Why You Still Need Facebook for Your Social Media Plan

Five years ago, you could go up to any twenty year old on the street and ask them what their favorite social media website was and the answer would be Facebook or Twitter. Now there are so many options for social media that the answer could also be Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, and more. This is part of what has caused social media marketing to evolve into the monster it is today, and why many businesses mistakenly believe they should be on all of them.

Via Flickr by Chris Heiler

Via Flickr by Chris Heiler

I feel that social media marketing is currently in a transition limbo. Now is the time where platforms need to be actively making changes that excite and engage users to keep them there. Facebook users themselves aren’t going anywhere. Facebook was an innovator of social media and that place is still respected. Even though there is no shortage of users, businesses are starting to shy away from Facebook and focusing on other platforms.

Many changes can be attributed to this shift. For one, Facebook recently changed their algorithms so content from business pages is hidden from user’s feeds if they do not already actively engage with the brand. This takes a lot more effort and convincing on the business’ part to get their customers to go to their page and like posts. Even when you pay for advertising and get many likes on your page, it is hard to get those people to stay active on your business page.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

However, just because something is hard doesn’t mean you should quit! Many bloggers are debating the value of Facebook for businesses and convincing them to leave that platform. But I don’t understand the logic in eliminating a huge platform that reaches more REAL people than any other platform. It is true that certain companies do not do well on Facebook, such as B2B businesses. I can understand those companies focusing their social media time in other places. But for the majority of B2C businesses, Facebook is invaluable.

  • On Twitter, you have to scream to get noticed in the slew of the news feed since everyone has hundreds of followers who are Tweeting three times a minute.
  • Instagram is valuable, but not large enough to sustain an entire social media plan.
  • Pinterest is wondrous, possibly the new Facebook for B2C businesses, but currently the majority of the audience only works for certain businesses.
  • Google+ has the potential to be the new Facebook, but we are still a long way off from seeing that.
  • LinkedIn is strictly B2B and is not going to change any time soon. Even with LinkedIn being B2B, it takes more work than Facebook to successfully market on that platform.

These other avenues are extremely valuable to a social media marketing plan, but cannot sustain it. Like it or not, Facebook still needs to be a building block in your marketing. It does take a little more time and effort these days, but it is absolutely possible to make Facebook worth your marketing time. You can look at my numerous other posts for ideas on leveraging Facebook to your advantage and get a better ROI.

What is your opinion on Facebook’s value? Leave a comment or reply to me on Twitter @HS_Writing! To seen an opposing argument against Facebook, check out this post on Social Media Today.

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10 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage

LinkedIn is the ultimate social networking for business. There are many features and tools on LinkedIn that can help you network and extend your business’ outreach. Many businesses and employees, however, are not using this social network platform to their full advantage. There are a ten easy things you can do to make LinkedIn more beneficial to your business.

Via Flickr by koka_sexton

  1. Join groups
    You can add and organize the people you connect with into groups, making it easier to share content that these groups of people would like. For example, if you publish or post content about marketing, you can post the content for these groups to view. This increases the reach your content, and business, can have.
  2. Become a specialist
    Only allow three to four endorsements on your profile in order to make yourself a specialist in certain fields. Choose endorsements that are completely relevant to what you do. Too many endorsements can damage your brand and profile. 
  3. Build credibility
    Recommendations are extremely important to establish your credibility. The internet makes people used to looking up reviews of products before they buy them. This is the same when they look up your business or profile on LinkedIn. 15 to 20 recommendations are a good start to build credibility. Look at your competitors and make sure you have more recommendations than they do. 
  4. Connect for the right reasons
    Using LinkedIn is like being in a virtual conference with people all around the world. This means you need to build valuable connections, not just connections to make your count higher. Every connection needs to correspond to your business or marketing goals. Having tons of followers will not help grow your business or profit. To get authentic followers, start with visiting your past jobs and connect with everyone you enjoyed working with. These people can also give you recommendations.

    Via Flickr by TheSeafarer

  5. Categorize the connections
    Connections can be categorized by topic in a process known as tagging. This helps make your communication with connections as targeted, personal, and specific as possible. When they are segmented by topic, it makes it easier to communicate with contacts.
  6. Add value to relationships
    You need to build a rapport with connections on LinkedIn, either past or present. This is part of why it is not a good idea to have a ton of impersonal connections. Consider what is in it for the connection to listen to you in order to start building a valuable relationship. 
  7. Be professional
    All aspects of your profile need to be professional. Your name on LinkedIn needs to be your actual business name and not a selling gimmick. Your profile photo also needs to be professional, not something you took on your beach trip. Adding a profile picture makes your profile seven times as likely to be viewed. The headline needs to encourage people to find out more about you. There are only 110 characters, so be interesting and concise. You should also customize your profile’s URL to make it easier to find.

    Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

    Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

     

     

  8. Be active on the website
    Update your status on a regular basis and share thoughtful or insightful news that pertains to your industry. Interact with groups and your connections multiple times a week in order to appear authentic and build long-lasting relationships. Also, make sure your profile is up to date constantly. 
  9. Add visual content to your profile
    Put many examples of your work on your profile to showcase your talent. Add things like test scores, courses, patents, certifications, and volunteering or causes you support. Volunteer work is great on your profile, since 42 percent of hiring managers say they view volunteer work the same as paid work. Make sure to include visual content, such as videos, presentations, and documents. 
  10. Make contact easy
    Make sure it is easy for people to contact you on LinkedIn. Put your email address and links to all social media accounts on your profile. Each person who views your profile will have their preferred method of contact, so provide a lot of options. 
Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

What are some LinkedIn strategies that work well for you? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @HS_Writing!