Big Brands and the Business Benefits of Social Media: Pt. 3
ADOTAS (Third of three parts) – Earlier today, in part 2 of this series, we explored the business benefits of Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine. In this final installment, we’ll cover the benefits of using LinkedIn, Foursquare, and Tumblr. If these networks are on your business radar for social strategy, this article is for you.
LinkedIn Company Pages allow marketers to highlight their brands, culture, products, and lifestyles. According to LinkedIn, members are 50% more likely to purchase from the companies they engage with. This particular buying pattern is a response to the presumed “professional mindset”, driven by extracting professional development insights and content and acting on that information.
So how do you optimize your LinkedIn Company Page for the best performance? Start with the description of your business, keeping in mind that this could become a lead-generation funnel. Showcase your product/service up front and center in the description, as this is usually the first place users look when checking out a Company Page. For example, “Company X enables people to make powerful connections through its end-to-end computer networking products and solutions–whether in business, education, philanthropy, or creativity.” In addition, Google indexes Company Pages, improving your organic search results. Google displays the first 156 characters of the description, so make sure you not only capture the essence of your company but also optimize this with your SEO keywords.
Aesthetically, you want to select a banner image that reflects your company. As you move onto content, make sure you are accurately highlighting your products and/or services. You should also consider listing open positions with your company on your LinkedIn Page. Assuming most candidates are LinkedIn members, this enables them to search for your company or keywords to locate job positions at companies they are interested in.
Below is an example of how Adobe successfully uses LinkedIn to increase buyer awareness and highlight company products and culture.
Awarded best Company Page by LinkedIn in 2013, Adobe created Showcase Pages for two distinct products within its brand. This allows teams a place to manage and catalog all interactions from a single source and track conversions as a result of a social network page (tip: after identifying successful marketing channels, continue to prune these to produce content your growing audience will find useful and actionable).
Foursquare’s mobile social network offers a slew of benefits for businesses. When users check-in to local businesses, they share their location information and can post comments or, if available, claim deals that are offered for checking-in or sharing with friends.
As a marketer, this not only alerts prospects in the area of your business but also has the potential to increase your brand awareness. Better yet, it’s free! You can extract valuable insights into your customer demographics via Foursquare’s free analytics and use this information to target deals and content based on customer demographics, including any change in customers over time (i.e. Monday versus Friday, weekly, or around holidays).
But first things first: You’ll need to claim your business through Foursquare. After you’ve done this, you can advertise deals and list updates, which Foursquare will promote to users in your area. Your business will only be charged for advertisements if users claim a deal or act on your ad in some other way.
With over 45 million users and an increasingly mobile landscape, Foursquare has high potential to drive local sales. And for the most part (if you decide not to advertise), it’s free, save for the overhead costs associated with managing a Foursquare account.
Tumblr is one of the most popular micro-blogging sites today. A microblog differs from a traditional blog in that users post content typically smaller in length and file size, which allows for quick posting and quick reading.
Where Tumblr differs is its larger-than-life blogging community. By tying into Tumblr, businesses simultaneously tie into a community of around 40M users. This increases brand awareness and exposes the business to potential customers and advocates. There are certain brands that fare better on Tumblr, which include fashion retailers and producers, and media-related users (photographers, graphic designers, media outlets, etc.). There are, however, always exceptions to the rule. Take a look at how the following brands dominate the Tumblr space.
IBM uses Tumblr to showcase a side of IBM culture that most of us are unaccustomed to. It works well because IBM’s content meshes well with the modern, progressive content found throughout Tumblr today. The sites layout allows IBM to post interesting content that will draw the attention of their followers and increase visibility.
92nd Street YMCA
The May Center has found a way to engage users in all aspects of education, arts, health, and wellness. Its strategy not only helps to support various programs but also increase community awareness of its mission, vision, and culture. The ability to reblog or like posts also increase the audience size as others will see the content their network shares.
Brands increasingly recognize the potential of social media. Sure, these mediums have not completely outpaced brick-and-mortar operations, but social has turned into, quite successfully, an additional storefront model. Brands like Dollar Shave Club rely solely on social to connect with and support customers. And with the Business Insider reporting that people spend more time on social media than any other Internet site, you cannot afford to not jump on the social gravy train.
This concludes our series on the intersections of social media and business. If after reading, you wonder how you’ll be able to manage so many social presences, you may want to check out some of the enterprise social media management tools on the market (Viralheat or HootSuite for starters), which places publishing, engagement, monitoring, analytics, and reporting in a single, intuitive platform.
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