7 ways to use social media in your business

46139974_mSince social media has become a significant part of daily life for most of us, we wanted to take a look at the different ways people and businesses are using social media. We found seven. Do you know of others? Let us know!

1. Publishing

Creating great content is becoming more and more important as the online and social media landscape becomes more crowded. High quality photos, videos and blogs contribute to the conversation on topics we care about or provide practical knowledge. Executives can be tapped for thought leadership content (think white papers or podcasts) in your particular industry. The key to creating great content is to make sure it’s all shareable and easy to find. If you can ride a news wave by sharing timely and relevant content during a major news event, you’re golden.

2. Amplifying

Amplification is what social media does best. Tap into larger networks to distribute your content further. Asking employees to become brand advocates via their own social media accounts is one way. Another is to reach out to online influencers in your industry and get them to share your content.

3. Remixing

Feeling creative? Try remixing other people’s digital and visual content to create something new. Or create something original and ask others to add to it. It can be as simple as an image macro or meme or as advanced as a video mashup. Be cognizant of copyright if you’re doing the remixing.

4. Aggregating

Once you establish social media platforms for your business, you’ll find them chock-full of user-generated content that you can use in your marketing. Aggregate Twitter and Facebook posts on your website, or display them in your store or at large meetings on monitors.

5. Curating

Within your own accounts, curate great content that brings value to your customer and audience. Share news videos, blogs and content from other publishers that you think your customers or clients would enjoy or find valuable. Remember the 80/20 rule for social media — keep 80 percent of your content relevant, informational and not too sales-oriented. The remaining 20 percent can be more direct marketing.

6. Engaging

Connecting with industry leaders, journalists and other influencers is one way to build networks, get your content in front of relevant audiences and create the potential for further amplification of your message. You can start looking for influencers and potential advocates using Klout, Google blog searches or looking through LinkedIn profiles. Once you find them, follow them and start digitally engaging with them by sharing their content and commenting on their blogs, and send them your content that you think they would find valuable.

7. Listening

Think of social media as your new customer service arm, because customers are going there to ask questions, report satisfaction and complain. Remember that old adage: Be where your customers are? Well, they’re on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter talking about your company instead of calling your customer service line. And in the fast-paced world of social media, speed of response is critical. Social media can also give you a sense of trends and your reputation. Monitoring social media makes it easier to determine if customers think there are problems with customer services, so you can respond and adjust.