Thursday 17 June 2010

Social Media - tools to use

We’ve been on the train; we’ve been joining in conversations and getting to know some of our fellow passengers. The time has now come to look at how we’re going to maintain momentum, keep the conversations and engagement going and some of the tools to help.

There’s more to social media than Facebook and Twitter, which seem to be the two main things looked at when getting on the social media train, depending on what your plans are there’s more tools you could be using.

Blogging – a great way to share your thoughts, ideas and views. Business blogs are an excellent way to share your expertise, build additional web traffic, and connect with your potential customers. Business blogs provide your business with a chance to share your expertise and knowledge with a larger audience.

Blogging sites are relatively easy to use - most users simply write their thoughts, provide a link to resources, and publish; all with relative ease. Some see blogging is an alternative to having a website, although it is becoming more an extension to a website than an alternative. Maintaining your blog is a lot quicker and sometimes easier than maintaining your website, you can do it almost instantly.

Twitter is a social networking site where users answer the question, What’s happening? in 140 characters or less. Twitter users have a mini-profile with their username, a few words about themselves, and a link to their website. Users have the opportunity to write quick snippets of information about what they’re doing, what’s on their mind.

Twitter users are between 18 and 34, with ages 35-49 on the rise as people are discovering the power Twitter holds for businesses. Twitter users are sometimes seen to be more tech savvy and social than the average Facebook user. Twitter has also become popular with bloggers, web designers, writers, photographers and others looking to spread the word about what they are doing.

If you’re interested in sharing ideas and thoughts with others, engaging with people who share similar interests, or have a product or service to promote, you should be using Twitter.

Like all other social networking sites, using Twitter as a sales tool is not ideal. Instead use it to engage and connect with others; and busy will come from you being personable and showing an interest in the community.

LinkedIn – Your online CV - this is where you show who you are, and what you’re doing. It’s a great tool for connecting with people in specific industries, levels of expertise and areas of specific interest. There’s almost a business group for everything imaginable. If you’re in business, working in sales, perhaps looking for a career change, wanting more clients, or even looking to connect with others in your industry or area of expertise, LinkedIn is for you.

Facebook – You’ve seen and heard a lot about Facebook; it’s been around for six years and has over 500 million users. It’s where individuals and business can share what they’re doing.

Facebook isn’t just for young people, it’s a tool for connecting people of all ages. As with the other social media tools, you have the opportunity to use Facebook to expand your online presence and engage with customers directly.

Some think their customers aren’t on Facebook. There’s tens of thousands of regional, work-related, school and other networks - your customers are on Facebook. It’s widely said that more than two thirds of Facebook users are outside of college and the fastest growing demographic are people 35 years and over. Facebook has expanded so much since it started that there’s probably not a demographic not represented on Facebook.

Create a Facebook Page on Facebook and start connecting with more people.

YouTube – Don’t think you have to stick to the written word? Post videos of what you’re doing - link these to your blog and mention them in your tweets, show them on your LinkedIn update; anywhere you are online you have the opportunity to ‘show’ what you’re doing.

By starting a Vlog – the term used for a video blog, you can really show what you’re talking about, and give a human face to your business. You can Vlog about product launches, promotions and so much more, and what’s more by having your videos loaded on YouTube you don’t need to worry about having somewhere to host (store) your videos. More and more people are using YouTube as a place to store videos.

By Graeme Russell,


More posts in Using Social Media to find a Job

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