Social media for business
Social Network marketing is a given. So do it right. Find out which social media are best for business and how you can use them.
There’s a saying in gambling – and venture capital management, (are they similar?) – that you bet on the right horses for the right courses. In other words, always do what’s appropriate. And I think now that social networking is inserted itself completely in business, it’s time that people employ that saying. People still ask me which social networking platform is “the best”, as if they have to choose. The best is the one, or the group, that’s most appropriate for the business. So here’s a kind of Social Network Marketing 101. The big three of social networking are Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Minor players are MySpace – although that’s mass consumer site that’s severely faded – and Ning, which is a more specialized social networking space built around subject matters.
Twitter’s growth is plateauing, but it still tops 17 million pages views. Twitter began as a chat vehicle for the young, but has rapidly become a broadcast marketing platform. So it’s very much an announcement vehicle, especially for services, online products, and “thinking”. There’s a lot of crap on Twitter, so you have to stand out by providing something of interest, instead of a simple sales pitch.
LinkedIn is a business network that began as a job search site, but is now primarily a platform for business and professional people to link up through a subtle Business to Business expertise marketing. Think networking events. With LinkedIn you avoid overt selling, and put your expertise out there, hoping that someone will hire you for it. Very appropriate for services marketing.
Facebook, the big Kahuna, is still primarily a social site where you keep in touch with friends. But the mass marketing folks are attempting to use it more and more, largely because its numbers are huge. I think they will be beaten back because, people want Facebook to remain social. Still, it’s a good place to at least let people know who you are and what you do as a "face" for your business. It’s also becoming a collection site for all other social networking, such as blogs and twitter feeds, because it allows people to establish “real” relationships. So, there you have it. Twitter for broadcast marketing, LinkedIn for B2B, Facebook for friends.