Social Media - Don't ban Facebook & Twitter from the office!

If you think websites like Facebook and Twitter should be banned from your office computers, then you're NOT missing the boat. Ok, managers and bosses, before you start referencing this article as justification for what you did to your staff, continue reading.

You're not missing the boat, because you've missed the jet plane to Paris. These websites and others that make up social media are your first class ticket to effective, trackable, viral and yes, relatively inexpensive marketing. Let's break this down Q&A style:

  • Who better to spread your company message than your staff?
    No one, however.
  • Are they going to run down to the newspaper to take out an ad? Are they going to print up flyers to hand out in their neighborhood?
    Doubtful, but they might post a link to an article on your website that mentions the cool new widget you're selling.
  • Where are they going to post that link?
    It's going on their Twitter and Facebook pages as the most recent status update.
  • Who will see that status update with your link?
    The people that have VOLUNTARILY chosen to follow the updates of your staff person. In most cases, they follow because they want to know what this person is up to and what he/she likes. To put it in business terms, this staff person can realistically effect the buying decisions of their followers/friends.
  • When is the best time for them to post something about your company?
    While they are sitting at work, and receive a company-wide email about that cool new widget you're so proud of. Make your staff proud of it too, and they'll tell everyone they have influence over. Oh, and that link to your site they sent to all their friends, it survives on the great "www" forever, bringing traffic to your site and helping your search engine rankings.

Now with all that said, social media isn't magic, and requires a little work and proper planning. Don't worry, it's a lot less time and money than you would put in on a traditional media ad campaign. Here's a 5 quick tips to get social media working for you:

  • Don't block social media sites at your office. If you need to block something, block porn, it actually is evil.
  • Setup a Twitter account for your business/organization.
  • Setup a Facebook Business Page for your business/organization. Link your Twitter updates to your new Facebook page. Facebook allows for this using your Twitter RSS feed.
  • Assign the updating of #2 & #3 to someone on your staff that has their own social media presence. Odds are they'll be passionate about getting your message out "there". Have them post updates, news, new products, events and anything else relevant.
  • Make your staff aware #2 & #3, but don't require that they follow. Give them a reason to follow by posting relevant information (ex. Employee of the Month award, company photos, open discussions about where the company Christmas party should be, etc.). The more you engage your staff through social media, the more you'll empower them to use social media to grow your business/organization.

These tips will get you going in the right direction. If you want to take social media further, there are plenty of companies that specialize is this type of marketing (yes, we're one of them). They'll bring you a lot better ROI than companies that are still taking the boat.


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