What to Share on Your Favorite Social Networking Sites

social media icons: facebook, twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+

In previous posts, we’ve talked about understanding your target audience and finding your unique positioning when it comes to social media. Once you’re clear on your target audience and your unique positioning, it’s time to start experimenting with how you’ll participate in social media.

The nice thing about working online and in social media is that you can reshape your plan as you go along. So don’t worry about having your target market and unique positioning engraved in stone. If it’s anything like the past, social media is a moving target. As soon as you have it all figured out, it changes — or there’s a new kid on the block. Pinterest is a great example. If you’re smart, you’ll evolve with your audience.

So with all that in mind, let’s look at our big 5 networks to see how you can fit in.

Facebook

This is a pretty visual social network with a lot of possibilities for sharing. Images and video do well, and while you can share text, you might find that if you add an image to your text, you’ll get more views and responses to your status update.

Facebook also offers the ability to poll your audience which can be a lot of fun for participants and enlightening for you. You can also share your company history through the Milestones feature, keeping in mind what would interest your audience most.

Facebook offers pretty in-depth analytics and gives you plenty of clues on which content does well and which type of content doesn’t. Use these analytics to figure out how to hone your presence.

Facebook  Analytics

Twitter

Twitter is a more text-based social network that requires you to be succinct in your sharing, as you only have 140 characters to make your point. You can post images and link to videos, but users will generally need to click through to view them.

Twitter RepliesOne of the biggest opportunities with Twitter is to use their @ replies and RT (Retweet feature). Place an @ before a username, allows you to communicate directly with users on Twitter and can pave the way to new connections. RT allows you to share someone else’s useful update with your audience, which is another way to foster goodwill among like minded users.

Google+

Google+ is another visual network with a lot of images and, in particular, videos being shared.

While using Google+, definitely take advantage of their Circles feature, which allows you to categorize your contacts in any number of ways. This allows you to keep friends and family separate from business contacts. It also allows you to categorize your business contacts as well. For example, you can make circles for your customers, affiliates, mastermind groups and more.

One of the most unique opportunities at Google+ is Hangouts, which offer a group video and/or audio chat. It’s perfect for brainstorming groups, planning and getting to know your audience better…so take advantage.

Google+ Hangout

Pinterest

As you probably know, Pinterest is the most visual network of all because it is simply a collection of images. Videos can also be shared, but aren’t in as much abundance.

Pin to Pinterest

Images that you share on Pinterest should be categorized appropriately and include a description that adds to the user experience. Choose images that are visually striking that make people feel like the item in the picture is in the same room as them.

LinkedIn

Your approach to LinkedIn should be that of an information sharer and connector. Connect people who should know each other and offer help through groups and answering questions. For LinkedIn, the key isn’t in the number of connections you make, but the quality of those connections so put your focus there.

LinkedIn Groups

As you can see, each network is a little bit different. A lot of people attempt to use social media integration tools that simply broadcast their updates across all networks, but this is a short sighted approach. While I do encourage the use of social media integration tools, it’s important to use them wisely and we’ll talk about that in a later post. Take the time to deliver the right information to the right audience on the right social network and you’ll have much better results.

I don’t know about you but I am gaining a whole new appreciation for ways to use social networking in my online marketing efforts. The information Greg Watson is sharing is terrific. Knowing what to do is half the battle.

Still, some of you may still be struggling with design issues when it comes to all this content. I checked out a new product recently, that is helping me design Facebook Fan pages for my small business clients. Check out www.fanpageengine.com.


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