Stephanie Heckman

Friending, Tweeting, Pinning

In Branding, Marketing, Social Media on March 7, 2013 at 4:46 am

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What social media networking sites can benefit you?

Twitter
As the second most popular social media site in the world, Twitter is also one of the fastest growing. Twitter is an excellent social media site for any organization trying to reach an audience in their teens, twenties or thirties. It’s also a necessary tool for any communications student or young PR professional that wants to market their own brand. Twitter is a great tool for creating a personal brand or image if used effectively.

To make the most out of Twitter, choose an appropriate and memorable handle that your followers will remember. Tweet many links and photos, both of which are more likely to be retweeted. Choose a well-rounded selection of accounts to follow, including many news organizations, favorite brands, charities and other professionals.

Retweet any interesting tweets and make sure to thank your followers when they retweet you. Make use of Tweet Chats to connect with other followers and learn new information. What’s important is to remember that Twitter is a type of social media, so use the website fully to make connections, network and promote your brand.

Facebook

Facebook is an important social media site for practically any organization. With Facebook, you can post pictures and videos, link to articles, share updates, create public pages or private groups and ask for direct feedback from your audience.

Another benefit to Facebook is that it draws in a very wide demographic. As the most popular social media website, you can reach an audience ranging from teens to older adults of all ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders and interests. Unfortunately for organizations hoping to target a younger audience, Facebook seems to be losing some ground with young adults.

Post pictures. Regardless of whether they are funny memes, infographics or simply cute photos, pictures receive the most shares and likes on Facebook. It’s also helpful to include links. Instead of simply linking to your organization’s products and services, try linking to stories about current events, pop culture or anything else that your target audience may want to read about.

Make sure that all photos and links you share are noncontroversial and do not take a political stance. If you’re not representing an organization that lobbies or promotes a political cause, candidate or religion, don’t go there. Exceptions are promoting a noncontroversial cause or organization that seemingly everyone supports such as cancer awareness or disaster relief.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a great tool for many companies and organizations yet is surprisingly underused. If your target audience is women, ranging in age from teens to middle age, you need to start using this valuable resource. Pinterest is also worth using if you are a college student or young professional who hopes to enter the fashion, beauty, crafting or food industry.

On the other hand, if your target demographic is men, younger kids or older adults, Pinterest may not not the right social media site for you. You would be be better off focusing your energy elsewhere. Pinterest is also not right for companies or organizations that don’t have a visual product or service. Pinterest is great for showing off retail products or images with quick advice or facts.

To effectively use Pinterest requires the ability to select interesting photographs or infographics that link to a website with useful information. Don’t use Pinterest just to blatantly promote your brand. If you’re doing the social media for a fashion company, make sure to also pin images from other brands and include links to general interest fashion stories. No Pinterest user wants to be slapped with blatant advertising.

LinkedIn

If your company has more than ten employees, it needs a LinkedIn page. It can be used to recruit the best employees and to promote your organization. If you are a student or professional, you also should create a LinkedIn page. LinkedIn is where your personal branding begins.

To get the most out of LinkedIn as a student or young professional, you should aim to find at least fifty connections. This should not be difficult if you search for past coworkers, classmates and others that you meet at networking events. Include a brief summary that highlights your personal qualities, career or educational history and information that makes your stand out from others in your field. Make sure that your work history only includes relevant jobs and contains bullet points with useful descriptions.

LinkedIn has features that allow you to sections showcasing projects you have worked on, articles you have written, personal certifications, awards, course descriptions, interests and career highlights. Try to incorporate as much relevant information as you can onto your LinkedIn page. Consider it to be an extended version of your resume that includes portfolio work and a reflection of who you are as possible. Lastly, use LinkedIn to join professional groups and to follow companies that you may hope to work for in the future.

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