There has been a lot of push for businesses to join social media.
“Get on Facebook!”
“Get on Twitter!”
“Become the mayor of your own place on Foursquare!”
Ad agencies push, pull and shove businesses into the fray of the latest shiny thing of the online realm. Things move fast, things change and some businesses benefit from the exposure, but others have a hard time seeing the benefit. How do you know what you should be doing?
Social Media SEO
Social Media SEO does not mean having your social media profile or content appear in Search Engine Result Pages, it means optimizing your business to be found where people would expect you to be. If the Internet is a place where people are in the market for your services then you best be where it makes sense, but only where it makes sense.
Questions to ask about your business
1. How often do you think people want to hear from you?
A grocery store can expect a lot of repeat customers every week. A window business doesn’t.
2. Who is going to monitor your social media?
People post 24/7. They could talk about you or post something on one of your social media pages. I even had spammers post affiliate links on my facebook walls. A lot can happen over a weekend.
3. Where do you focus your social media?
Twitter? Facebook? Second Life (do businesses still go there?) Your community may lend itself to one over the other, but you don’t assume that both are beneficial.
4. What are you going to say?
There is something counter-intuitive about Social Media and businesses. Businesses build themselves into layers and layers of management. Some employees never meet the top head honcho. A colleague of mine said that his boss resides above two floors that require a separate security clearance to even be IN that section of the building. This was a problem with the concept of blogging and its a curious anomaly. Forcing a business to be social was accepted by smaller businesses – a way to reach out to the community. Meanwhile, large corporations wield it as a viral engine.
Based on question #1 you have a couple options: Talk about yourself, Talk about the industry you serve? Talk about your community? Test it out and see how people respond.
5. How long are you going to do it?
Are you going to commit to a solid plan? Or are you going to just poke at it and wonder if its worth anything?
Don’t Panic, don’t reaction, but don’t just sit there
I recently became a victim of Shinything syndrome. A new thing came up and seemed cool because people were talking about it and after jumping into it, a previous thing changed a feature and made the new thing irrelevant. That seems to happen a lot.
- Foursquare comes up, Facebook adds “Places”
- Twitter rises in popularity, Google ads “Post to your place page”
- Facebook has Zynga, Google is … doing something later with Zynga
If you haven’t noticed a huge slap-fight going on, good. Just keep to your plan to maintain a steady exposure process to what works for you and it will shake out. You don’t have to be all things to everyone, you just need to be there when they need you.