By Dinte
Nov. 5, 2012

Social media remains one of the most underutilized - and perhaps most baffling - marketing resources.  As marketing budgets are often stretched to their limit in this economy, social media provides an inexpensive and often free solution to building a brand.  However, most businesses still hesitate to jump on the social bandwagon because they aren't sure where to start.  Dinte offers a few suggestions below:

Why Should We Post?

As we discussed in our recent post, Adding Content to Your Communications Strategy, your customers are already talking about you. Social media not only provides you with a low cost way to communicate with customers but it also it also allows your company to guide and initiate the conversation.

Who Should Post?

At Dinte, we believe social media strategies are best executed when one person or a group of people is held responsible. This way, updating social media becomes a priority.  Whether you appoint one person or a team, it is important to set clear the objectives and determine the voice of organization's to ensure consistent branding.

What Should We Post?

The key to successful social sharing is to strike a balance between posting your own content and posting external content. The focus of social media should not be promoting your organization. Instead, focus on sharing content that is helpful to your clients.  You can link to your own blog or articles from websites like ForbesThe New York TimesIncFast Company, or other sites related to your business.

Where Should We Post?

LinkedIn: LinkedIn groups and represent a valuable channel and community of interest. Try searching for 3-4 groups relevant to your professional goals. Contribute comments to relevant topics, share interesting articles, or start a discussion. Then create a robust company page and use it to share news and blog posts from your business.  Your influence could lead to a new business opportunity.

Twitter:  Share quick company news, interesting articles, and blog posts 5-6 times a day to stay in touch with customers.

Facebook:  Many B2B business owners forgo Facebook because they don't believe their target market is present.  However, with over 1 billion users, Facebook may be worth a second look.  Because Facebook is used for more casual and personal sharing, this is the best place to post updates and pictures of employees, events, charity involvement, blog posts, or related "fun" information.  Facebook may also be appropriate if senior leadership is trying to attract college students for entry level job opportunities.

Blogs: Blogs allow the most freedom of all the social sharing. Like designing a corporate website, blogs will require planning content in advance but the possibilities for content and design are endless. By offering your own experiences and advice and encourage others to share their opinions, you can be seen as a thought leader in your industry.  Remember to reference others blogs and articles or internal research to show you've done your research.

How do you use social sharing in your business? What are your favorite platforms?

Check out a larger copy of this infograph at Visual.ly

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