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How to Succeed in Business with Social Media: Part 1

Woman using phablet in office settingEvery social network has its own format variations, and its own target audience. For example, Facebook offers a broad range of post formats, while Twitter is primarily a text-only medium. LinkedIn and Google+ are both geared towards working professionals, which is reflected by the more formal tone of the content. Pinterest and Instagram tend to be less formal and appeal more to creative types and hobbyists.

 

Today, the key challenge for businesses using social media is trying to represent their brand in a consistent and strategic fashion, while making the content compelling enough to gain new subscribers to their social media accounts.

 

Small businesses tend to find it more difficult to expand their social media audience. What can a local auto repair shop, an independent bakery, or a small law firm do to attract people to their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages?

 

Large corporations have more options available for attracting people to their social media accounts. Larger marketing budgets enable companies to dedicate more resources to producing professional content that appeals to larger groups of people. Microsoft, for example, has a number of dedicated YouTube channels which are regularly updated with high-quality tutorial and promotional videos.

 

Part of the challenge of building a successful business social media offering is the natural tension that exists between internet users and corporations. This is a strained relationship that has existed since the earliest days of the world wide web.

 

Internet users have historically found businesses' online presence to be intrusive and overly aggressive. The current popularity of ad blockers and other browser plug-ins hostile towards online marketing is a response to previous overindulgences by less than scrupulous companies.

 

Social media gives businesses a fast-paced line of communication with current and potential customers. But, this marketing channel comes with high expectations from its target audience. Modern consumers have very short attention spans, and the online competition for their time and attention is fierce. Companies that fail to create engaging content can easily find their social media feeds turn into deserted showrooms.

 

In Part Two of this article, we'll look at how some businesses have created highly successful social media properties, and what some of the education options are for people who are interested in starting a career as social media experts.

 

 

Aaron Axline is a freelance technology writer based in Canada.ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aaron Axline is a freelance technology writer and knowledge management specialist based in Edmonton, Canada. His work has appeared in titles from Que Publishing, and on many tech blogs and websites. His professional writing site is AaronAxline.blogspot.ca.