Social networking for your business
With Facebook stating it has over 900 million monthly activate users, most companies simply open up a Facebook page about their business and hope for the best. But is this really utilizing the power of social media for your business?
Reports today (July 18th 2012) by a Capstone report that says that Facebook is stagnating in growth. The Capstone report claims that in the last 6 months, Facebook’s user base decreased by 1.1%. This coupled with Google claiming it has 170 million users so far as part of its Google+ social network starts to beg the question, are the users moving over to Google+ or is there less engagement in social networks in general?
Many web users see the rise of Google+ from July 2011 with 10 million users to July 2012 with 170 million users as a big jump, but Mark Zuckerberg is not impressed. Zuckerberg says that the correct measure of a social network’s success is all about how many shares, how long users are engaged on the site or how many interactions between users. Neither company is releasing these detailed figures so it is hard to get a clear picture of which of these two giant social networks is truly gaining strength. It would be interesting to see how many actual ‘active’ users Google+ has and also what has caused the decline is users of Facebook in the last 6 months. Of course just because Google+ state they have 170 million users does not mean that all of these users are active and use the network, or are simply signed up and never spend time on there.
How does this affect your business’s SEO social media strategy?
In essence a good social media strategy involves creating a profile on as many platforms as possible. Of course Facebook is the big one, but there are many current and potential customers hanging out on a variety of other sites such as Google+, twitter, LinkedIn etc.
Once your company has a presence on these platforms, your branding should always stay consistent but the way in which you send out messages to your audience should suit the platform. Of course it doesn’t help having a very formal message on Facebook which is more of a casual network. It should be a fun and engaging message. The difference is subtle but the difference in response to your posts and page can be very large depending you’re your style of message. For example: when making a status update about an upcoming tradeshow you are attending, you can be formal: “Company XYX will be attending the Trade Show ‘Technology 2030’ in Las Vegas”. Or you can be more social minded “We will be at the trade show Technology 2030 and we’d love to meet up with you. Leave a message or like to be contacted”.
The next important social media strategy is not to go silent on your audience. A lot of companies start up social network profile and after a while stop posting and updating images, events etc. This is disastrous to your brand and it is best not to have a social presence at all, if you don’t have the time to keep up your communication through this channel.
Lastly, know that social networks are a place where you have the ability for your business name or product to spread virally. Do as much as you can to help this happen with engaging and interesting images, posts and videos.
No matter if Facebook user numbers are decreasing or it is still unclear if Google+ will succeed, your business needs to be listed on these social networks and it is best to stick to the best practices set out above to ensure that your listings on these social networks are successful.