Which Social Media Sites Should I be on?

In the age of social media, more and more social networking sites are popping up each day, and businesses have the daunting task of choosing which websites to establish a presence on.  However, signing up for every social media site is a big mistake that many companies are making – no matter how many social media specialists you have, there’s no way that every site can be constantly updated and monitored.  So how does your business choose?

You need a plan when approaching social media – don’t just dive into social media.  Social media doesn’t have to be a time or money zapper, but your business does need preparation.  Your social media sites should be thoroughly personalized, and customers should be able to see that there’s a face behind the brand name.  Your brand pages have to be updated constantly (whether manually or with a media management platform), and social media also takes training.  There is some time that has to be invested into making sure everyone who’s on the social media team is aligned with the company’s social media goals, so which networking site to get involved in takes some serious consideration.

Ask yourself what that certain platform will do for your brand.  Are you a B2C looking for ways to reach out to potential and current customers?  Are you a B2B looking to network with other business professionals?  Your social media platform has to reach your target audience effectively, so you can keep up with current industry news and what customers are asking for in real time.

We’ll leave you with this very insightful infographic from Mashable from the company CMO – it’s a very clear explanation of what the major social networks are good for, and also what qualities they lack.

[Photo courtesy of Flickr: Chris Lott]

Nonprofit Organizations and Social Media

Nonprofit organizations can benefit tremendously from social media.  It's a simple way for you to to gather followers and friends who have the same goal and mission.  Here are our steps to create a social media campaign for your company:

  • Know your audience - Interact with the group of people with your common vision.  Find out who shows an interest in your cause by using a social media management platform's listening tool and find out who's using keywords that pertain to your nonprofit or mission.  Introduce yourself (always make a good first impression) and show them that you have a common goal - your target audience can help spread the word about the cause and create buzz in their own networks of friends and acquaintances.
  • Make your mission statement clear - This is a MUST for all nonprofits!  No one will donate or volunteer for a cause they don't have that much information about.  We've all heard about donation schemes that turn out to be scams - you're not one of them!  Make sure your cause and mission statement are searchable and present in all of your organization's pages.
  • Show some action - To prove that your nonprofit isn't a scam, post media and articles about how you're changing your world.  Post videos volunteers, success stories, pictures of benefactors - potential volunteers want to see what the job consists of and who they'll be helping, and media can help emotionally engage people to get involved.  It can also help people relate to the problem and actually uncover a problem that needs to be solved in their community and in the world.
  • Thank your sponsors - "Please" and "Thank-you" are the magic words - I can't remember how many times I was told this when growing up.  A small thank you can make someone feel very special.  Thank your sponsors, volunteers, donators publicly - it's a simple way to say you're appreciative, and a simple way to put a smile on someone's face.
  • Make information accessible - If people want to find out more about the company, or how they can lend a hand, give them the information.  Volunteers are already devoting time to helping out - don't make them spend more time looking for all the logistics.  Make information easy to find on your company's website and fan pages.  Also, make it easy to donate to the cause - many nonprofits have already enlisted the text to give mobile option, and some have even included a donation button on their sites.

I personally believe there are so many great nonprofit organizations out there that need more social media coverage to shed some light on a great cause.  Everyone has the opportunity to change their communities, cities, and even the world.  Social media gives nonprofits the opportunity of connecting volunteers with a cause.

[Photo Courtesy of Office Clipart]

What Does Social Media mean to a Budding Entrepreneur?

Remember our interview with one of Social Defender’s interns?  As we sent this summer intern back to school, she told us about her experience with social media from a business perspective.  Well, we thought it was very insightful and representative of what many companies who embark on the social media adventure believe.  Here are her words of wisdom:

“Social media is like an uninhabited, mysterious island – like the ones you always watch in movies and tv shows.  There’s something about it that’s so alluring and intriguing, yet there’s always danger.  This danger is always there, but once you have the skills and knowledge, it isn’t as threatening as it seems.  The beauty of a mysterious island always outweighs the dangers.  Social media is just like that – it can be so helpful and contribute greatly to a company’s success, yet sometimes social media slips can endanger a company’s reputation.  However, that should not prevent companies from enlisting social media as part of their customer relations efforts.  As I’ve worked with Social Defender, I have become more aware of just how much impact social media gives for a company, and this knowledge is crucial for many new entrepreneurs that are my age.  Social media is very promising, and learning how to manage it will be a key to success for any company.”