Are your managers or your customers demanding a social media presence, but don´t know where to start?
Here is a guide on how to get started in social media for your business. This page explains the different platforms and tools, and links to valuable resouces on how to get started. GOOD LUCK.
First a video:
What is Social Media?
Social Media is a term that is filled with more and more content, as the development of technical platforms is expanded continuously. Social media is not new, but the latest development has made it easy to use and has become an integrated part of our time online. Social Media is user generated content on the web. In traditional media user are the receivers of information; in social media the users is part of the creation of information. It creates relations and focuses on 2-way dialog instead of the traditional 1-way talking and marketing from traditional media. Companies who want to use social media as another channel to scream their marketing ideas will not succeed. The first step is to listen to what is being said about your company and products, then to engage in the discussion. By learning what people say about our brand and products we can engage in conversation to improve our company, our products and create stronger bonds with our customers.
This toolbox is made to give you an introduction to the different social media platforms, how they can be used to engage your audience. Social media is changing, and it is changing fast. So instead of creating a book on SoMe this site will link to valuable resources, tips & tricks to try to keep you updated on the latest. If you have any suggestions on other good links, please use the comment field or send me a tip on mail eeskedal(a)gmail.com or on Twitter: @eskedal
Here are 3 good articles to read before you start.
- Why social media marketing?
- Traditional vs Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Marketing: Six Fundamentals
Most common platforms:
Facebook is the biggest and well-known social media platform. With over 710 million users world wide, the reach is enormous. The key element of Facebook is to network with friends and connections online.The Nordic countries are in the top 10 regarding penetration where around 50 % of the population is active on Facebook. Facebook has proven to be a valuable and engaging platform for businesses. By using Facebook pages, companies can engage their fans in conversations and spread valuable content to existing and potential customers.(http://www.socialquickstarter.com/)
Pages is the most used tool on FB to engage with customers. On a page, FB users can ”Like” this page and in that way become ”fans” of the company. By becoming fans the FB user allows content and posts to appear in their news stream. It is therefore very important to consider what you post on your page and remember that you write for the FB user’s news stream and not for the wall. The wall on a page let’s all fans comment and like what you post. Remember that most users don´t visit a page after they have liked it, but only read the stream, unless you have special content on the page. Pages also let you have different tabs on the page in addition to the wall. The info page is important to have as accurate as possible. It is considered best practice to introduce all the people who write and answers on the wall as well as to state a promise on what value you want to give to the fans. On Facebook pages you can:
- Promote the company
- Post announcements
- Run promotions
- Offer special deals
- Share photos, videos and links
- Encourage people to like your other brands or products
- Get people to sign up for newsletters
- Run polls
Remember! It is all about adding value. What can you offer your fans? What do you have to do to attract fans to your page? Learn how to set up a page here! For more tips on Facebook pages and how to engage, click here! Or read Facebooks own presentation here.
Facebook groups i a way to create communities inside Facebook. Groups can be open or closed (only for selected members). Groups offers the ability to have closed discussions, but requires high level of engagement from the members. It is most valuable for employees or for a small selected group to brainstorm product or marketing ideas. For customer interaction choose pages.
Facebook has a rigid set of rules and regulations on what is allowed and not. It is therefore most important that you get good knowledge on these rules. The most important are:
The most common mistake made on Facebook is to have competitions which involves likes or tagging. This is not allowed. In short it is not allowed to have competition on Facebook unless they are on a third party application. Not following Facebooks rules and regulations can lead to all your pages being deleted and kicked out of Facebook. It is not allowed to create a personal profile (as in a person) for å company or a brand. It has to be a Brand Page. So please be sure you follow Facebooks rules.
There are several tools that can help you manage and create good pages for Facebook. Some monitoring tools can be used on several different social media platforms. They will be presented under Social Media tools.
- HyperAlerts: A great tool that send you e-mail alerts whenever someone posts something on your wall or comment on one of your posts. You can choose the frequency of the alerst.
Tabs tools: These tools are free and can help you create nice looking and simple tabs on your page.
- Edgerank: gives you access to information about how your Page is performing, including your Edgerank score and the best/worst performing days on your Page. Edgerank is important as it is Facebook’s algorithm for determining the likelihood of your Page to appear in the ‘top news’ section of the Facebook news feed, as opposed to ‘most recent’.
Usefull Facebook links:
- The Checklist All Facebook Pages Absolutely Must Have
- 75 of the best B2B Facebook Marketing tips
- 64 Awesome Facebook Marketing Techniques
- How to make the most of Facebook’s latest ad changes
- 5 B2B Facebook Pages Worth Copying
Twitter is a micro blogging network in real time, where you people can share their mind with everyone. Everybody can follow everybody, you choose who. Every message is limited to 140 characters; it is a great way to communicate with potential and existing customers. Twitter is growing rapidly and is looked upon as a great way to answer questions from people regarding products and services, to provide customers with news, tips & tricks, and other valuable information.
Twitter can help business with:
- Customer relations
- Brand awareness
- Increased sales
- Build a loyal fanbase
- Announce events
- Special deals
- Scoop the competition
- Build community
- Drive traffic to websites and blogs
- Direct Marketing
- Market research
Usefull Twitter links:
- A B2B Guide For Twitter Lead Generation
- 15 of the Best Twitter Campaigns that you could learn from
- 50 Power Twitter Tips that could help your business.
Video is a powerful tool for self service, personalization of brands and raise awareness. Having a YouTube account lets you easily share video on websites, Facebook and lets you create own channels for different types of video. All videos can be commented and create engagement. Popular use of YouTube videos:
- Product presentations
- Product guides and “how to” videos
- Video of presentations and seminars
- Video of the people behind the brand
- Customer statements
Useful YouTube links:
- How to create a YouTube account
- Customizing your YouTube Channel
- 20 Great Youtube Features And Tricks You Need To Know
- Top 10 YouTube Tips for Small Businesses
- 11 YouTube Tips From YouTube Experts
Other video platforms:
LinkedIn is a cross between an online resume and an interactive rolodex.
Company Pages are a company’s profile of record on LinkedIn and a powerful way to speak to millions of professionals through word-of-mouth recommendations and trusted testimonials. It’s like a LinkedIn profile for a company. For LinkedIn members, Company Pages are a great way to research companies you’re interested in, follow them to stay updated, see what kind of people work there, and even review the products and services you use. For companies, Company Pages present an opportunity to reveal the human side of your company. Provide a peek at the individuals behind your brand and highlight how members use your products. Your Company Page offers tools to bring your brand to life. For more information please visit this page.
Linked in tips:
- B2B Social Media: How to Boost Engagement on LinkedIn
- How the Business LinkedIn page is built
- 33 Ways to Use LinkedIn for Business
- Tips for making the most of your company page on LinkedIn
- 100+ Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn
- 5 LinkedIn Tips You Didn’t Know
- New LinkedIn Company Pages: A Step-by-Step Guide for Content Marketers
- LinkedIn Advertising How-to Guide
LinkedIn Groups allow members to connect with like-minded individuals, grow their network, share information, and find support. Groups can be a good way to make small communities for your customers or for employees to learn from the market about challenges and needs. For more information about groups:
SlideShare is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. With 50 million monthly visitors and 90 million pageviews, it is amongst the most visited 250 websites in the world. Besides presentations, SlideShare also supports documents, PDFs, videos and webinars. SlideShare features a vibrant professional and educational community that regularly comments, favorites and downloads content. SlideShare content spreads virally through blogs and social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Individuals & organizations upload documents to SlideShare to share ideas, conduct research, connect with others, and generate leads for their businesses. Anyone can view presentations & documents on topics that interest them, download them and reuse or remix for their own work.
Some things that you can do on SlideShare
- Upload presentations publicly or privately
- Download presentations on any topic and reuse or remix
- Embed on blogs, websites, company intranets
- Share on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
- Zipcast: free, no download, 1 click web meetings
- Leadshare: generate business leads with your presentations, documents, pdfs, videos
- Slidecast: sync mp3 audio with slides to create a webinar
- Embed YouTube videos inside SlideShare presentations
- Use SlideShare PRO for premium features like branded channels, analytics, ad free pages etc.
Flickr is not just a photo sharing tool. It is a platform, and it could be exceptionally useful for businesses. It is a way to show what is happening, what we are doing and how things look. It can also be used to get feedback on design or other things. Uploading pictures from the office, of the people working there and from event will help personalize the company and can be a good tool to show what happens behind the scenes at Visma. It can also be used to share screenshots and customers photos.
The face of business is evolving, now it’s just as important to be human as it is to create better widgets. A blog gives your company a way to showcase its personality and culture in a sort of online headquarters.
The Benefits of Blogging:
- Demonstrate thought leadership: Share your smarts with the world and show that you’re a leader in your field by continuall sharing your insight on the things that matter most to your customers and prospects.
- Improve SEO: Or “Search Engine Optimization”. Remember, because you are sharing great content about topics related to your organization, you’ll get higher rankings on Google and other search engines.
- Build brand awareness: When people are searching for topics related to your business online, they are more likely to find you if you’re blogging regularly, which means that more people will get to know your brand.
- Build relationships: Be everywhere your customers and clients expect you to be – chances are they will be looking to your blog to bring a human element to your brand.
- Provide customer support: Blogging provides a platform to resolve customer issues, address consistent problems, and highlight your solutions.
- Build community: Build great content and an inviting forum, promote it, it and people will make your blog a destination.
- Communicate news: Keep your customers and non-customers informed about the latest and greatest with your products and services.
I strongly encourage all employees to write for their companies blog(s). Sharing competence, experiences and other topics that can provide value for your market and states your business presence as a thought leader. There should be no rules on content on the blog as long as it follow the social media guidelines and policies and add value to the readers.
Well, so far Google Inc has not opened for business on Google+. There are many benefits for company when they are allowed to open up there. You can have customer service sessions through hangouts and much much more. As soon as this is opened for businesses and tested I will revieal my tips here.
Social Media tools
There are several good tools for monitoring and engage in social media activities. Here I have listed and explained some of them.
Google search reveals that people are speaking about you, your competitors, your products and your competences, all the time on the web. Google has tools that help you monitor what is being said about whatever you want to monitor. Google alerts lets you get alerts every time something is written about keywords or phrases that you want to monitor. To set up an alert, go to http://www.google.com/alerts write the keyword or phrase that you want to monitor. Choose type, how often, volume and how to deliver the alerts. You can choose to be alerted by e-mail, RSS and in Google Reader. Google reader is a great tool to view all your alerts. It is recommended that you split your alerts searches into categories found under Type in Google Alerts, such as news, blogs etc.
Hootsuite is a great tool for Twitter and Facebook. Its both a monitoring tool for Twitter and can be used as a collaboration tool for both Facebook and Twitter. An upgrade can be necessary for companies who have several people who answers in social media. Create an account and link your different profiles to the Hootsuite dashboard. From here you can post and schedule messages for several different social media as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. The benefit of Hootsuite is that it is very easy to create search streams that are easy to monitor based on search words or hastags#. You can also by upgrading collaborate on answering posts on twitter by delegate messages for others to respond to. Hootsuite is also available as iPhone, iPad and android apps
Tweetdeck is very similar to Hootsuite, but don´t have the collaboration feature. But it has another nice feature that lets you group your followers and create streams just by these. So you can collect different users in different streams as competitors, public, and experts. Tweetdeck is also available as iPhone, iPad and android apps
Crowdbooster is a great tool to measure reach of you Twitter and Facebook messages. By registering and connecting Crowdbooster with your Twitter account and Facebook pages you can see how many people you have reached, how many people who have forwarded your message and how many responses you have got. Only available by invitation. Ask on Twitter and you will most likely get one. Or ask me.
Socialbakers.com is one of the biggest Facebook statistics portals in the world, covering a wide range of Facebook statistics. They specialize in Facebook statistics for: Facebook in different countries, Facebook pages, Facebook applications, Developers on the Facebook platform, as well as Facebook advertising prices. Socialbakers is a good tool to monitor how you are doing on Facebook compared to other brands and companies. It also gives you statistics on how many people you can potentially reach. It will soon launch analytics from Twitter as well.
CoActapp – a social media monitoring and collaboration tool
I am currently testing this tool and will come back with more information on this. So far it looks great in the way that it lets you monitor and categorize all mentions as well as collaborate by delegate mentions to be anwered by the right person. PS! This is a paid service, only available by invitation.
Do you have other good sites for inspiration or other tools or platforms which you miss here?
Please let me know!