There are usually multiple elements involved in creating a successful marketing strategy. A strong case can be made for including social media as part of that strategy.

Global Web Index noted that now more than ever, a social media profile is an important tool in a company’s marketing strategy:

“A company’s social profile is an important influencer when businesses are purchasing products/services, and that this audience of B2B Buyers is 70% more likely to be following business people on social media gives some indication of how it can be an ideal marketing channel to encourage conversations, especially as 4 in 10 say they use social media to network for work.”

The Huffington Post highlighted the top seven social media platforms for business marketing:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Yelp

Each works well for a different reason. For example, Facebook has more than 1.59 billion users, giving businesses a huge audience. Instagram is a great platform for those businesses that can capitalize on the visual presentation method, using high quality images and video clips, along with hashtags, to attract and engage customers.

But with so many platforms available, if a company had to choose just one, which may be the best one to utilize?

According to Global Web Index, a survey of 7,259 B2B buyers revealed that Twitter is the social media platform they are 26% more likely to use. But there are right and wrong ways for businesses to use it, as highlighted by Harvard Business Review.

Tweets must show some empathy or that there is a human, not a bot, behind them. Starbucks was listed as an example of doing it wrong due to tweets that redirected questions to an email address. This put it in the group of an estimated 70% of businesses that simply ignore complaints raised on Twitter.

Conversely, Microsoft’s Helps account was cited as a good example of how to use Twitter, even though it also engaged in active broadcasting. The reason is because they let some personality shine through by being “a sensitive responder, replying to queries in a casual, friendly, and helpful tone.”

The nutshell version of do’s and don’ts from the article boiled down to these simple tips:

  • DON’T use repetitious stock phrases
  • DO interact with users
  • DON’T use Twitter for investor announcements or “as a broadcasting service for promotion”
  • DO use gender-neutral or a slightly female tone of voice
  • DO remember that customers may not be aware of your multiple company accounts on Twitter, and may prefer to get all their needs met through one company account

A McKinsey Global Institute report from 2012 noted that although nearly three-fourths of companies were using social technology in some way, most were not utilizing it to it’s fullest potential both inside the company and in reaching customers.That interaction with customers via social media offered a wealth of readily available information regarding marketing, product development and customer service insights.

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