Expanding your Business Reach
with Social Media

Megan Watson - Business Development Specialist

As a millennial, posting to Facebook or updating my Twitter feed comes second nature to me, but in some businesses, sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. Just a decade ago, if you wanted to learn more about a company you would Google their name and simply look at their website. Based on the website alone you could make a decision to investigate a product or service more in depth, or move on. Nowadays, this is still the case. But looking at a company’s website is not the only source of information that successful brands have to account for. If a business doesn’t have a presence on social sites (or a poor presence with little information, old, dated, or irrelevant posts), LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram, an ever-growing younger generation of buyers essentially will discredit your business based solely on viewing your social platforms without even visiting your website.

For many companies it is difficult to make sense of all these social media sites and how to appropriately use them. The number of likes a business has on Facebook, the number of followers on LinkedIn, and the number of tweets and retweets on Twitter are common metrics viewed as essential in today’s hyper-competitive digital environment. The key is to know what platforms are both utilized in your industry and useful for your target audience. COACT clients span numerous industries in the B2B space, and some utilize social media more than others while others really do not need or use social media at all.

Let’s review the platforms and try to make sense of it:

LinkedIn – The largest ‘professional’ network made for business. If a company can only choose one social media platform, it should be LinkedIn. At a minimum every company should have a LinkedIn profile page to assist in networking with other professionals, vendors, groups, and potential employees. Over the years, LinkedIn content has morphed into real-time ‘thought leadership’ with industry trends and economic indicators keeping businesses in mind. It is also a great place to post news, jobs, and articles related to areas of expertise.

Twitter – With the infamous 140 character limit, Twitter initially was viewed as limited medium, but if you are creative you have the ability to share trends, news, photos, and videos. Your company can post in real time about tradeshows you are attending, new partnerships, or fun facts about your company with focused posts that can be targeted at groups, individuals, and other companies.

Facebook – The largest social network in the world founded just over 10 years ago has set the standard for social media. Facebook is a great place to share your company’s culture where you post pictures and videos, brag about employees, and share exciting news. It is a fun and easy way to connect with employees, potential employees, and even clients/customers. It can be heavily utilized as a recruiting tool as well. At COACT, we have discovered several current employees through Facebook and other social networks. This would be unthinkable even a decade ago.

Instagram – The most visual social media platform, Instagram, focuses on photos and videos. Instagram is better to use if you are in a niche market that is specifically attracted to visuals, so it may not be extremely useful to all companies. However, it is a great product or cultural tool to use in a variety of applications: post pictures of products, projects, and business trips to utilize it as a recruiting tool similar to Facebook.

Keep in mind these are social networks, they are not a place to necessarily conduct business; while you can share promotions or other marketing pieces, they cannot lead your social media campaign. It takes a substantial amount of time and effort to keep your accounts up-to-date. So encourage your employees to get involved. Chances are they already have multiple accounts and are constantly checking them, so why not encourage them to like, share, or repost? The bottom line is this: the world has moved into a digital era where people live through social media, so get out there, start posting, tweeting, and sharing!

Questions or comments? Please contact Megan Watson at mwatson@teamCOACT.com