LinkedIn is a social networking site which is specifically designed for a professional community.
The main difference between a personal account on LinkedIn and a company page is similar to the set-up on Facebook. A company page on LinkedIn is created by an existing user who claims to work for the company. A personal account on LinkedIn allows individuals to connect with others in their professional network. While a company page allows businesses to promote its products and services, advertise and connect with employees and contacts.
• To begin visit the LinkedIn website (http://www.linkedin.com/)
• Create an account by completing the ‘Join now’ directions.
• Once an individual has created an account they can then create a page for a company or business.
• Staff and customers can then interact with the company page and view posts made by the company.
• It is likely that users will interact with the company for networking
Once an account is created both the user and the company can make connections and interact with professionals in their network.
Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging site designed for individuals and professionals alike.
The basic Twitter account that is available for personal use can also be used by companies. However, the nature of the Tweets composed by a company Twitter account should differ greatly to the nature of Tweets from a personal account.
There is an option for businesses to pay a fee for promotion on Twitter and for a business Twitter account to be suggested to followers.
• To begin visit the Twitter website (http://www.twitter.com/)
• ‘Sign up’ for an account and simply enter your company name as the ‘full name’.
• In the suggestions of people to follow section enter the nature of your business, for example “finance” or “retail” and so on.
• The ‘settings’ tab will allow you to add more information about your company.
You are then able to begin Tweeting to your followers and following people of interest. This will allow you to see what others are Tweeting, reply to them and to inform your followers of the latest company news and deals.
Facebook is a social networking site which is equally suitable for both businesses and individuals.
The difference between a business account and a personal account on Facebook is that business accounts are aimed at individuals who want to use the site as an administrator and run advertising campaigns. Business accounts do not operate the same as personal accounts. A business account’s administrator does not have access to all information available on Facebook. They can only see comments, events or ads that are on the business page or are created by the business, they will not be found in search and they cannot send or receive friend requests.
For a fee, businesses can set up Facebook pages which include advertising and promotion across Facebook.
• To begin simply visit the Facebook website (http://www.facebook.com/)
• At the bottom of the page, under the sign up section for personal accounts, click on the link titled ‘create a page for a business’.
• Creating a Facebook business account involves two stages. Firstly, the business has to create a ‘Facebook ad’. Secondly, the business has to create a ‘Facebook page’.
• The business can then proceed to ‘sign in’ to Facebook.
You are then able to begin interacting on Facebook by adding comments, photos and information to your business page.
It can be difficult to know what should be posted to company social media sites. It is important to keep followers and customers interested while informing them of your products and services.
The main reason for creating a social media account for a business is to inform others of what the business does. This is exactly what you should do on these sites: INFORM.
Post information on the latest offers, new products, business news and what is going on in the company.
Boasting about company achievements or adapting a ‘we are the best’ approach is an extremely bad idea. This will come across as arrogant and singing your own praises is not a good approach to take when trying to attract potential customers or suppliers or when trying to maintain current ones.
Posting about topical issues and current disputes or breakthroughs in your field of expertise is an excellent way to keep contacts interested in what your company has to say. However, while it is advised to address topical issues it is important to avoid portraying strong views on these issues. Any views expressed can be perceived in the wrong way by viewers. Once something is posted it is too late to take it back. It is best to discuss the facts and inform followers on what is happening rather than be seen to be taking sides on an issue.
The nature of the site that a post is being made to should be considered when deciding what topics to address. An excellent example of this would be that LinkedIn is a professional site, with business associates and potential clients. Posts made to a professional network like LinkedIn should differ to posts being made to a more informal site like Facebook or Twitter.
The main point to consider here is to post relevant and interesting material on social media sites and not to post material for the sake of it. Fans and followers will lose interest and once they are lost the chances are they will not interact with your company again!