Social Media: What it is and how to use it

What is social media for business?

Wondering about social media for business? It’s ok. There’s no shame in being uneducated about social media. Did you know only 6% of small businesses reported using social media to promote their business? Despite its worldwide usage, you might be surprised to find out that the boom is still less than ten years old. Amazing, right?! In this article, we will explore some history of social media and how businesses can use it to grow.

A little history about Social Media for business

Here’s a brief history of social media to help give some perspective.

  • 1970’s – 1980’s: CompuServe. The first true “email” system allowing friends to connect with each other within discussion forums that interested you. CompuServe paved the way for the future of bulletin board systems, and internet social media in general.
  • 1980’s – 1990’s: Bulletin Board Systems. Geared toward hobbyists, gamers, and geeks who shared the same interests, bulletin board systems were similar to forums. Exclusively-invited members could join or ask to join in order to share the latest news, access new technology, and discuss just anything.
  • 1990’s – 2000’s: AOL. America Online kind of served as the internet before there was really the internet. The first to make popular the concept of a member-profile, a user could now become whoever they wanted to be, and through this tool connect to anyone else, build a private or public group, and “surf” the latest news and topics of the day.
  • 2002: Friendster. Another evolution of the previous versions of digital-social interaction, Friendster built on the concept of online bonding by providing new, multiple ways of finding more friends to connect with.
  • 2003: LinkedIn. The first to recognize the value of digital interaction for the business community, LinkedIn reframed the concept in terms of “connections.” Purposefully directed away from the lighthearted, fun, eclectic personal interests, the goal was to create space for each user to showcase their experience, education, skills, and talents.
  • 2003: MySpace. Opposite the goal of LinkedIn, MySpace offered a digital wall for users to display and say anything and everything that interested them. Aimed at young adults who loved music, it was eventually ousted from the top by Facebook and became a primary space for musicians to connect and interact socially.
  • 2004: Facebook. Building on previous ideas like Friendster and MySpace – as well as other lesser known platforms like Classmates.com and SixDegrees.com – Facebook hit a nerve, filled a gap, and attracted venture capitalists who invested in the product. To date, it boasts users from more than one in every seven people on the planet.
  • 2005: YouTube. Offering social media in a completely revolutionary way, users could now record, produce, upload, and share their own video content. Within a short time, other social media outlets began making use of this concept and offering their own versions of video content.
  • 2006: Twitter. Taking the concept of the blog to a micro level, Twitter required users to hone their thoughts and feelings about whatever into bite-sized bits, called tweets. These tweets could then be “hashtagged” so that similar content could be categorized, searched, and shared (retweeted).
  • 2007: Google +. Attempting to capitalize on the social media growth, Google designed its own platform to serve as a social sphere for its entire outfit of applications.
  • 2008: Groupon. Taking advantage of the marketing and monetization opportunities inherent in social media, Groupon launched as a way of allowing companies to advertise their products and services via coupons. These coupons were limited in terms of customers and availability time and could be shared with others in their social network by way of instant connection to their favorite platforms.

In 2010, smartphones officially outsold computers, creating a meteoric rise for social media as a mobile technology with almost no limitations. Proof of this came to be seen later in the revolutions of several countries which were primarily fueled by social media.

Social media has also paved the way for “big data,” which primarily serves as a label for incomprehensible amounts of data gathered from users, made available for “mining” information useful for new ideas.

How can businesses best use Social Media?

Here is a helpful way to think about how the various social media platforms are used today. Take the word in italics and simply substitute it for whatever your product, service, or profession offers to see how it works.

  • Facebook: “Hey friends! I really like Aculign and the widgets they offer!”
  • Twitter: “Hanging out with #Aculign today. We killed it on our plans for marketing and workflow.”
  • Instagram: “Here’s a photo of me and the Aculign guys” (with my favorite photo filter).
  • YouTube: “Here’s a brief video of a workshop segment we did with Aculign.”
  • LinkedIn: “My experience and skills with Aculign include…”
  • FourSquare: “This is where we played golf with Aculign.”
  • Pinterest: “Here’s an infographic from Aculign on 5 Steps to Faster Receivables.”
  • Google +: “I’m an XYZ employee who connected with Aculign.”
  • Groupon: “Here’s a special offer on our Business Accelerator Program available to 20 people for the next 7 days.”

What is the next thing should you with managing your social media?

Aculign is a social media management company in Atlanta, Georgia

What WE do: meet with you for a strategy session, build a profile of your business, examine the various social media outlets, and help you decide which one would be best for your business. From there, we can manage it for you. Or you can DIY with our free content planner.

What YOU do: Download ur free content planner. Plan and manage it yourself,  measure your results, take notes on what you learn, then tweak and try again. When you’re ready to take on another platform, follow the same pattern.

Does your business have more than three employees and more than $500,000 in revenue annually?

It’s time to start using three or more social media channels at once. And it’s also time to let someone else start managing your social media marketing and sales.

Schedule a free consult, then shop Aculign’s packages to decide which approach is best for you. We build your profile, help decide which platforms are best for you, deliver reporting results monthly, and providing coaching each month.

10 Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing on Facebook

10 Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook Posting for Businesses

Facebook posting for business can lead to tremendous growth but it needs to be done carefully. Did you know that Facebook has over 1.2 billion active users? Facebook is a great platform to connect both personally and professionally. Many times, business leaders mix the two. As a result, they lose leverage, influence, and revenue. These 10 helpful tips will provide a good guardrail for you and your business before you post on Facebook.

Top 5 Do’s of Facebook Marketing:

  1. Clear and Short: Simple, Short and CLEAR messaging will capture your audience. Fewer words will increase your engagement. We use a framework called the Storybrand Framework. We HIGHLY recommend it.
  2. Post Frequently: Frequency and Consistency are important and keeps your brand at the forefront. Keep your audience informed by posting photos, promotions, and special offers.
  3. Be Genuine: No one likes a know-it-all or salesperson. TDo's and Don'ts of Facebook Marketinghe easiest way to lose a prospect is to annoy them with unuseful information. TRUST is hard to gain and easy to lose but is the currency of successful brands.
  4. Get Feedback: If you want to know something. Just ask! Facebook is a great place to solicit potential customers by asking for their opinion/feedback. Want to create your first survey? You can go to this Facebook link to give it a go. Let us know how it went!
  5. Engage. Respond to every question and feedback. Don’t forget to respond as your company, not an individual. This will drive more “they really do care” thoughts from your customers. Think of the last time you sent an email/text to a friend and didn’t get a reply. How did that make you feel? You don’t want your customers to feel unimportant.

Top 5 Don’ts on Facebook

  1. Always Sell: Customers don’t want to be sold. They want to feel special. Position yourself as a guide to help solve their problems. Nobody likes a pushy sales person. Successful organizations put their customer front-and-center instead of themselves.
  2. SPAM Your Audience: One of the easiest ways to lose a client is to spam them with irrelevant content. Keep your content centered around your customer, not your company. Do you like being spammed?
  3. Talk Politics: Want to lose influence and sales? All you have to do is post something political on your business page. Stay away from politics. It is too divisive. If you must, keep that kind of stuff on your personal page. Be careful of this though…customers will look you up.
  4. Go Silent: The fewer the posts the less value Facebook will see from that post. That means, fewer people will see the post. Your followers will also forget about you.
  5. Ignore: Have a problem? Don’t ignore your audience. Address the issues privately and publicly, if needed. Show that you care and your brand will go further faster.

We hope this small guide helps you navigate socializing on Facebook.

Overwhelmed and need help with managing Facebook and other social media outlets?

Aculign can help you market your small business on Facebook. That includes other social media outlets, too. You can start with our social media services. Or start on your own our Free Content Calendar!

Need help planning your posts?

This content planner will also help you plan our your posts across multiple platforms. We hope this helps you go further, faster on Facebook!

10 Facebook Marketing Hints

10 Hints to Marketing Your Small Business on Facebook

Want to begin marketing on Facebook? With close to 1.2 billion active users, there’s no question that Facebook is the perfect medium to engage with your prospects and get them interested in your business.

But, how do you get started with Marketing on Facebook?

These ten tips will help you maximize the potential of your social media marketing strategy:

  1. Create a Page: It’s your business’ “personal” profile, and it will allow you to interact with your prospects. Remember to make it reflect your brand. To learn more how to create a page here is a quick and easy article by Facebook.
  2. Be Consistent: Social Media landscape is rising as a search engine, but to appear on top of the results page you need to have an active online presence. So, make sure you engage regularly.
  3. Encourage Sharing: Your content needs to be interesting and valuable enough to compel people to share it. Don’t be afraid to ask your network to share your posts and increase your engagement rate.
  4. Make Connections: Invite your personal Facebook friends and your email contacts to follow you. Promote your page’s web address on any offline and social media marketing material you design.
  5. Attract Friends of Fans and share events. Ask questions, run polls, and contests, and find ways to convince visitors to check your business. Their friends will see their activity. Create event pages and share them with your network and the groups you’re in.
  6. Join Groups: Enhance awareness by participating in conversations in groups your target audience hangs out. Put your expertise to work and share valuable advice instead of promoting your business.
  7. Build Your Group: If you can’t find any niche groups, create your own. That way, you will have more control over the discussions, and you can position yourself as an authority in your industry.
  8. Connect with Influencers in Your Niche: If you have other businesses or industry personalities that you admire, don’t be afraid to send them a message, comment on their posts or write on their wall.
  9. Get Started with Facebook Live: It’s an excellent way to showcase the human side of your business and offer a look behind the scenes. Due to its unpredictability, they’ll stick longer to see the outcome.
  10. Consider Ads: Facebook will show your ads to the people who are more likely to be interested in your business. Hence they’ll generate significant traffic to your website.

There you have it, folks. Ten simple yet effective tips that can help you get started with Facebook marketing.

What if you don’t have time or expertise to market on Facebook?

Aculign can help you market your small business on Facebook. If you want to check out our Social Media service just navigate to our page.

This content planner will also help you plan our your posts across multiple platforms. We hope this helps you go further, faster on Facebook!