4 Benefits of Using Hashtags

All over the Internet, people use hashtags to find information and hold conversations. They are even used as language in face-to-face conversations! They have so many uses to help readers find your content and spread your brand name.

Take the #HipmunkCityLove hashtag as an example. Hipmunk, a travel-booking and review site, uses hashtags to spread the love about various cities, including Cancun in the city reviews I wrote for them. Not only does the hashtag spread the word about Hipmunk, but it also allows travelers to share insider information about cities and learn about places they want to visit. To get in on the hashtag game, learn about these four benefits.

Spreading Brand Name

Image via Flickr by melenita2012

Image via Flickr by melenita2012

Like word-of-mouth marketing, social media gives you an amazing opportunity to spread your brand  further than you normally can. Hashtags that catch the eye are a great way to do this. Branded hashtags have immediate business recognition, but are not shared as widely unless the marketing message behind it is really engaging.

If you use a hashtag that supports a conversation related to your business without your name in it, you have a better chance of spreading it. Without a direct reference to your brand, however, people may not associate your business with it. If you start an active conversational strategy where you are commenting and sharing every positive use of the hashtag, people will more easily associate your brand with the hashtag.

Starting a Conversation

Via Flickr by mikecogh

Via Flickr by mikecogh

When you create a hashtag, you are starting a specific conversation about a topic related to your business or industry. People love chatting on social and sharing media in relation to hashtags. If the conversation you are trying to start is interesting enough, people will happily join in.

A precaution: make the hashtag specific so people cannot make any negative commentary. The label #McDStories is an example of a hijacked hashtag. McDonald’s wanted people to share their awesome experiences at McDonald’s. Instead, the audiences used the hashtag as permission to complain about their bad experiences.

Convert Customers and Increase Sales

Via Flickr by mikecogh

Via Flickr by mikecogh

If you have a product you sell, you can create a hashtag around it. This works great if it is a new, anxiously anticipated item, or a very popular product. Encourage people to take photos of themselves using the product and share the images with the hashtag. To incite more interest, offer a prize or reward for the best picture or most creative use of your product. This media sharing will greatly improve your brand reach, converting new customers who want to try your product, and increasing sales.

Positive Customer Service

Via Flickr by cogdogblog

Via Flickr by cogdogblog

When you start and participate in the hashtag conversation, it acts as customer service. People who enjoy your conversation will remember your contributions, creating positive feelings about your brand. This positivity will stick, giving your audience great customer service before they even buy!

The benefits of using hashtags are enormous. Not participating actually puts your business at a disadvantage. Even if you simply join hashtag conversations without creating your own, you need to get in the conversation.

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Using Social Media to Find Freelance Writing Opportunities

You can read hundreds of articles online listing the latest and greatest websites to find freelance writing opportunities. These can be a great client resource pool, but often you will find clients expecting to pay less and expect more. Using social media to find freelance writing opportunities is a great alternative to these sites.

For example, I maintain an up-to-date LinkedIn profile and a Twitter account with over 350 followers, as well as this blog! One example of a client that I have now is Hipmunk. Thanks to my social media presence and passion for travel, I have been writing for their #HipmunkCityLove campaign for a few months, and love every post! To find great opportunities like Hipmunk, here are few social media tactics you need to start using.

Use the Same Professional Headshot

headshot1

You want your headshot to be the same on all your social profiles. This is a branding move so you are instantly recognizable. Don’t use any old photo from a family gathering or a night out. Invest in a professional photographer to take a decent headshot.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

Via Flickr clasesdeperiodismo

Via Flickr clasesdeperiodismo

Proudly proclaim you are a freelance writer in your title, and summarize your experience and how long you have been a writer in your summary. I recommend putting your contact information and all of your social profiles in the summary section as well.

Complete your work history, but make it more freelance-geared. If you had a past job that influences your freelance career, feel free to put it in. However, I want you to focus on freelancing clients, provided you have not signed a non-disclosure agreement. List the major clients you have worked for and what exactly you did for them. A huge client list on LinkedIn is impre

Get Active on Twitter

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

LinkedIn is known as the job recruiting social platform, but I have found some of my biggest clients from Twitter. Other clients have been so impressed with my presence on Twitter that they have hired me from it! The key is to be active. Post at least two times a day. Half of your Tweets should be your thoughts or opinions on the freelance industry or a subject you commonly write about. The other half should be a combination of talking to industry professionals and fellow freelance writers, as well as sharing your content. More on that later.

Write to Self-Promote

Via Flickr by danpeerflix

Via Flickr by danpeerflix

Start writing blogs and LinkedIn Pulse articles about the freelance industry, business advice based on your experience, tips for focusing when working from home, work-life balance, or whatever else pertains to the life of a freelancer. Even though you are not getting paid to write these articles, they showcase your knowledge and who you are. Often, you will receive clients based on your posts!

Share Your Publications

Via Flickr Book Work Laser & Design

Via Flickr Book Work Laser & Design

Not only should you share any blogs or LinkedIn Pulse articles you write, but you should also share every publication with your name in the byline. Showing that clients have hired you to write for them is a big recommendation for your services.

Once you know how to master social media, you can get away from those low-paying freelance sites and start finding better clients.

Should You Choose Facebook or Twitter for the Start of Your Social Presence?

When a business decides it’s time to keep up and get their brand on social, it is extremely overwhelming. There are many social network options, but most new-to-social businesses settle on Facebook or Twitter as their first online marketing platform.

Via Flickr by Jason Howie

Via Flickr by Jason Howie

Why is this? Well, Facebook and Twitter are warring clans for the dominion of social media. While Facebook is the innovator that amped social media into what it is today, Twitter was ahead of the curve in creating a new form of social networking. Since their rise to popularity, Twitter and Facebook have been borrowing site layouts, keywords, hashtags, content formatting, and algorithms from each other. Much like the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple, Facebook and Twitter are in a casual war.

So, when businesses are new to social, they gravitate towards one of the two giants. They have a tried and tested layout that attracts users from every demographic. No matter what your business is, you can find your audience in the folds of one of these platforms.

But which one do you choose? If you only have enough time or room in your budget for one, you have to look at who your target audience is.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

For larger businesses that have a target audience that spans across the country, Twitter is your best bet. The audience of Twitter is vast and the platform makes it easy for your audience to interact with your brand. As long as you understand how to craft your messages, use hashtags, create a conversation, and how often to post, Twitter is going to be your best platform.

Via Flickr by Ricky-Lai

Via Flickr by Ricky-Lai

For the smaller or localized businesses, head to Facebook. The users want to interact on a more personal level with Facebook. They want to have conversations with their brand and stay up-to-date on what is going on. Local businesses thrive on Facebook because the people want to support their city and create relationships with owners. They also love bragging about that awesome boutique on Main Street or the greatest tacos ever at the 3rd Street Mexican restaurant. You are likely to get high interaction and more referrals on Facebook.

However, I highly recommend you get on both. My starting price for my social media services cover both Facebook and Twitter posts. This is because I believe businesses need to be on both and it does not take up a great deal of extra time to create different messaging for each platform. Your audience is not restricted to one platform. There will be some of your audience on Facebook but not on Twitter and vice versa. To stretch your reach as far as possible, starting on both Facebook and Twitter will give you excellent leverage.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

How to Choose the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business

So you realize that you need to be social. But where do you start?

It can be overwhelming. There are numerous platforms and every social media advice website will tell you something different. Here is what it comes down to – you need to evaluate your brand message and your marketing goals and find platforms that match the “persona” of your business.

“But how do I know which platforms match my business?” Luckily, I am here as a social media expert to break it down the main platforms for you.

Via Flickr by marcopako

Via Flickr by marcopako

Facebook. Many say Facebook marketing is as dead as paper marketing, which, if you follow my posts, you know is not the case. It is good to have some Facebook presence no matter what your business is (however retail, restaurants, and local businesses do the best). It’s a numbers game – there are over 1.2 billion active users as of January 2014. You can’t ignore that big of platform. Granted, Facebook’s algorithms make it hard for your messages to reach that platform, but if you do a little bit of research you can greatly use organic reach Facebook to your advantage.

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Via Flickr by mkhmarketing

Twitter. With the right hashtags, you can do anything on Twitter. Yet the best businesses on Twitter are the opposite of the best businesses on Facebook. This is because retail, restaurants, and local businesses have a dedicated customer base while other businesses have more casual relationships with the audience. This is where Twitter comes in. Twitter allows you to connect with other businesses, prospective customers, and industry enthusiasts who will promote you for free – as long as you use the right hashtags. I insist the majority of my clients get both a Twitter and Facebook. They are the two powerhouse platforms you can’t ignore.

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

Via Flickr by Link Humans UK

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is THE platform for B2B marketing. Yet LinkedIn can be tricky. You need to have one employee be the “face” of the company, meaning they create, manage, discuss, and make connections on the company’s behalf. It can be tricky to outsource your LinkedIn marketing. Usually it is best to do in house after researching the best way to use LinkedIn as a connector tool, not as a spam marketing robot.

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Via Flickr Zack D. Smith

Google+. I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with Google+. There is a lot to be desired and I don’t see its use as a social media platform – outside of its affiliation with Google. With Google’s search engine rules, having a Google+ page is practically a must. With a Google+ page, you get higher search engine rankings and more credibility in Google’s (AKA – Internet God’s) eyes. If you rely on high search engine rankings for your business, get a Google+ page.

Via Flickr marioanima

Via Flickr marioanima

YouTube. YouTube is more of a supplemental platform for your marketing plan. Only certain brands are good for YouTube. If you have the opportunity to make instructional videos, product reviews/highlights, or “commercials” online with your product or service, then YouTube is a great platform for you. Just make sure your videos are professional and high quality!

alicegop

Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform if your business is highly visual. If you have high quality product photos or offer services that are eye-catching, get your boards started! The pinning platform is best for craft, home decor, home improvement, wedding, food-related, and retail businesses.

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Via Flickr Play Among Friends

Instagram. Like Pinterest, Instagram is great for highly visual businesses. The difference in Instagram – you need to be very interactive as well. On Pinterest, you can get away with throwing up content without a whole lot of interaction. On Instagram, you have to be involved. You have to know the best filters, know the hashtags, and know your audience as well as constantly communicating with your audience.

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Via Flickr by manoftaste.de

Blog. Bottom line – blogs are important for pretty much every business. Blogs are your opportunity to showcase your knowledge about your industry. The golden rule is to never write an entire blog post as self-promotion. You should always blog to give away “free samples” of information to your audience so they want more.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

Why You Still Need Paper Marketing in a Digital World

Last week, I sent maybe 200 emails for a client, marketing his service to different localities across the US. Many replied back, interested in the service. One asked if I could send them a brochure or flyer they could put out on a display table for a local event to garner more interest for the service.

I was very excited about this offer and immediately emailed the good news to my client. He replied back, upset at the fact anyone would want paper marketing in a digital world. After saying everything is digital these days and paper marketing is archaic, he told me to email the local group back and say we could send some of the client’s business cards for her to put out.

Image via Flickr by Antonio Bonanno

Image via Flickr by Antonio Bonanno

I understand my client’s frustration. Hiring someone, like myself, to create a brochure or flyer can be pricey for startups on a tight budget. Especially when everyone has grown accustomed to being able to view the success of their digital marketing efforts with analytical software. It is difficult to see the benefit in paper marketing when there is no instant way to track the results and success of it without directly asking the consumer how they heard of the company.

Yet paper marketing is still completely relevant. Digital and social can do some truly amazing things for businesses that had a harder time of it in the past. The same reason businesses use social are the same reasons you should keep paper marketing. One of the reasons for social is because a large segment of their audience use social media to communicate and stay loyal to a business. There is still a group of every audience who prefer traditional paper.

Image via Pixabay by kruziwuten

Image via Pixabay by kruziwuten

This is part of why I was astounded at my client’s refusal to supply a paper marketing avenue – his audience directly asked for it. Whenever your audience asks for more information on your product or service, no matter what form it is, you should deliver. The audience will be pleased at the prompt fulfillment of their need and the investment can be used for future marketing opportunities.

The end point – there should always be a corner of your budget reserved for paper marketing. Even if you have no plans to launch a campaign via paper, you want some money reserved in case the need arises. Especially if you plan to go to events. You will need business cards, brochures, flyers, and even a sign for your booth. Your business should always be prepared for all marketing avenues. Which one you invest the majority of your time and resources in depends on your business. However, you should always keep a toe in every marketing platform available.

Originally posted on LinkedIn

5 Awesome Brands on Pinterest You Can Learn From

Pinterest has been on a popular roller coaster since 2011. The photo-centric, unique layout, and quality content that Pinterest is known for has captured the hearts of over 10 million registered users. Depending on the month, Pinterest draws in more referral traffic to retailers than LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube combined. Pinterest is a platform that cannot be ignored by brands, but you may have trouble figuring out where to get started on Pinterst from a marketing standpoint.

There are over 100 big name brands on Pinterest who are using the platform successfully, including Pillsbury, HGTV, Gap, Blockbuster, Unicef, People, Toms, Threadless, Zales, Whole Foods, Sesame Street, CBS, Zales, and more. However, there are five brands  that I consider completely expert in their Pinterest marketing strategy.

Etsy

Image Credit: Hootsuite

Etsy is my absolute favorite brand on Pinterest. There are so many things I have ordered from Etsy because I saw it on Pinterest. The best part is that individual sellers on Etsy can add products from their store on their own accounts and use the brand name of Etsy to get further traction to grow their business. Here is what makes Etsy stand out on Pinterest

  • Hundreds of Pinterest users who are individual sellers spreading and promoting the brand.
  • Those same sellers creating amazing products that are beautiful.
  • Over 90 boards categorized specifically with lots of color and high quality images.
  • A huge variety of topics so that everyone can find something they love.
  • Boards, like “Cool Spaces”, which encourage followers to get inspired by Etsy and make changes in their own lives.

Nordstrom

Image Credit: Hootsuite

Nordstrom is a power retail brand and their content on Pinterest definitely reflects that. What makes Nordstrom special is the complete understanding of their followers on the platform. They don’t just advertise their products – they inspire and give easy solutions to their followers. Other things that make Nordstrom standout on Pinterest include:

  • Over 60 boards full of designer products, DIY, fashion, decor, wedding inspiration, and more.
  • Specialized boards for special times of the year, like their Christmas board titled “Stocking Stuffers.”
  • Company personalization with a board titled, “Our Favorite Things.”

Everyday Health

Image Credit: Hootsuite

Pinterest is full of users who are looking for easy and inventive ways to improve their lives, whether it’s in their home with life hacks or with their body with detox and health recipes and easy 15 minute cardio workouts. Everyday Health understands that users seek  personal improvement and center their content around that. Their goal is to motivate, inspire, give valuable free information, and make improvement simple. Here is what makes them special on Pinterest:

  • Guest  boards with expert doctors and nutritionists pinning content and giving free advice to users.
  • Weight loss success stories based on their easy health solutions.
  • Boards with inspirational quotes and sayings.
  • Content that provides followers easy workouts and healthy recipes to get them started on their self-improvement.

Lowe’s

Image Credit: Hootsuite

Lowe’s has jumped on the Pinterest DIY trend and has become wildly successful with this strategy. As a home improvement store, they advertise how their products are affordable and easy to get that dream DIY project started. The Lowe’s Pinterest success comes from:

  • 55 boards with home improvement tips, amazing home design inspiration (like the ultimate man cave), color palettes, and more.
  • Step-by-step instructions for DIY projects with pricing for the products you will need, making budgeting DIY easy for users.
  • A board called “Build It” that has ZERO self-promotion. Instead, Lowe’s pins amazing bloggers’ DIY projects they love.

L.L. Bean

Image Credit: Hootsuite

I always consider L.L. Bean a large boutique store and their Pinterest page reflects that. L.L. Bean is the brand with the most followers on Pinterest and I think it’s because their content reflects a country store feel. They have everything the average Pinterest user will need with a homegrown feel. L.L. Bean’s Pinterest is unique because:

  • A mere 29 boards that doesn’t overwhelm users, but allow them to find everything they need.
  • Subjects that appeal to many different kinds of followers, including wedding themes, outdoor activities, and fashion.
  • Boards that solve common problems female users have, such as what to buy guys for Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries.
  • Joining the internet popularity of cute animals with their board titled “Woodland Creatures.”

To end this post, here are some fun facts about the power of Pinterest, especially for retail business:

  • 47% of US online customers have made a purchase based on Pinterest recommendations.
  • Pins generate 4x more revenue per click than Twitter and 27% more than Facebook.
  • There are 12 million monthly unique visitors.
  • Pinterest is the fastest site in history to break the 10 million monthly unique visitors mark.
  • 97% of Pinterest’s Facebook fans are female.
  • Daily users have grown by 145% since 2012.
  • The brands that are most successful on Pinterest are in the food, cooking, television, news, media, non-profit, travel, retail, apparel, home improvement, DIY, sports, health, beauty, or fashion industries.

Credit: HootSuite, Jeff Bullas

More Characters on Twitter?! New Retweet with Comment Feature

Twitter announced this week that they are testing out a new feature for the platform – Retweet with Comment. This new feature gives you more characters on Twitter to use at your disposal – providing you are adding commentary to a post you are retweeting.

Essentially, Retweet with Comment allows you to preserve the original Tweet in a Twitter Card. For those who don’t know, a Twitter Card is a feature that allows posts on Twitter to be media-rich. If someone uses a Twitter Card, they will link to a website in a post and Twitter will show a preview of the post or the main image below the Tweet.

Via Tech Crunch

If the feature is released to all users, you can choose to Retweet with Comment, keep the full original Tweet in a media preview (or Twitter Card) and then add your own comments with the RT. The benefit – you get a full 140 characters to express your thoughts.

The goal behind this feature is to start meaningful conversations on Twitter. Users currently can have one-on-one conversations by replying to each other. Anyone who wants to join in can view the full conversation, but rarely does this happen unless you are participating in a Twitter Chat. Likewise, many users need the full 140 character to express their thoughts or explain their link. This leaves users who want to RT their content and add their commentary very little room to do so.

Via Tech Crunch

There have been so many times where I want to add commentary to a RT only to cut down my thoughts, remove my hashtags, or alter the user’s content I am RT. I hate doing all of those things. With this new feature, I can preserve the entire original Tweet without feeling guilty about altering their voice or style and still say everything I want to say. More people can view the conversation easily and join in.

The 140 character limit is what makes Twitter special and causes people to get more creative with their posts. But often it is a limitation. With more features like this, Twitter can evolve into a more thoughtful conversational host.

Image Credit: Tech Crunch Original Article

Why You Need to Outsource Your Social Media Marketing

Back when email was on the rise and everyone was head-over-heels in love with this quick new form of communication (after you waited for AOL to log you in using dial-up for about half an hour), many businesses scoffed. “We don’t need this email. It’s a fad that will pass. Customers would rather call us on the telephone!”

Those businesses learned very quickly they do need email to reach a large portion of their customer base and those who did not perished. History repeats itself and this time social media marketing is the new “fad” businesses are reluctant to pick up.

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Via Flickr by tashmahal

Some businesses outright refuse to add social media accounts for their businesses. Others hastily create accounts and pages and often do them wrong (such as creating a Group instead of a Page on Facebook).

There are also many businesses that realize they do need to have a social media presence, but try to do it in-house to save money. Here is where the majority of businesses go wrong. It may seem easy to create a business profile and update it every now and then. You do it every day on your own Twitter and Facebook accounts, why should your business be any different?

You feel confident at first, filling out some basic About Us information and sharing your first post. You might think it’s a good idea to link your Facebook and Twitter posts to save time. You might decide to update once a week or every few weeks with text updates on sales or sharing funny cat videos you find online. When you don’t have time to post, you let your employees take over. People start liking and commenting, which you love looking at. Every now and then a customer might complain in a post on your page that is promptly deleted so your business doesn’t look bad.

It seems things are running smoothly on the social media front. However, your business is not growing at all. Your time on social media seems like a waste and you don’t know how other businesses are accomplished on these platforms. This is because you don’t understand everything you did wrong like I just did.

Nicole Yeary2

Via Flickr Nicole Yeary

As a social media marketer for a huge variety of different business industries, both big and small, I can look at your profiles for five minutes and understand all the mistaken steps you took. I will start brewing ideas on how to fix them and optimize your account.

Many customers prefer to communicate through social media and get updates from their business on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more. When you ignore these platforms or use them incorrectly, you come across as inauthentic, inconsistent, and uncaring about customer needs. Hiring a professional social media marketer allows your business to become a likeable brand on the internet. Your customers will turn to you for their questions, concerns, and investment in your industry.

Professional social media marketers have studied the nuances of every platform extensively. They know the exact formula for posting on each platform and the language preferred by those users. They understand how each social media site is different in expanding a business’ reach, what kinds of posts get the most engagement, and how to create and time messaging. They can also analyze your account and audience to find out when your customers are online and most likely to see your messages.

Social media experts will interact with your audience as a business and customer service representative to increase your customer loyalty. Marketers will learn everything about your business to create a brand personality for your social media presence that is likeable and engaging. They will collaborate with you to get the most out of your website, blog, special offers, sales, events, and more. On top of that, social media marketers are constantly analyzing your platforms to see where improvements can be made.

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Via Flickr ChrisL_AK

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? For social media marketers, it is another day at the office. For you, it takes a lot of research and all of your free time, if not more.

This work is not as expensive as you might think. No matter how big or small your advertising budget is, you can find ways to afford social media marketing. At the very least, you can shell out a one-time expense to get consultation on the basics of social media marketing.

I have base prices for my services and different package options for all kinds of businesses. However, I can also take any monthly budget you set and tell you exactly what I can do for you with that amount. I also offer consultation on the basics of marketing tailored for your business needs and goals. You can view my social media marketing service options on my website. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or to email me at h.s.hobbs@gmail.com!

Originally posted on LinkedIn

 

Welcome to the Rebranded, Revamped HS Writing Blog!

Hello followers!

Pink Sherbert Photography 7

Via Flickr Pink Sherbert Photography

I am so sorry for my long, long absence. I gained a client that took up my entire time, which caused me to abandon the blog in the first place, then budget cuts left me with scrambling to find new clients. Currently, I am playing the waiting game for multiple clients and projects to see where I land – a very exciting (and nervewracking!) time for me!

This afternoon, I made time for my blog and came up with this! The rebrand, as you can see, is much simpler than the previous design and name. The main focus of the blog will still be social media marketing (hence the presence of my Twitter banner I am very proud of creating), but I am also branching out to talk about the tips, tricks, and trials of being a freelance writer. Expect a post tomorrow about the world of freelance. I am excited to include this topic since I have never written about it before!

I want to hear what you think of the new blog and want your suggestions on post topics. Now my blog is more accessible for a variety of topics. I am no longer restricted to certain topics to post on certain days, so anything you want to know about I will write for you!

Don’t forget to check out my Contribution Page on my blog! If you want to write a post for the blog, I will include your name and give you full rights to show it off to clients, friends, family, your dog, whoever! I also offer sponsored posts if you want to promote a product, app, software, website, etc.

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.