2011 was a big year for social media. The "Big Three," Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn got bigger. Hundreds, maybe thousands of other social networks flourished. One would be hard-pressed to make the case that social media is still just a fad. Instead, it's become clear social media is here to stay. It has fundamentally changed the way we do business and the way we document our everyday lives. One in every nine people on Earth are on Facebook and people spend over 700 billion minutes a month sharing photos and status updates. As 2011 comes to a close, I thought I'd share a few tips for you to implement in 2012.
Google+ Business Pages
Google+ is still in its infancy. Now is a great time to get in while the playing field is still level. Many companies have thousands of followers on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn while it appears Google+ has plenty of room to grow.
Include A Picture
This is a pet peeve of mine. You absolutely must upload a photo on every one of your social media sites. When your site is missing a photo it looks like you don't care. Social media is supposed to be social. It's personal and including a photo makes your profile come to life. If you don't believe me, think about this: Twitter accounts with photos have ten times more followers than those that don't.
Post With Links
If you don't include a link with your tweets, updates and other posts, you're missing an opportunity to drive traffic to your website and blog.
Social Media Buttons
Make it easy for people to find you on your social media sites. Add social media buttons to your website, your blog, even your email address. This is just Marketing 101 and the results are measurable.
Include A Call To Action
Don't be shy about asking people to follow you, retweet your tweet or otherwise engage in your content. Give this a try. People respond to these types of requests and you'll never know unless you ask.
Content Is King
Content still rules social media sites. Posts that don't just include a link, but contain some content about the link result in more interaction. The more characters in your tweets (at least 130) and your Facebook updates (up to 450) the more interaction.
A Few Final Tips
If you opened a social media account, use it. When I visit an account and the last post was a month ago, I run. Grab your company name while you can. Twitter handles are going fast. Secure your name while you can. Separate your personal and business accounts. Trust me, your customers/clients don't care where you're having lunch and they don't want to see your vacation photos.
These tips are easy to implement and you'll see results in no time at all. Please share some of your own tips below and here's to a social 2012!