KIM MORRISON: Which social media site is right for you and your business?

Social media columnist
Social media columnist

I often find myself telling new clients to stop doing social media! Part of the issue is that, in their haste they’ve either forgotten, or never really identified, who their customers are. They are on social media because they think they should be and everyone else tells them they should b

The key to using social media effectively is to know who you are trying to attract, what you want to say and where your potential client/customer hangs out.

The more you know about your customer the easier it is to work out what they will want to know about the services your business offers. It will also help you identify whether they are likely to be a Twitter user or spend their time on Facebook or LinkedIn.

I like to relate that main social media sites to familiar places or things to make it easier to work out where your ideal customer is likely to hang out. So here’s how I describe them.

Twitter is for quick, short conversations as you only have 140 characters - think of the type of conversation you have in passing while the kettle boils or by the coffee machine.

Facebook is where people go to find their friends and relax so could be described as like a Pub or bar.

LinkedIn is definitely the office and is great for Business2Business (B2B) conversations. It works for B2C businesses too as you can join in the conversations in a LinkedIn group, for example, I’m a member of Horse Lovers of the Business World and Bury St Edmunds Network.

Your blog is like a dinner party where you have more space and time to express your views or establish your expertise and knowledge.

Google+ is often described as Facebook for grown-ups but I think it’s important to recognise it as the social layer to Google search which is used by so many to search for businesses and answer questions on the internet.

YouTube is basically TV and it’s easy to watch. It’s also owned by Google so definitely helps your website get found!

Remember when you used to cut out pictures and articles that interested you and glued them in your scrapbook? That’s Pinterest. I also describe it as like decorating your home and it works well for both B2B and B2C.

Once you’ve worked out where your ideal customer is, my advice is to just choose one or two of those platforms to concentrate on and start to connect. Managing your time well is important in getting the best out of social media marketing.

BREAKING NEWS

Facebook Pages are changing (again!). Facebook Pages are for businesses and Facebook is committed to improving their functionality. Last week they rolled out a streamlined look with an updated Page timeline design, easier access to key admin tools and a new ‘Pages to Watch’ feature. ‘Pages to Watch’ allows Page Administrators to create a list of Pages similar to their own and compare the performance of their Page with that of the businesses they compete with or are interested in.