Your company’s online presence is multifunctional: it can serve as a first impression for new or prospective clients; in addition, it keeps your existing partners, clients, shareholders, and any other relevant contacts connected to your business and updated on your current work. And if you want your company’s name known on the web, a website alone is not enough to make a mark. Using several social media platforms for professional promotion will allow you to share more information with a larger and more diverse audience. It will also enable you to actively engage with your users, more so than a website that does not accommodate feedback or posts from readers. Below are a few platforms you can use to maximize your company’s social media presence – with added tips for respectful conduct and content on the web.
Even if you already have a personal account on Facebook, start a new page for your company. With a professional Facebook page, not only can you share information on your business and updates via news and photos, but you can also dialogue with your contacts. Users can post on the wall of your page, allowing you to respond directly on their posts. This is a great way to make connections in a more informal setting with business contacts. Also, Facebook pages will accommodate more than one administrator who can edit the page, enabling both you and your colleagues to keep tabs on the site.
Etiquette tip: Generally, Facebook is a casual and social forum – so if you do have a personal account, be sure to keep it distinct from your professional page. On your company page and status updates, don’t write about private life or update personal photos; instead, keep it strictly business-related.
Since Twitter is a space for short updates only (each tweet is limited to 140 characters), it works well for sharing brief quotes, related facts, and relevant links. It also acts as a tool to keep your various social media platforms connected and to direct users to your other company pages: for example, you can program most blog sites to automatically tweet when a new article is posted; you can also have your Twitter feed as a sidebar on your website or blog homepage. In addition, dashboards such as HootSuite or Tweet Deck allow you to pre-load tweets and conveniently shrink long links, so that your company Twitter is active and presenting new information, even when you don’t have the time to update regularly.
Etiquette tip: Tweet often, but not constantly. Too many tweets can appear overwhelming and even attention-grabbing, and users may become annoyed when they see unlimited tweets from one source. You don’t want to risk losing followers!
Blogs can be customized and designed to fit your company objectives. For example, if your company is visual or design-based, blogs like Tumblr have templates to streamline or arrange images in interesting formats. If your company’s product is content-based, platforms like WordPress or Blogspot can accommodate long texts, either written by you or uploaded from an external source to share. Blogs are one of the best ways to share extended articles or detailed information, and still provide a space for feedback and discussion with readers.
Etiquette tip: If you post content on your blog that is not your own work, be sure to properly cite the article and author, and also provide a link to the original source.