Understanding the Different Social Network Personalities
Have you ever wondered why your automated posts aren’t getting the results you want? How about when you post the same piece of content on 10 different social networks, and there’s no bump in your website traffic? What’s going on? Does Social Media NOT WORK? I’m here to give away a Social Media Marketing secret that’s will be pretty obvious once I divulge it, but yet most marketers and Small Business owners don’t take the extra step in their strategic thought process to get to it.
Here it is: Each different Social Network has a different personality, and once you know how to address that particular personality, you’ll start seeing better results almost immediately. It’s like you’re trying to play basketball like you would play football, and drawing up basketball plays for a soccer game. While all of these are “sports,” you don’t approach each one with the same philosophies and strategies. Just like you can’t communicate with a rocker, a yuppie, a geek, and a cowboy the same exact way and be just as effective, you need to know your audience. You might even be speaking to a geeky cowboy, but you’ll talk differently if you’re at the rodeo with the same person than you would if you were at Comic-Con. I digress, but you get the point. Let’s talk about each of the Big 5 Social Networks used in business right now, and how to best communicate using each.
Facebook is the Big Boy on the block. Everyone has a page on Facebook and everyone is mesmerized by the potential of having all 1 billion Facebook profiles as their clients and customers. Hold yer horses right there. Facebook users are mostly not interested in your company. At least not in the “buy now” and direct sales/e-commerce kind of way.
When people sign on to Facebook, they want to see what their friends are up to, how the baby is, what’s Fido gone and done now, or what their crazy brother-in-law is posting now about whatever the political topic du jour is. What are the two things Facebook users constantly complain about? Privacy issues number one, of course, but the second biggest complaint are the ads and worrying about Facebook starting to charge money for something people use 6 hours a day on average and connects them to their entire social circle and have used completely free for years now…but I digress. Facebook is essentially best for B2C companies. If you are a B2B, you’ll be better off on LinkedIn, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the biggest social network going right now. Just proceed accordingly and strategically.
To use Facebook most effectively is to do two simple strategies. First, is to take out some Facebook Ads which are heavily targeted to your exact customer and get more people to Like your page. Second, is to get your current customers to like your page so you can do the most important thing you can do on Facebook: build a strong relationship with them. Think of Facebook as mostly a publicity and customer relations tool. Post high-value, highly interesting content which your exact customers and target market want to see, and you’ll start building that relationship and trust. Then, when potential customers are ready to buy a product or service that you sell, you’ll be top-of-mind and the one they call…because you’re now essentially like one of their other friends. You’re trusted, friendly, and “there for them.”
Twitter is an interesting little beast. It’s widespread usage tells you that it’s incredibly popular, which it is, but it’s effectiveness in driving conversions and sales is sinking faster than the Titanic with Billy Zane on board. This past year, a whopping 0.2% bought through Twitter links. That’s zero-point-two percent. Want perspective? E-Commerce sales went up 17%, and 24% of all retail site traffic came from smartphones and tablets through Email Marketing efforts. So, what’s it good for? Absolutely something, don’t you worry.
Twitter is great as a place to learn about other things, things that are “trending” and what is making the rounds. Many journalists and writers use Twitter for the links that are posted. Professionals use it for the same reason. Twitter can drive traffic and awareness to your blog and website. From there, you capture leads, and go through your conversion process.
The best practice for Twitter, because there is so much noise on the network, is to get an account with a scheduler like HootSuite, TweetDeck, or whichever one works best for your tastes, and schedule out posts during peak hours (varies for industry, but it’s basically work hours in the mornings and weekends). Since many professionals use Twitter for professional reasons, there are your best chances to get your links clicked on.
Schedule out a few of your blog posts every day, and it’s OK to recycle and repeat on Twitter because of all the noise and constant Tweeting. Just don’t schedule the same exact post over and over again every hour for three days straight. Mix it up a good amount. Don’t forget to use hashtags that your potential customers and journalists who might write stories about you might be using to find your links and Tweets.
When you sign on to LinkedIn, are you interested in seeing your co-worker’s dog wearing a scarf and sunglasses? No. However on Facebook, you might “Like” the photo if it was funny or cute enough. LinkedIn is all business. Now, that doesn’t mean be a stuffed suit robot, but it does mean to keep it professional or at the very least “business causal.” Don’t say or post anything on LinkedIn that’s too personal, TMI, or something you wouldn’t say at a business networking function. Because that’s exactly what LinkedIn is…a business social network.
Join a few groups, engage in conversations, and make some good B2B connections. You can also use LinkedIn to get referrals from colleagues and those in your networks when you’re looking to make a few new hires. Post some great ideas for those in your target market and remember, it’s still social networking so if someone asks a question don’t be “that guy” who just immediately tries to close a deal right then and there. Help the person, answer the question, follow up, build that relationship. I see so many poor social networkers jump on LinkedIn and start blasting groups with their pitches and trying to get people to buy something. Just relax, nurture the relationship and you’ll do just fine.
Last thought, make sure your business has a business profile on LinkedIn and take out some LinkedIn advertisements if you’re a B2B company. They have started to embrace advertising on their network and so you should as well.
Pinterest is all about pictures, ideas, and visuals. If you’re a writer, you may have a problem gaining traction on Pinterest. Even a photographer or a graphic designer, someone who’s very very visual and so is their service, might have issues because of the average Pinterest mindset. Pinterest is basically an “ideas board.” People see things either on Pinterest or elsewhere online and they “pin” that graphic to their online “pinboard.” However, a photographer is going to get “repinned” way more than they’re going to get calls for work.
Pintest for business purposes is very much a B2C tool and very heavily effective with e-commerce sites with shopping carts and a good number of product to sell, and new products which are added to the stores often. The Etsy crowd were the first ones to start seeing monetization, because it was a perfect marriage of both websites’ demographics and interests. With Pinterest, you can Pin every single one of your shopping cart items to your Pinboards, put your price and links back to the original shopping cart item,and there you have it.
Pinterest users can search by price, item style, etc, and if you put your shopping cart item, with the price, and a link back to your website’s exact shopping cart item you’re displaying, then you’re using Pinterest properly for monetization of your e-commerce business.
Don’t have an e-commerce business? Then you can still get some traction with videos. Because Pinterest is highly visual, videos work great for business, because the Pinterest user can still watch a nice visual piece and learn something about your company, your services, your expertise, or especially learn something you share with them!
5. GOOGLE PLUS
I’m going to say something that most people aren’t going to like. I should say more Googlers aren’t going to like. The prime purposes, right now, for using Google Plus are for brick-and-mortar businesses and for enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google Plus is still very new, and it’s morphing daily into more and more of an “all things Google, all in one place” kind of network as opposed to it’s own “Facebook competitor.”
If you’re a brick-and-mortar company (one with a physical location which customers and client can come visit), then you want to have a brand page on Google Plus. In addition to that brand page, you should have a Google Place page, and then merge the two together. Google is starting to call this “Google Local” with more frequency. This will help you with reviews, and help your business have complete information when someone around your area searches for your business and see the Google Maps picture with a bunch of pins from your competitors. Getting your Places and Brand Page merged to be one verified business will help you on your way to better local rankings.
Right now, Google hasn’t fully admitted this, but many SEO specialists swear that posting your blog posts on Google Plus enhance your SEO for the keywords contained in the title and content of that posted blog link. This makes sense, because Google would naturally want people to use their new Social Network, and what better carrot to entice us all than better rankings on their search engine results, right?
As more and more people connect their accounts, YouTube becomes more integrated, the new Communities areas start filling up, and you start getting used to Google’s social network, you’re going to use it more and more so you may as well jump on there now and start getting familiar, because there’s a good chance it can be now just an important part of a piece of your marketing strategy, but an integral part in the near future. Hey, at the very least, you learn something new, right? How bad could that be?
6-ish. BONUS NETWORK: YOUTUBE
YouTube is a bonus one, because it’s not truly a “social network” but it’s more and more becoming one. Even though it’s heavily integrated with Google Plus, and it’s still a hybrid of search engine and video wasteland, YouTube is focusing more and more on profiles (even if they are connected to your Google Plus account), subscriptions and comments.
Your videos are starting to be ranked like websites are ranked. Not only is YouTube optimizing their search results like Google with keyword and title relevancy (which is owned and run by Google, so no surprise here), but User Engagement (amount people Like/Thumbs Up, Comment On, and Subscribe) is being counted more and more. When you start putting out videos regularly, and all of them start getting great engagement ratings, then all your videos (even the ones with poor engagement) will start ranking higher because you’re now viewed as a “trusted source.”
So, while YouTube is a hybrid of everything, it’s still incredibly important to your marketing strategies, especially since more and more videos are embracing video every year that passes.
So there you have it! Now, you’re ready to get to work! What’s that? We gave you too much work? That’s OK, because that’s what we’re here for. Contact Us and let’s talk about how we can help, or at least consult with you to help you figure everything out and get a plan together with you. You could always take our online marketing classes, too, which will help give you even more information and help…and the classes come with free consultations. Happy Marketing, and we’ll talk to you soon!