This is an old post from my former blog, but I felt the information was still relevant today.
Deciding on a marketing plan for your business, whether or not to market your business in either Facebook or LinkedIn, and the right mix of disciplines to use is a combination of personal preference, trial-and-error, and industry statistics. The industry statistics help determine what combination of online and offline marketing tools your competition is using. Objectives help keep you on your marketing path by providing the support for the plan. The trial-and-error helps determine what works and what doesn’t by being flexible to try some other marketing idea when the current idea isn’t working. The personal preference is, well, up to you. Learn what your target market is using for social media platforms and gear your messages to both the audience and the platform.
LinkedIn is a social media platform with a more professional population. In this platform CEOs, entrepreneurs, decision-makers, business owners network for jobs, projects, and information. Members connect for colloboration, to show expertise, continue company branding and expand their professional network. Creating a LinkedIn Group has three advantages over joining an existing group for professional connecting:
- You write topics and/or posts and invite like-minded people to join and contribute to the new community.
- You are viewed almost immediately as a leader.
- Make new connections, find & be a resource for those needing help.
Facebook is another social media platform that is more social than professional. Members connect here to stay in touch with friends and family, or to find friends or family. The atmosphere is more laid back, more conversational, less formal than LinkedIn. After creating a personal profile, you can create a Business Page (f.k.a. Fan Page). This has three advantages:
- Build a community and network through posts and discussions.
- Continue branding and awareness of your business.
- Insights allow Pages to see what content is most influential for their followers, as well as receive notifications of new Likes and messages to Page.
The choice I am making for my two business’ marketing plans is to engage more through LinkedIn Groups. I am weeding out Groups I have joined that either are no longer active, or are no longer aligned with my business’ strategies. Ideally, continuing to utilize both cultures and maintaining a presence is desirable, but for my companies — both B2B (business to business) oriented, I must spend more time engaging in LinkedIn and create my own Group for interactions, information, and assistance.
Bottom line: business owners should make their social media choices based on knowledge of their target market, finding out what social media platforms they are using via email, phone and/or surveys, and what type of content is most important to them. Don’t assume your audience knows everything about your business. Listen to the questions they ask, and they will point you in the right direction for content creation.
Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.