It’s somewhat amusing to me most days that I managed to write my first “blog” post before the word had been coined (or, as it was in those days “a web log”) and I started dealing with Social Media well before that idea caught on fire. What the best approach for you and your business may be is dependent on a few key variables.
1] How often do things change?
Do you have new products on a fairly regular basis? Are you a restaurant that wants to promote a daily lunch special? If you have something to say, there’s a lot of different ways to get the word out there and if you effectively utilize even a few of the more common ones, such as Twitter and Facebook, “what you have to say” will get out to a much larger audience.
2] How in touch with your customers do you want to be?
This can be very different depending on what kind of business you are in. For some companies, it can be daily or more, for others, simply tweeting a link to “this month’s specials” may be enough.
3] How tech savvy are your customers?
You may very well be dealing with customers who simply won’t see anything you do, either via your own site’s blog, Twitter or Facebook. On the other hand, given the vast amount of people who DO use such services for finding out about companies (specifically yours…), this may be an edge that your customers will use regularly. Another approach is to collect email addresses of your customers (with their permission of course…) and then maintain a mailing list.
4] How is your competition making use of Social Media?
If you are doing nothing now, it’s well worth your time to take a look around at the various services and see what other companies in your same industry are doing to get the word out. People WILL listen, you just have to make the effort.
When I advise companies with regards to effective Social Media marketing for their own business, I tell them that there are three simple words to be followed. Consistency. Content. Contribute.
This is one of the most important words with regards to how you use Social Media. The key here is to make a commitment to contributing on a regular basis. It’s all well and good to have Twitter and Facebook accounts for your business (or, perhaps TripAdvisor for the B&B community) but, if people check these out and see no recent activity, the initial thought is to wonder if you are still in business. Again, “your frequency” is dependent on a few factors, but, develop a schedule for this and stick to it. It WILL get results but it does take some amount of management to achieve this. Make sure that your website incorporates links back to the services you use as well. Facebook “Like” buttons work wonders sometimes and they are quite easy to add to any web site. The same applies to having a Twitter feed tucked away on some visible corner of your website