If your company doesn’t have at least one social media account by now, they’re missing out. Social media site LinkedIn.com alone has 139 million users, and according to TechCrunch, Facebook has over 750 million – with so many users the potential for expanding your professional network is mind boggling.

Many industries are doing just this by utilizing social media sites as marketing tools through generating content for target markets. This encourages audience to follow, read, and interact in efforts to generate business and networking.   Ultimately, it’s free publicity if you know how to maneuver.

It sounds simple enough to just start posting, but as articles crowd the Internet highlighting company calamity with social media, devising a game plan will steer you toward success and away from failure. So, what is important for a social media strategy? It may vary depending on your industry, but to keep it basic, I’ll use the steps I followed in using social media to effectively promote my artistic endeavors.

To kick things off, choose what sites work best for your business. For example, you have Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Each site has its own personality – LinkedIn is business and networking-oriented, while Facebook and Twitter are more casual yet use different content-sharing interfaces. You may choose one site or three sites, but consider tweaking content to fit each one’s unique manner and interface. For example, I use Facebook to promote my artwork by building a fan page and exhibiting my art, while I use Twitter to post brief insight that also directs viewers back to the art on Facebook.

This moves us to our next point – linking your social media sites. By connecting accounts, your content will automatically be shared between them. The more sites you link, the more people your content will reach. A good illustration is the “Share an update” feature on LinkedIn. Many of my connections conjoin Twitter accounts with LinkedIn updates, so their “tweets” automatically post on LinkedIn and vice versa.

The next step is creating suitable content for target audiences. What about your company and your target market would be attention-grabbing? Content needs to be provocative in order to build your audience, maintain them, and encourage interaction, such as asking questions or opinions in your posts. Per example, I’ll not only share my artwork, but write and share blogs on artist’s I admire or art news relevant to my niche.

Finally, choose a reliable individual (s) to manage your accounts. In 2010, mobile phone company VodafoneUK experienced a Twitter mishap when a wayward employee posted an obscene tweet according to telegraph.co.uk. In light of this, be sure those managing your social media sites are trustworthy and aware of the level of professionalism expected for content. Also, it’s not a bad idea to preapprove any content posted.

As you can see, social media continues to change the way companies communicate, conduct business, and bolster their online presence. With a well-orchestrated plan, the possibilities are both exciting and endless.  Get connected!

By Victoria Marinucci

One response »

  1. Gety says:

    Hi Focus Forward, with the information from this piece I opened a Facebook account for my cupcake business. Now I have more than 20 sales a day up from maximum of five a day. I also got these guys http://www.daproim.com/ to help me out with the management of the account while I did what I like most, baking cupcakes.

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