Guy Kawasaki sums up social media as follows:

Twitter is for perspectives. Facebook is for people. Google+ is for passions. The goal is not to be good at social media – the goal is to be good at business because of social media. Never forget that.

ContentRobot believes that social media – or “outposts of content” – can be helpful if you have compelling reasons to add it to your company’s marketing mix.

The 5 Major Social Media Platforms

Beyond your blog and newsletter, here are the top five social media platforms to consider:

  1. Facebook: with over 850 million users, this destination can’t be ignored
  2. Twitter:  where messaging is only limited by its 140 character length
  3. Google+: has about 90 million users, this social network is getting more enmeshed within the entire Google ecosystem
  4. LinkedIn: over 150 million users and growing, it offers a large professional networking community
  5. YouTube: allows you to share your message via videos

Top 10 Ways to Use Social Media

Why participate with social media outlets? Quite simply, you need to be available wherever your customers are. Once you are, try some of these ideas that can keep them interested in your company and its offerings:

  1. Educate your audience with your expertise
  2. Entertain your fans or just show the human side of who you are
  3. Provide technical support
  4. Offer instant customer service
  5. Launch a product
  6. Generate leads to sell more services or products
  7. Build and increase the number of email subscribers
  8. Encourage more people to read your blog
  9. Connect with partners and others in your industry to share best practices
  10. Be the one who is quoted or mentioned in traditional media and / get more speaking opportunities

Of course, you’ll need a strategy to make it all worthwhile. The key, then, is to focus on creating content that drives conversation. To do this, you need to talk more about your fans and less about your business.

ROI of Social Media

The simple metric would be in the “numbers.” Things to consider include:

  • How many fans or follower do you have?
  • How many re-tweets do you have?
  • How many “likes” do you have?
  • How many “circles” are you in?
  • How many LinkedIn connections do you have?
  • How much traffic (click-throughs) are you getting from the various platforms?
  • How many people are talking about your status updates?
  • How many of your social media connections have asked about your services?
  • How many influential people are sharing your content in their networks?

While the numbers are good starting point, there is more work that can be done. Ultimately, your social media efforts should develop a large community, who is focused on your product and services, that can be leveraged and supported in real time. This will then provide feedback that will:

  • Continue the spreading of your content
  • Cultivate deeper relationships with your followers
  • Capture positive word of mouth from your fans
  • Gain recommendations from your community

5 Tips for Social Media Success

1. You know who your audience is

What are their problems, concerns and interests? Answer their questions and show you care.

2. You understand it’s not “the-all-about-me show”

Don’t just jabber about yourself and your company. Better would be provide valuable, interesting and entertaining content that puts the reader first.

3. You are staying focused

While we mention five platforms – and we know that new ones will spawn daily – you don’t have to use them all. To grow your business better, invest your time and energy on one or two networks and dedicate yourself to making them work for you.

2. You are putting in the time

As with anything, you’ll need to spend time with the platforms before declaring it’s not working. It could take 1,000s of tweets, 100s of Facebook or Google+ posts, before you are noticed among the noise.

5. You are being patient

Remember it takes time to build relationships, but stick with it.  While there are stories of overnight successes, you know better.

Our Favorite Plugins and Third-Party Add-ons For Your WordPress Blog

Show off your social media prowess on your WordPress blog! Here are our favorite tools: