Don’t wait, start the sharing

In our first blog post about website updates, we discussed how regular updates are a great way to legitimize a small business website. We also explained ways to find website content for your visitors and how to do website updates.

In our previous blog post, we talked about the power of social networks and how you can help your visitors share the content of your website with their friends.

In our last blog post of this series, we talk about how you don’t have to wait for your site visitors to share your content, you can start the sharing!

The Most Important Social Networks

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are three of the most popular social networks in the world. Facebook itself has more than 500 million users.

According to the micro-blogging company Twitter, 50 millions posts are published on their platform everyday – that’s almost 600 tweets per second. And just this past August, LinkedIn hit 75 million registered users.

The power of social networks is reformulating the concept of communication and networking. According to Social Media guru, Brian Solis, “the spirit of social media is enlivening industries, refreshing marketing, and humanizing businesses”.

Social-networking can have an impact on your business as well. Online social networks make communication easier for people and businesses.

Creating a profile on the three most important networks can help you not only be in touch with your regular network of contacts, but increase it.

And every time you share your company news and insights you get a little bit of attention from your network, re-enforce that you are active company and knowledgeable in your area of expertise.

At the same time, just the act of publishing and communicating helps you refine your message, your knowledge, and how you communicate your expertise.

Three Social Networks, Three Ways of Communicating

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all social networks with different approaches and types of users. Before you create a profile on any of them, you should learn what you can do on each platform and what kind of connections you will probably find there. Here is a brief overview:

Facebook: Facebook is the most popular social network in the world and is frequently thought of as a personal platform more suitable for B2C communications. However, with over 500 million users, there is plenty of B2B communications going on. Other than creating your own personal profile on Facebook, you can also create a company profile to publish updates related to your company, your products and your services. At the same time, you will be able to have an online and public conversation with your customers, getting feedback on your updates, and even asking questions to refine what you offer.

Twitter: Twitter is the most visited micro-blogging network with an interesting restriction – messages are limited to 140 characters. Think of Twitter as a steady stream of headlines, pithy thoughts, and very short conversations about current topics, quite often linking to a web page with additional information.

The sources you might follow (and might follow you) can range from traditional news sources to individuals or companies that you know. The easiest way to get started on Twitter is to create a profile and start following some companies and people in your industry.  It will help you keep up-to-date with your industry.

After watching the twitter updates for a little while to get used to things, be sure to start sharing any news and updates you have about your company and your industry.  Also consider responding to tweets that find interesting with your own thoughts.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a professional business social network. The services offered include micro-blogging, professional recommendations, groups, and job postings. Many job recruiters like to use LinkedIn to find optimal candidates for the companies which require their services.

For your website updates you can post a brief description and link to your website in LinkedIn’s status updates.  And, if you are using blog technology for your updates, you can setup your LinkedIn profile to automatically show your most recent blog posts.

Which Social Network Is For Me?

For all business people, we recommend our clients to start their foray into social media by creating a profile on LinkedIn. This will help you keep in contact with the people you meet and strengthen ties to people you already know.

After LinkedIn, the next step is typically Twitter in order to gain current industry news, and to allow anyone to easily follow your company news.

Finally, a Facebook page is a must if you have a B2C company.  For B2B companies, Facebook can probably wait until you have mastered the first two social network platforms.

What to Include On My Profile

Your social network profile is the most important way for your clients to find you. It is also the first impression of you and your business. The three most important things to include in it are:

  • The name of your company
  • Your website
  • A brief description about the business

What to Publish On Your Social Network Profile

As you can imagine, getting the most out of social-networking can be a daily job. However, at the very least update your social profiles with your news about your company, products, and services at the same time you update your website – and of course include links back to your site!

Remember, your website is where you are able to control your brand and message – where you can really communicate who and what you are about.

In addition, talk to your customers. Remember that this is all about having an actual conversation with them. However, do keep in mind that you are having a public conversation and other users could quite well be reading what you are saying (always be courteous, service oriented, and on-brand!).

And if you would like to know more about how to be social with your website news and updates, feel free to contact us at our Toronto office.

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