Social Media: Making Sense of It All

Edmiston Group Social Media
Which Social Media Platform is Right for You?

Your marketing efforts are less than best if you’re not riding the Social Media Train, but how can you know where to get on board?

As with all marketing, a successful social media presence begins with planning. It’s important to consider your industry, identify your market and develop an all-important, power-packed description that lays out what your company does, who you serve and why your customers should care. Once you have a concise and effective company profile, you can begin to repurpose it across various social media channels:

Facebook is very effective, but not if you mix personal and business messages. Before you establish a business page, you must first set up a personal page. From there, it’s all about engaging those who visit your page. A lack of engagement is like dropping a $100 bill behind the dresser. If no one sees or uses it, it has no value.

More and more, advertising has become an important Facebook tool. If you do want to advertise, first determine your budget, keywords and demographics, including age range, gender, geographic location and other important identifiers. Remember also that advertising without a call to action will result in just that, no action. Here’s a sample call to action: Like Us and receive a copy of out ‘Ten Tips to Grow Your List.’ As with all marketing efforts, be sure to monitor levels of engagement so you can adjust your message and your methods to increase effectiveness.

Twitter is a great way to communicate, once you learn to capture your message in an eye-catching manner using just 140 characters or less. It sounds like a challenge, but you’ll get the hang of it. If you’re new to twitter, you can start by following thought leaders in your industry and retweeting some of their tweets. If you’re wondering what all the symbols are about, here’s a quick overview. The @ sign is the user’s handle. Use the @ sign when mentioning or interacting with others. The # is a way to group related tweets. Perhaps you want to view all tweets related to #Pittsburgh. Give it a try, you’ll be sure to find something new.

Pinterest is a newer but important method of communication that relies heavily on images. Pinterest is especially effective for craft stores, salons, interior designers and other businesses. As with all social media channels, be consistent in your postings, and interact with other pinners. But do keep in mind that Pinterest gives you more creative leeway.

LinkedIn continues to expand its reach, especially among those who want to grow their professional network. As with Facebook, you will need to complete a personal profile and then link it to your business page. Both should be kept updated. LinkedIn also offers the ability to create a business page. Be sure to post updates to both your personal profile and business page on a regular basis.

Google+ has become a near-necessity for businesses. Be sure to specify if you have a storefront or a home office, and claim your spot on Google map, since more and more people will locate you via Google+.

The learning curve for social media can seem overwhelming at first, but once the kinks are worked out, you will see great benefit from consistent social media use.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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