Social media has become a seemingly unstoppable force in the last several years. From our personal lives to our professional careers, marketing strategy and day-to-day business operations, sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter now play a huge role in most corners of our lives.
The influence of social media in the business world is constantly growing, even among smaller organizations. In fact, 92 percent of small businesses say social media is an effective marketing technology tool, according to a 2013 survey by e-Strategy Trends. Consumers have come to expect businesses of all types to have a social media presence. As a fire alarm dealer, now is the ideal time to leverage the power of social to reach your customers like never before.
However, don’t feel you need to dive into the world of social media. Try dipping your toe into the water first. There are hundreds of social media sites out there – some more popular and more fitting for business than others. We’re going to take a look at three of the top sites often used for small business: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Whether you’re familiar with these sites or not, we’ll slowly wade into this subject, starting with an overview of each. In future posts, we’ll slowly uncover how you can utilize Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the benefit of your business.
According to Mashable, 67 percent of adults online use Facebook, proving that social media isn’t just for kids. And it’s not just individuals who have Facebook pages; companies are also a major part of the site. Any company, large or small, can create a Facebook page, which includes company information, contact details, photos, and more. Customers and prospects can find your company on Facebook, and anyone who “likes” your page will receive status updates from you in their news feed. This site is more open to businesses sharing both professional and fun, personal information, with the goal of creating a closer bond with customers. We’ll explore more on Facebook in future posts.
This site is all about career networking and industry news. Businesses can create a company page on LinkedIn, which usually contains general information, press releases and sometimes even job opportunities. You can check out Fire-Lite’s LinkedIn company page as an example. Other LinkedIn members can “follow” your business, which means they’ll see any updates posted by your company on their homepage’s news feed. With more than 200 million members, LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people within your industry—engineers, end users and potential employees.
Twitter is a website where members (including individuals and companies) share information in posts of 140 characters or less, called “tweets.” Any company can create a Twitter profile to publish news items, industry trends, interesting factoids, brief observations and more. For example, you can follow us on Twitter @FireLiteAlarms. Other users can “follow” your company to read your tweets and can even “retweet” a tweet to share it with their own followers. In this way, tweets can move quickly through Twitter, reaching incredible numbers of people.
Over time, you can grow your social media audience by advertising your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn presence on your website and business cards. Encourage your existing customers to follow you on each site to help get the word out. Before long, you’ll add followers and start seeing the benefits that these sites hold for your business.
About the Author:
Beth Welch is the Manager of Public Relations for Honeywell Fire Systems. For a decade, she has strived to raise awareness of new technologies, industry trends and information, for the benefit of engineers, integrators and end users.