Beginner’s Guide to Social Media

word of mouth image, an analogy to social media networking
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Which Social Media is best for you, and how do you maximise its potential?

Why do we need Social Media?
The population is growing and there are more and more businesses looking for opportunities to be more visible.  We humans are very resourceful, and there has been a massive change in recent years in how people use the internet.  In some ways the use of Social Media is going back to the great days when you would only use a company that had been recommended to you.  It used to be called ‘word of mouth’.

Trust in the Word-of-Mouth
In the 80s and 90s we seemed to allow trends and advertising dictate our buying habits, but now we rely more and more on Social Media to let us know about a great service or product.

Asking the same Questions
We all now know the relevance of Social Media, and it has now been generally accepted as part of our marketing strategy.  Most companies are now beginning to embrace the new platforms within the Social Media group, and we are being asked a lot of the same questions.

Beginner’s Guide
So, I have decided to put together a beginner’s guide to the top Social Media platforms.  If you are already a Social Media expert there may be a few tools and ideas for you to take away, and for the beginners, I will try to unravel some of the mystery for you.

Making a Choice
We often talk about Social Media as a general term and assume that everyone understands how it all works and how to get the most out of it, and when some people first hear about Social Media they think they have to make a choice of which one to use, and don’t fully understand the different potentials of using the others.

Knowing What is Right for You
Something we have seen a lot is companies using one Social Media network because they feel comfortable with it, but not being successful with it because it is the wrong platform for their message.  The first question is ‘should you be on [Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn]?  It is easy to think that everyone else is, so I should be.  Sometimes the most intelligent decision is what not to do, rather than what to do.

The Top 3 Social Media Networks, Plus one
The 3 main Social Networks we are going to talk about are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  There are others that could be useful to you, but I have chosen these 3 because they are the most used and in my opinion are the best in a business environment.  I want to add Google+ (plus) as well, so we’ll see what time we have at the end.

Social Strategy
You need to have a Social Media strategy as part of your whole Marketing Strategy – that is a given.  This is not a post about why you should be using Social Media Networks.  That is another post which is too important to group together with this one.  What we are going to do here is discuss what the top 3 or 4 platforms do, and the best way to use them.

So, look out for the next 3 or 4 posts and see if we can unravel the mystery of Social Media.
Tell me what your experience of Social Media has been like, or ask a question.  I would love to hear from you.