Social Media, Sharing vs Following, which is right for you?

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Social Media, Sharing vs Following, which is right for you?

The following is an article created in the hopes of helping to decide which social marketing strategy is right for your business, and whether it is worthwhile investing development dollars as well as ongoing staff time to accommodate for these various social networks.

Based on our research, our recommendations focus around the 4 major social media channels which compose 90% of “sharing” on the web, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. When exploring the questions of what social media strategy is right for you, I find it helpful to think of social media tools divided into 2 groups of functionality.

1. “Follow”

Social media presence setup for your organization to publish within social media channels

This includes things like:

  • A Facebook fan page
  • A Twitter account representing your business
  • A Google+ business page
  • Publishing from WordPress directly to Social media channels

Flow of traffic:

  • Organization publishes to each of their individual social media accounts – > users read content via social media channels and are brought back to the website

2. “Share”

Tools built into your website that allow users to ‘share’ content within their own Social media channels

This includes things like:

  • Facebook “like” button and “share” button
  • Twitter Google plus and Facebook combined like buttons
    Social Media Buttons

Flow of traffic:

  • User publish web links to their own social media channels – > users read content via social media channels and are brought back to the website

Key questions to help you determine which is right for you

  • Do your users care enough to like or follow?
    Put yourself in your users shoes… what level of ‘relation’ will they want to have with your organization? If your a major news organization or company that produces trendy lifestyle products, it is more likely users will want to “follow”  your publications on the web, as reoccurring content will be interesting and relevant. Whereas if your a large bank, someone might “like” your services, or products, but are not into the constant bombardment of content related to your business. So take a step back, an unbiased breath, and follow what your users would want. After all you don’t want to reward someone liking your services with a facebook full of spam.
  • What are your limitations with time and resources
    Did you know that attempting to bring social media to your organization can create a huge cost? Many organization will hire a web consultant to manage this for them, however many don’t, but rather rely on their already busy staff to setup these accounts and add to on a weekly basis. Although this seems like a small task, and these marketing channels are free, training as well as the ongoing demand of social media marketing can put an unnecessary strain on company resources for little to no return on investment. So if your interested in strategy #1 be prepared for some homework.
  • Choose the right social media network
    Fortunately there are many social media channels each one with it’s own flavor and group of behavior. If your business is more relevant to creating LinkedIn connections with other business’s, perhaps your an investment firm or business development practice, then why not  focus on LinkedIn and skip the huge row of social media icons that don’t pertain to your audiences needs.

If your interested in speaking to a  web developer with experience in social media marketing please contact me.

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