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Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Social media is great for business if you have a strategy

Social media is becoming hugely important in business marketing yet few companies understand it, let alone know how to use it effectively. Creating a company page on Facebook, LinkedIn or a channel on YouTube will not help you win friends and influence people if you don’t know which social media platforms your customers use and what they use them for.

Social media is a communications platform which allows you to be highly targeted in your selling messages and reach exactly the right people you want to make friends with - that's if you know how to use it. And in the current climate, it should be an integral part of your marcoms strategy not an ‘after-thought’.

So, if you want your ‘Tweeting’, ‘Facebooking’ and social media activities to work for you, here are a few things to think about:

1. What are your aims and objectives? Who do you want to engage and communicate with and what do you want to say?

2. What social platforms do your customers / prospects use and what online communities do they participate in (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn and Ecademy business forums are going to be more useful if you are a B2B organisation than Facebook)?

3. Tailor your key messages to the people and businesses you want to reach and tell them something useful and valuable to them.

4. Be social and don’t try to ‘preach’ or ‘hard sell’. This is about building long-term ‘friendships’ with people you want to do business with.

5. Most importantly, communicate consistently, truthfully and regularly with customers and prospects – it’s key to building trust, confidence and a profitable following.

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