What is Social media?
Social media is a great way to communicate with your existing client base as well as to attract new customers. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Youtube are websites that allow you to interact with others and create and share content through online communities.
Social media platforms present great marketing opportunities for businesses of all sizes and industries.
Advantages of using social media
Social media allows you to leverage your company in a completely new way to more traditional marketing channels. Accessible to millions of people around the world, it is far reaching and accessible virtually everywhere. This makes it an ideal means to enhance brand and company awareness and grow your customer base by reaching new and untapped prospects. The growing number of social media platforms available makes it is easy to target specific groups in a way that is relevant to them and your brand.
Social media is also unique in that it facilitates an instantaneous two-way dialogue between you and your customers. Less formal in nature than other marketing mediums, it provides the perfect space for customers to interact with your company and is an invaluable source of market information about your customers; from demographics to the way your company and brand are perceived.
Finally, social media can benefit your overall web presence. By linking your social media pages to your website, you can increase traffic back to your site which, in turn, can improve your Search Engine rankings.
All this, and social media is extremely affordable with most forms of social media available for free or at a relatively low cost. Social media advertising is also generally inexpensive.
Well known social media platforms
Each respective social media platform has its own benefits depending on the audience you wish to target and the way you would like to speak to them. Well-known social media platforms to familiarise yourself with include:
- Facebook – Perhaps the most popular of social media platforms, Facebook is a social networking site that allows you to build relationships and have conversations with your customers through posts, photos, videos and shared third-party links and content.
- Twitter – A micro-blogging site on which you can communicate bite-sized pieces of information to your customers via a series of short messages, or ‘tweets’.
- LinkedIn – A large social network that connects business professionals, LinkedIn allows you to connect with other professionals, companies, updates and insights. The great benefit of LinkedIn for companies lies in the ability to target market groups based on highly specific criteria including job title, company, company size and geographic location, making it perfect for B2B marketing.
- YouTube – a video-sharing site that allows you to post and watch videos.
- Blogs – Designed to educate and spark interest and discussion across any given topic, blogs are much like an ‘online diary’ with a series of posts or entries and are a great means of relaying specific and targeted information to an audience in a personalised manner.
Learn the terminology
“… Like… Share… Follow… it’s all too confusing!”
Like – this is specific to Facebook. There are two different variants of “Like”. A user can either “Like” your company’s Facebook page, which will add them to your followers and add your Facebook updates/posts to their wall. More commonly, a “Like” button can also function as a means to show support for any specific content you post. After a user likes something, their news feed is updated, essentially sharing this content with their friends, although it won’t show up on their timeline. With the official Facebook “Like Button” code the user can see a total number of people who like your Facebook page on your website.
Share – this feature allows the user to share the URL/page or the posted content of interest to their social media page/wall for their followers/friends to view. Buttons include “Share” (LinkedIn and Facebook)”, “Retweet” (Twitter)” and more. You can install a counter on your site so you can see how many people have clicked the button.
Follow – a follow button can be a basic icon/button/image linking directly to your social media page with no need for any scripts to be added. Like “Share” buttons, you can also obtain “Follow” buttons which are still just a basic link to your social media page.
Using social media along side your Web Manager website
Web Manager can be used in conjunction with social media for a powerful online presence. Whether you have a business page of your own on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social networks, or you just want social media users to share your site and info on their social network pages.
Link to your social media pages from your website
This is as simple as locating icons. If you do a search for “social media icons” you will find many results of free to download icons which you can easily upload to your Image Manager, insert into a content page/area in Web Manager and link them to your social media URL.
Note: Make sure you are logged out of your social media before copying the URL to get the correct URL
You can also right-click any of the icons below and click Save as picture…
Insert social media buttons/feeds on your website
You can insert individual “Like/Share/Follow” buttons/feeds on your website for users to follow your social media page. The most common social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, have their own separate developer websites that supply the user with a code with which to create buttons, buttons with counters or feeds that link up to your social media pages. Once you have the code for your required button and/or feed, pass it through to us to add into your website (in some cases charges may apply, depending where you require the button/feed to display).
The most commonly used examples:
Facebook – Like Button, Follow Button, Like Box Feed
LinkedIn – Share/Follow Buttons
Twitter – is slightly different, you can generate the buttons & feed code when logged into your Twitter account under Settings > Widgets.
Insert a share button on your website
You can share buttons on your website for users to like or share your website with their friends. Rather than going to each of the social media developer websites and supplying us with several different scripts for all the share buttons, there are websites that have the ability to add several social media share buttons in one script. Some of these are customisable, so you can add the social media sites you think your target audience will have accounts with and remove any others. One we recommend is AddThis. AddThis can create “Share” & “Follow” button sets and allows you to customise what icons or buttons you want to display. It also lets you display them in several different formats from small/large icons, buttons and buttons with counters.
There are other sites available which do similar things, for example, ShareThis. However, we recommend and use AddThis as it can be incorporated into your Google account and tie in with Analytics to record/display data. You can just supply us the code without logging in by clicking the “Don’t want analytics?” link.