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Which Social Media Outlets to Use for Business?

There are so many different social media platforms to use. How do you decide on which one(s) you want?

When you are working on developing a social media presence you want to focus on three key aspects of communication. These aspects are visual, informational and conversational. ideally you will make use of all three of these types of communication.

The following is a list the social media platforms that I came up with in a brainstorming session. I will indicate why I am or am not planning to use them for the signage business I work for.

YouTube – Yes

YouTube falls under the category of visual. Like a said, you need to show visual imagery. This is good because it allows people to see a face to your organization. They feel as though you are more personable. On the same note, that is why you want to use a profile photo for your avatars and not a logo. People don’t connect to logos, but they do connect and build a rapport with people. I will also use YouTube because it allows me to explain how to make signs and how to care for them. I can show funny sign videos. I can use it as a tool to connect with my audience.

WordPress – Yes

Conversational communication is important. You always want two-way communication. If you are lacking this you can talk till your blue in the face [or fingers from typing] and never communicate once. Feedback allows you to know that you are getting somewhere. You can customize your communication to fit the needs of your audience. If you don’t know what your audience is thinking, and they aren’t communication with you, then you are probably not saying what they need to know. Establish two-way communication through a blog like WordPress and get to know the heart of your target audience.

Twitter – Yes

Twitter is HEAVILY used for search engine optimization (SEO) which I will talk about in more detail later. For know I will just tell you that it is very important to do two things with twitter. 1. use keywords that relate to your business in your tweets. 2. try to give relevant information in your tweets so that people are interested in what you have to say. You want people to read your tweets and share them with others. If you always tweet useless information you will be looked upon as a waste of time and nobody will ever read your tweets.

Hootsuite – Yes

I will talk about this more later. Hootsuite is extremely useful for organizing your tweets on twitter and for monitoring what people say about you.

Pingfm – No

Pingfm is a lot like Hootsuite but in my opinion it is not quite as good. There is no point in having two Hootsuites.

FourSquare – No

For my business this is not a very relevant tool. If you are in the type of business that caters to frequent visitors, such as a restaurant, amusement park or something of that nature I would highly recommend looking into FourSquare.

Facebook – Yes

This is perhaps the most important platform when it comes to informative communication. Facebook allows you to make use of video, blogs, photos and just about any other type of communication method that you can imagine. Also, if Facebook were the size of a country it would be the third largest country in the world. http://tinyurl.com/22ofvb5 Facebook has more than 500 million users and is used around the world. If you want to communicate with your audience you need to find where they are. They are most likely on Facebook, so don’t be left behind.

MySpace – No

Facebook is very useful but for my business it is not. The signage industry caters more to the business world with customers having graduated from college. Facebook’s median age is in the 30’s. MySpace is focused more on the younger demographic. This would be more for teenagers. We don’t generally have too many teenagers buying signs in Pensacola, Fla. If your industry has a strong teenage presence I would highly recommend getting involved with MySpace.

Let me leave you with one note to summarize this posting. You want to communicate visually, informatively and conversationally. Also, you want to find your key target audiences and make sure you are communicating to them. Don’t worry about everyone else. You want a rifle approach and not a shotgun approach. Get your key audience.

Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful.

If you have found another platform that you think should be included please leave a comment.

I’ll talk to you again next week,

~Joshua Lyons

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