Marketing on social media can be a huge pain in the…yeah, you know, booty. Get your company on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (what??), Pinterest, Linked In, Google+, Buzznet, Foursquare, Instagram, CafeMom, and Meetup. I don’t even know what all of those are.
So, got your business on all of those, right??
Even taking out the ones that I don’t know what they are (although I looked them up and they exist), that leaves 8. That’s a LOT to keep track of. We all have our opinions about which social media sites that we should be part of in order to promote your business.
Now, I know that there are probably about a hundred million billion social media sites out there, but we’re sticking to general social media (not specialized) and the “big ones.” That’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, and Google+. I might throw in mentions of others, but this is what we’re talking about.
So first, what should you do with your small business: Facebook vs. Twitter.
Why should your business be on Twitter?
I’m mentioning Twitter first because those who are on Twitter get to read this without having to skip through something they care nothing about (Facebook) before getting to something they obsess over (do not!).
Twitter limits what you can say in one go to 140 characters. This allows users to be able to read what they want without huge pictures taking up space, millions of obnoxious tweets in 5 minutes (probably), and to follow who they want with minimal backlash on “you aren’t my friend!” drama.
So what kind of people are on Twitter? Well, according to my dad, “Tweeters should be older, slower, bigger dudes like me. Then I could keep up.” Sorry to throw you under the bus dad, but Twitter does move fast. Your tweet has to be interesting or it’s going to be missed.
You can share a lot of information in a day though and no one will think twice about it. You know how it gets annoying with so much information on Facebook? Total opposite. Get on Twitter and you can tweet how awesome your business is, your products, customer reviews, How To’s, your new blog post 10 times in a day…
What not to do: Don’t tweet just about yourself. Retweet advice, customer reviews, start conversations, engage with those who talk to you/about you…you get the idea. Twitter is, above anything else, a conversation platform. That’s why it moves so fast and why you need to be committed if you put your business out there.
Why should your business be on Facebook?
Whatever you have to say about Facebook, it’s still one of the biggest social media platforms. If you aren’t on Facebook already (or have been previously), I hope you have a really, really good reason! This is a place of posting about yourself, making sure your profile is really up-to-date, and sharing photos and videos.
Posts that are read and engaged with most are either really short, really long, or have a picture/video. This takes a different kind of effort and planning than Twitter does. Your goal isn’t necessarily to start conversations (though interesting posts will do that), but people like to talk about themselves here. If there’s something that they like, they’re going to share it. If you ask them a question about themselves that they have an opinion about, they’re going to answer it.
So you still can’t only talk about yourself, but you can put up tons of pictures of customers and your product, your store, your giveaways…all of it. Change it up, make it interesting, and post about 2 times a day.
What not to do: Please, for the love of God, do not create your business as a person. Facebook tells you not to, and they got this right.
Why? Well, first, your business is not a person; it’s a business — one man or 100 strong.
Second, I’ve heard people say that by creating their business (or group, organization, whatever) that they can invite ALL their friends that way and really keep in touch with them as your business…um, no. Lies. Keeping up with them as friends and as your business might overlap a little bit, but it really shouldn’t as far as social media goes. Your friends are your friends and your business’s fans are your fans. Hopefully there’s some of both!
Facebook has set up Facebook Pages for your business/organization/band/group where you can invite your friends, share, like other pages, and so much more…very similar to your personal page and without even having to log in or out.
Now here’s the real question that you need to answer before deciding where to put your business on social media…where are your customers? Where are your readers? Who is your target audience and what social media platforms are they on? It doesn’t matter much if you like Twitter better if your target audience is middle aged women…because more than likely they’re on Facebook (they’ve been taking over for awhile now..).
What can you handle, how often can you update? Have a goal, even if it’s just once a day 3 days a week. Start there, figure out what your customers want to see, and get better.
So, where are your customers, and where are you on social media?