brainstorms and conversations—all the while building relationships with new people they previously may never have connected with. While some companies have opted to pay for Twitter and Facebook ads, or sponsored pages, a number of companies have had success growing their presence with standard free accounts.
Google +: Although Google+ hasn’t officially opened its doors to allow businesses to make company profiles, this is an upcoming feature that has many marketers excited. Similarly to other sites, companies will be able to make a full profile that some are saying will actually be superior to Facebook. With features that make connecting and conferencing online extremely simple, “Hangouts” (easy video chats with up to ten people) and “Huddles” (messaging with photo sharing) are expected to impact the way many businesses communicate—internally and externally. With “Hangouts On Air” Google+ will allow web broadcasting and recording of Hangouts which could have an impact on the way webinars are held. Additionally, according to PC World “Google is also working on Hangouts On Air with Extras which adds Screensharing, Sketchpad, Google Docs, and more for real-time online collaboration. This feature can be useful for presentations to the whole company, or for conducting webinars for partners, or customers.”
LinkedIn: Originally created with the professional in mind, LinkedIn remains a large presence in the way many use social media for work—to connect with colleagues, show work experience, share content, and brand yourself as an individual. Businesses have also jumped on the LinkedIn bandwagon, using paid accounts to recruit employees with access past work and references, as well as connecting with employees and sharing new company information as any user can.
Blogs: On blogging sites like wordpress.com, many companies have started blogs as a platform to share their ideas and opinions (like this one for example). Personal blogs can be an outlet for anyone’s thoughts, and comments and posts between different blogs can really stimulate a conversation—especially when the bloggers have distinctly different viewpoints. Corporate blogs can also provoke great communication, especially when businesses collaborate the insights of their teams to make a collaborative blog. The key is to keep content relevant and interesting; if all a blog does is push products and services who is going to want to read it?