This question has been asked by many times by companies looking to leverage the power of social media. The first thing that should be taken into consideration is what the company is looking to achieve when engaging in a social media effort. Without knowing the end goal, judging the success of the effort will be hard to determine.
The first step is to decide what social media sites you are going to use, and in what capacity. Take Twitter for example. Most people use it to post updates in their lives. Companies can use it to tweet updates on products and services, or to even announce special offers. Some companies monitor the hashtags being used in the areas of interest to the company. There are even some who use Twitter as a customer service tool. Zappos is a fantastic example of this. And some companies use Twitter as nothing more than a news feed.
Everyone seems to want to use Facebook to acquire “likes” – but what does that really accomplish? You can instead embed facebook apps that can collect data about your prospective clients. But the metric that counts the most is the number of “shares” that a url gets. How will your company work on driving up the usage of sharability for your content?
Youtube – By now, everyone should have a channel for your company. It doesn’t matter if your company sells worms or is a hi-tech provider of services. There’s no reason that every company shouldn’t have a few videos demonstrating thier services or products. Even if you only have someone talking about what you have to offer, it doesn’t have to be professional level quality – just make the content relevant to your offerings.
LinkedIn – Many people know to create a profile to list their contacts, recommendations, and groups that they particpate in, but building a company profile can list out all the services that your business delivers. Why not take advantage of this?
All of these components can be blended together to form a comprehensive strategy that can be deployed to grow your business in a way that presents your company in a positive light. When using social media to grow your business, you’ll learn that it does consume a lot of resources, but the reward is a company that actively engages it’s customers and shows them that you are interested in being part of the conversation.
Through these actions, the search engines will see the social activity taking place, and should reward the site with healthy rankings in the search engines.