Social Media? How Do I Know Which Network Works Best For My Organization?


Old Computer
Have you noticed that online social networking has changed since the first email was sent in 1971? You may not have been around yet in the early ‘70s,  but the picture tells it all.

With its start in electronic mail,  social media has evolved. In more recent years,  it has transitioned from a means to simply recount what one had for dinner (although some people still do that),  or elaborate on their weekend antics (some people still do that too; they must not realize that employers and clients can also access that information),  social media is now a valuable tool in which one can share meaningful,  focused content.

Truth be told,  whether you are a business,  not-for-profit,  or charity,  you have a product,  service,  issue or cause that you are selling to the world. With the quality of content available on the airwaves improving daily,  if you want your message to be noticed,  it has to engage your audience. You also want the right message on the right network so the right people will see it. How do you know which one to use?

Twitter

Twitter is the tool of choice for piquing interest. Be it about your business,  charitable organization,  new product or service,  event,  social cause,  or CSR initiative,  Twitter is the start of the sales cycle and provides the means for outreach. It also provides the opportunity to engage with the community by following trends,  retweeting with a comment,  and following links to blogs others find informative. The key: no sleazy salesman tactics. Simply share your story.

LinkedIn

At one time an updated LinkedIn profile meant the job hunt was on. For businesses however,  it’s now an excellent means for not only posting jobs,  but also sharing content about your company or organization. Clients,  customers,  board members, or supporters are increasingly using LinkedIn to vet an organization and will be receptive to information shared in a professional manner.

Facebook

Vision,  mission & values feed an organization’s Corporate Soul or reason for being,  and the people in the organization make it work. Facebook allows companies to reveal their human side,  and support employee and community engagement. Pictures are an effective means of supporting the message.

Blog

This is where you can shine. Share your expertise in the knowledge economy by offering answers to common problems,  telling the story of your organization,  or advocating for your issue or cause. The most important kernel of truth: write it with the interests and/or needs of the reader in mind.

These are just a few of the social networking platforms available,  but they are the primary tools for business.

Social media has matured,  increasing its effectiveness for getting the right message to the right audience at the right time. It’s much easier to make this happen with a Social Media Strategy in hand. If you have one,  this may be a good time to readdress the strategy to confirm it’s in line with your Corporate Soul. If not, create one and ensure that you are effectively engaging with your online audience.

Resources:
1. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-first-ever-email–the-first-tweet–and-12-other-famous-internet-firsts-181209886.html
2. TechConnex; “Maturing of Social Media Seminar” –Legitimate Lead Generation; Kiran Mangat; Vanquish Consulting.

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