Social Media Time Management – Part 1
Choosing Your Primary Social Media Network
Unless your work involves being online all day long and you have lots of spare time, choosing a primary social media network is advisable. So, which one is best for you? It will vary for every business and individual. Let’s take a look at three of them and see where you fit.
Twitter is essentially texting to the masses to provoke a response or reaction. A person has 140 characters with which to communicate their opinion, question, response to someone else, or links to blog posts, websites, pictures, etc. When they have sufficient people following them and they are online when enough of their followers are, it can be a great way to connect with people and grow relationships. As with all social media networks “selling” should be kept to a minimum. The purpose of social media is to be social.
LinkedIn is the online equivalent to business networking. People display their current career details, past work experience, education, interests, specialties, etc. They take part in different types of group discussions depending on their interests, they answer or ask questions to show their expertise or gain valuable knowledge, they update their status to let their connections know their business news or to share a valuable link or opinion, and they grow their network of connections. This is an excellent Social Media network for business to business connections and as such is a formal professional environment.
As of April 2012, Facebook has over 901 million members – people of all ages, employees, potential customers, business owners, everyone and anyone. It is a more informal social network with photographs, videos, valuable information and competitions being the main ways of getting attention as a business. (Note: read Facebook’s terms and conditions with regard to running competitions before you start one). Facebook is all about target markets. Whether targeting business owners or private individuals keep in mind the informality of Facebook. Users are there typically to relax, connect and have fun.
Other Social Media Networks of Note
Pinterest is a site where a picture is truly worth a thousand words. It is great for anyone who can use photographs to impress, interest or entertain others. Businesses, for example photographers, gift shops, home décor, restaurants, specialist motor repair/restoration, etc. can make good use of this network of images. Uploading a picture to Pinterest from your mobile phone means you can then share that link across your other networking sites, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine. Every business who uses visual media to sell their products or services should consider having a YouTube channel. Tradesmen take note: a quick 10 second movie of, for example, expert brick laying or power washing, can be used to sell your service on your website by embedding the YouTube video on a selected page.
So Which One?
Twitter means popping online frequently for short periods and engaging with people. If you are naturally talkative, entertaining and/or knowledgeable this might be the one for you.
LinkedIn is more formal and more suitable for business to business networking, involving giving and getting professional advice, introductions, building your professional reputation and building your business network.
Facebook is about having the craic, relaxing, being professional in a less formal way and targeting people in their off time.
You will probably combine social media networks, but there will be one you use more than others. Keep in mind that like everything else in this world, there is always going to be an exception to the rule and social media plans will differ for each individual and their business.
Stay tuned for more on this topic. This is a 4 part series of posts.
Part 2 – Assessing Your Time Resource
Part 4 – Developing a Social Media Plan
What is your experience? Feel free to comment with your opinion.