Social Media Tools for Business

Posted on July 24, 2009 by Kim Vallee

social media tools for business

Brands cannot afford to not be on media social anymore. Whether you like it or not, people are taking about you on the Web. It is better for the growth and long-term survival of your business that you monitor and participate in those discussions.

Where do you start?

The answer depends on your goal, how confortable/savvy you are with the tools, how much time and ressources you can allow to the task and what is your industry (B2B vs. B2C). In short, there is no one size fits all answer. Instead, let’s go over the 4 main tools for business to become an active participant in social media.

Remember to use a friendly, casual tone conversation in all your messages whether you are posting on Twitter, Facebook, writing a post on your blog or commenting another blog. People are looking for authenticity. They do not want to read formal messages that look like they were taken from a press release. Use as a reference how you speak in every day conversations at the office.

Twitter

Twitter launched yesterday its Twitter 101 guide for business. An excerpt from the guide states that

From local stores to big brands, and from brick-and-mortar to internet-based or service sector, people are finding great value in the connections they make with businesses on Twitter.

What I like about Twitter is that it is easy to setup an account. It allows brands to experiment the benefit of social media without investing time and money on an infrastructure. All you need to do is open your account – finding the right user name may be the most time consuming for some. Import your brand avatar and a branded profile background before you launch your account. Make sure to fill up the bio with the description of your Twitter account and put a link to your Web site or blog.

twitter account for business

Tweeple (users of Twitter) prefer to talk with a brand that identifies their spoken person(s) on their bio. It is not an absolute must but it helps to humanize the conversations.

Facebook Fan Pages

If a brand wish to get a presence on Facebook, they created a page. Facebook can be used to find employees and know better your prospects. Clara Shih wrote Facebook Era, a book about tapping online social networks to build better products, reach new audiences, and sell more stuff. I encourage you to read it. While you are buying Facebook Era, get your copy of Tribes by Seth Godin.

Beware that it takes more work to have a dynamic fan page on Facebook than to engage the conversations on Twitter. This is why I often advise businesses who hired me as a social media expert to start with a Twitter presence. Once they get a grip on how to interact in social media, they can start their own blog and then have a Facebook presence.

I covered how a brand can use their Fan page on my social media blog. Therefore, I am referring you to the last 3 posts I wrote on the matter:

+ How I Use the Facebook Fan Page of My Blog
Properly Setting the Fan Permissions on Facebook Pages
+ The Need for Fresh Content on Your Facebook Fan Page vs. Your Blog

LinkedIn

If Facebook is for many their private life social network, LinkedIn is where they keep business relations. LinkedIn is suited if your brand is on the B2B market.

A Corporate Blog

I am a full-time blogger. Thus, it is no surprise that I strongly believe in the power of the blog. The blog is where you can really highlight your philosophy, your approach. You can operate a corporate blog to educate your customers about how to use your products, talk about what is going on in your industry, be a leader by explaining what it takes to run a successful small business. I strongly believe that a corporate blog should be written by an employee of the company.

A blog is a conversational Web site where you share your ideas, your finds and your solutions about a niche topic. You invite people to discuss what you write about. The author of a blog is the investigator of the conversations. You put your stamp on the conversation through the topic you selected and the angle that you presented. You are also the moderator of the discussions going on on your blog. I wrote several posts on On the Web with Kim Vallee about how to write good blog content.

Twitter, Facebook and the blog complement each other. Each one promotes the other two.

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Social Media Tools for Business”

  1. Diane Bourque
    Aug 02, 2009

    Thanks for the post. It’s nice to be reminded of the various Social Media Tools available for Businesses and Professionals. You’ve identified the major ones that are not only beneficial but essential in my view. I might have added RSS to your list, but maybe that one is fading out. I know I use it less and less now that there are so many other ways to find information on the Web. Thanks again!


  2. Kim Vallee
    Aug 02, 2009

    Diane, I did not think of mentioning RSS because it is an integral part of blogging. Thanks for your comment.