Hi everyone, Zarte here again! How’s that “report” button working out for you?
You know what normally has a report button? Social media. You know what your business should be using? Social media. You guessed what this blog article is going to be about yet? That’s right. Custard. No seriously, it’s about social media.
We often get asked how important (or not) social media is to the modern business, and the answer in reality is quite similar to the answer in our previous blog article about whether or not you need a website Why do I need a website?, in that you almost certainly should be on social media, unless your business has a very niche target market that would be unlikely to use it, but that your business model might alter which areas of social media you aim at particularly.
One of the first things we should say is to pass on a piece of advice that was given to us a while ago, which is that whilst it can be worthwhile having a vague presence on lots of different social media, it’s a good idea to focus most of your efforts on the one that you feel you can best use to represent your business, and to appeal to the customers that you’re looking for.
For some businesses, the best place to position yourself might be LinkedIn. LinkedIn is specifically business-centric, and is more formal than most social media, meaning that if your clientele is usually other businesses or businesspeople, and your company’s ethos is quite professional and straight-laced, then it may well be the best place for you.
On the complete flipside is Facebook. Facebook is primarily an individual user driven social media platform, where whilst businesses may have pages, interactions are from personal accounts as standard, and so you’re tending to target people with products that they want for their real lives, rather than their working ones. It means that people who approach you will likely do so in a less formal manner, however as a platform it allows you to be able to represent your business practices in the way you see best, whether you wish to be playful and silly or more formal and staid.
Our personal choice to prioritise however, is Twitter. Twitter is excellent, because of how fast moving and instant it is. Additionally, it’s probably the platform on which you can change your approach for various situations best, rather than it being sensible to stick to one way of doing things. If you’re wanting to put out an important statement, you can, but equally you can post a picture of something amusing happening from your workplace without anyone batting an eyelid. People will tend to look at what they want to look and ignore what they don’t, and with a mixture of individuals and businesses, it’s the best opportunity to appeal to both simultaneously.
There are other social media networks that can be used, either similarly general but less prominent Google+ or that have specific functions such as being for pictures, such as Instagram. Instagram can be useful if your business would benefit from displaying lots of images, because you work with images (photography/artist) or deal with things people want to look at (food/animals etc.).
Social media platforms can now be dragged onto your personal websites to allow people to visit them from your website, or allow people to see what’s going on without having to, for instance having a widget that displays the latest tweets from your Twitter feed, or having your Instagram automatically display pictures on your website. If these are things your company would benefit from, talking to whoever looks after your website should result in them being able to sort it out quickly.
So, there’s my brief look into Social Media for you. This is by no means exhaustive, and perhaps I can go into parts in greater depth in a future blog article, but for now I feel that this is enough to give you food for thought, and perhaps make some more steps in getting your business to have the optimal web presence for the current market.
If you have any thoughts, or questions, you can get hold of us, as always by phone, e-mail, or perhaps let us know what you think by social media!
Until next time,