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Social Media Business Networking: Platforms and Strategies

Tynecia Martin, MBA, LUTCF, FSS

Channel Marketing and Branding Specialist, 1st Global

Dec 13, 2017

What happened to face-to-face networking? It still exists but more and more generations have shifted from in-person networking to an online experience. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to social media platforms, which makes it harder to decipher which sites are optimal to enhance your business presence.

Pew Research center reports 70 percent of American adults are on at least one social platform. As the population on social media increases, businesses need to interact on social media in order to stay relevant in today’s marketplace. It’s important to understand the top social sites for networking and the best way to make use of your time — your time is valuable.

Facebook

This network has become the largest social media network, which makes it a great community for connecting with people. Some people have the impression that Facebook is only a way to interact with family and friends but it is also beneficial for promoting your professional brand. This platform is one of the best for targeting a specific audience through paid campaigns.

Tips for using Facebook:

  • Create a business page  Setting up a business page is easy and Facebook will guide you through the process. A business page allows you to interact with clients and prospects from a business standpoint similar to a business website. A business page gets your name in front of prospects and creates brand recognition. Just remember this is for your business so keep it professional and business related only.
  • Increase interaction — People who visit your page can interact with you through reviews, community page, polls and messages. You can encourage interaction on your page by adding a call-to-action button on top of your page to encourage participation — appointment scheduling, sign-up, download, etc. Using the poll tool can help you interact with others by asking engaging questions such as, “What was the average tax refund in 2016?”
  • Schedule content and keep score  Create and share relevant content from other sources. You can schedule posts in advance on Facebook so you can limit the time you spend sharing content. Use third-party platforms to schedule out content such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule the content you or someone else created. When sharing content be sure to utilize the insights and analytics feature to give you statistics on audience engagement with your posts.

Source: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7761-facebook-business-guide.html  

LinkedIn

This is the top social media network for connecting with clients, colleagues, businesses and prospects. Growing your network enhances your profile status — a higher profile status increases your visibility in searches that allows more people to readily find you.

Tips for using LinkedIn:

  • Develop your network — This is your opportunity to stay in contact with people you have known in the past, currently know or would like to know. You can also grow your network and connect with people that fit within your target market which will allow you to introduce yourself and develop a connection.
  • Create valuable content  Provide and share content that appeals to your target market. This is your opportunity to set yourself apart from others by showing that you are an expert and thought-leader in your industry.
  • Utilize LinkedIn groups  Connect with groups that align with your professional interests and industry. Participating in LinkedIn groups provides you with an opportunity to align with like-minded professionals and cultivate new relationships. You will also have an opportunity to showcase your knowledge as you participate in group discussions.

Source: https://smallbusiness.linkedin.com/professional-branding/networking-tips  

Twitter

Ranked as number eight amongst domestic and global websites, Twitter is one of the top websites in the world. Having a business twitter account shows people that you have a credible business and it helps you become easier to find when prospects are searching for the services you provide. Using Twitter requires that you learn how to communicate in short snippets because there is character limit of 140 characters per tweet.

Tips for using Twitter:

  • Use a hashtag — In a world full of tweets and retweets you need to be able to disseminate the information you are looking for and sharing. The use of hashtags is a great way to become visible because hashtags allow for the grouping of information. You may have heard of the social media trend “Throwback Thursday,” which are posts of things that happened in the past. There are hashtags for it: #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt. By using one of these, you can see content from people that used the same hashtag. Be sure to use hashtags that are relevant to the content you are posting.

Source: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7488-twitter-for-business.html  

YouTube

This channel allows you to communicate with clients and prospects visually. You can post videos regarding your business and services which may range from sharing information, training, or upcoming event promotions.

Tips for using YouTube:

  • Educate clients  Keep track of the various questions you receive from clients and take this opportunity to educate all your clients and prospects by posting training videos on relevant topics.
  • Be consistent  Continue to post regular video updates and encourage viewers to subscribe to your channel.

In a world with a vast of array of social media options you want to make sure that you plan your activities in advance. Choose the social media outlets that are relevant to your clients and target market. Develop a plan before you start engaging clients on various social media outlets. No matter which site you select remember to remain consistent and provide relevant content in a timely matter.

Please note that financial advisors should check with their company to review their approved social media channels prior to use. 1st Global does not allow the use of Facebook for its financial advisors.

Source: Nuckles, Brett. Business News Daily (2016) Video Marketing on Social Media: A Small Business Guide. Retrieved (November 2017) from http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/9273-video-marketing-social-media-small-business.html  

Securities offered through 1st Global Capital Corp. Member FINRA, SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through 1st Global Advisors, Inc.


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