At first companies have rebuffed all social media, claiming that it was a waste of time for their employees and that it weights on corporate productivity. Then, as soon as some success stories rose about the use of social networks to make money – the likes of dell making $ 3 million in less than 2 years just out of twitter, and Perez Hilton becoming the friend of celebrities just by blogging about them, all corporates wanted to have facebook profiles, a presence on linked-in and a need to tweet. However it was done the wrong way.
Before jumping on the Social Networks extravaganza, companies or even people who are looking for a personal branding e-campaign, should ask themselves the below five questions:
- How is our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefiting from our social network sites? Social networks play an amazing role getting our website discovered by the search engines (google yahoo, bing etc). Using key words on our social network will increase the rankings, if you don’t have a corporate social website it is time to do so.
- Are all of our social profiles and websites interlinked? What makes any website/webpage powerful is the amount of links directed to that site. Connecting websites with links to each other will create your own web of sites and thus would empower your reach.
- Are all of our profiles homogenous? Having different info on different social websites will confuse the visitors and weaken your reach. All the introduction texts in the “About us” section should state the exact same thing. If a social site is updated, then the same update should be applied in the remaining sites.
- Are we heard by the right audience? A lot of companies think of adding followers or members randomly however your “follow-ship” companies should be speaking at the right audience. A good way of building a great database of potential customers is to have a blog that can only be read by inserting contact details. Those blogs can be easily made of subjects that only interest your type of clients.
- Are we offering to our public something of value? Some social profiles only portray publicity and ways of eliciting customers. The web 2.0 audience is always looking for something of value and for free. Wikipedia, Youtube, mashable etc. are perfect examples.
The social networks should be handled the same way we handle the traditional media, you should have a social media strategy, social media officers and an alignment between your overall strategy and online strategy.