STOP the time wasting: Which social media platforms are right for your career or business?
As enticising as it may be to spend every waking hour spying on your colleagues’ LinkedIn profile to see how you can trump them on a job promotion, or looking at your competitor’s Facebook page to see how many comments they’re getting for posts, when it comes down to it, it’s just unfeasible to spend your every minute of the day doing it.
So, you really do need to know which social media platforms will work for the career you’re in, or the business you have. Time is money, after all, and unless you work as a social media manager, social media is just one aspect of your marketing and sales plan – there is the actual doing of the work that you have to get down to.
If you want to be visible in any marketplaces these days, you need some presence on social media. Customers and clients will want to check out your credentials and get to know you a bit better by looking through your social media accounts, so if you don’t have one, you really could be missing out. You’ll look out of date.
There are quite a few to choose from, and this guide is just that – a guide. You can add some additional social media platforms to this skeleton of a guide if your business has the time to engage effectively on them:
Great for: beauticians, hair stylists, physiotherapists, authors, artists, public speakers, coaches, and any business where your clients need to get to know you in a more personal way.
Facebook has changed now – long gone are the days when you could post something on your business Facebook page and get a lot of attention by doing little more than that. These days, you have to pay to get that visibility in front of customers, ‘boosting’ posts or actually advertising.
Great for: bloggers, journalists, educators, students, all businesses.
Twitter is great for those who want to source news and to meet or find people in your industry. With a Twitter account, you can keep an eye on the news in your industry, get a quick overview about what your competitors are talking about and stay on top of trends. Some brands use Twitter for customer service, so if you have a big enough customer base, you could consider this, too. When I can’t get any sense out of customer service for a brand, I go straight to Twitter and it’s like getting the VIP treatment – you simply jump the long waiting on hold etc etc, as they want to avoid the embarrassment of a rant from a less than pleased customer!
Great for: job hunting, networking in your industry
If you’re thinking about changing jobs, going freelance or anything similar, you really should take some time out to set up your LinkedIn profile. Set aside some time to add all your qualifications, work history and really sell your skills. Then add the keywords for your industry so that recruiters can find you! If done well, you can expect recruiters to contact you at least once a week, give or take. You can also find jobs on LinkedIn by looking at the ‘Company Pages’ or brands you would like to work for.
LinkedIn is also a great way to attract three types of audiences:
1. Media – forget the press release, if you’re doing a great job on LinkedIn, journalists will start to get in touch with you, asking for ‘expert’ quotes for articles, which have a lot more leverage and is free. Once you get that exposure, you should spread it all over the social networks you’re on, and on your own website or blog to help position your brand even more.
2. Referral sources – with the right ‘connections’ you can build relationship with key influencers in your industry from all over the globe, in a way that you may never be able to do ordinarily. So, no more needing to get through gatekeepers or receptionists who like nothing more than to block your calls to key people – go straight to LinkedIn.
3. Collaborative partners – there’s great value in working with like-minded people. It can help all concerned, when done properly. If you want to reach more customers and clients, sometimes the best way to do this is to join forces with someone else who has a fresh audience, but something in common with you, so you can both share the exposure to each other’s audience.
Great for: showcasing your arts and crafts, products, portfolio so any business that is visual should consider this
This isn’t just for teeny boppers who spend more hours on selfies than homework, or fashion and beauty vloggers showing off their latest looks and GRWMs (get ready with me). Instagram is very visual and all brands with something worth seeing in picture or video form are using it. Using tags, it can really create a captive audience.
If you run a business in hair, beauty, arts, crafts, retail and so on, this is worth it. For all the pictures you put on Facebook and Twitter, or even on your website, a couple of clicks will upload it onto Instagram to help extend that online reach even further.
Great for: marketing products to women – just about everything from home and interiors, hair and beauty, makeup, tips on saving money pro making it…the list goes on.
The great think about Pinterest is that your business can link the images straight to the product page, article or blog on your website, which can help drive traffic, therefore increasing sales.
Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.