Many social media sites now emphasize visuals–photos, videos, and other images. As a business owner you can utilize such sites to visually present your business, products, and services. Visual sites are a growing trend, and some already established networks, including Google+ and Facebook, allow site users to post videos and photos on their existing pages. Other sites, including those discussed in this blog entry, are strictly visual and rely more on images and video than text.
Today, a great deal of social networking centers around multimedia. YouTube provides a beneficial forum for business owners to broadcast detailed images or dialogue about their businesses. If you recently remodeled or opened a new location, or would just like to show off your current location or products, creating a YouTube channel allows you to upload videos of your business, employees, and customers. You can also add dialogue and links to the videos to enhance your customers’ viewing experiences. Utilizing YouTube and video provides you with a way to visually present your business.
YouTube allows you to upload and store many videos, creating an entire archive of media content about your business. YouTube’s video statistics help you to track video usage and view trends of high activity to determine what works best for your business and to gain increased exposure. To enhance the visual appeal of your YouTube channel, you have the option of adding your business logo and a cover photo, similar to those used on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
YouTube videos can easily be embedded on your website, and the video links can be added to other social media pages as well, including Facebook and Google+. Customers using these sites will be able to play the videos directly on each site. It is important to keep in mind that people are interested in people. Posting videos of employees and happy customers will show potential customers that others appreciate your business and may attract an even larger following.
Pinterest is one of the newest and most-discussed forms of social media. It relies on “pinboards” of images that are created and then bookmarked by individual users. Pins are images that can be grouped in any way you like, on boards that site users create and name. As a business owner, you can utilize Pinterest to present images of your business or products and services. These images can be taken from your website and then added to your Pinterest boards. When customers see these boards and pins, they can “repin” the images onto their own boards. Their Facebook and Twitter followers will receive a notification that they repinned your image, and can then log on to find the image themselves. When you create pins, you have the option of making the pin a link to your website. Customers who view the pin will then be automatically redirected to your website. You can also add your website url as a caption.
As a visual media, Pinterest allows for customization and flexibility. You can create a pin from virtually any image on your website, which customers can then access on their own and broadcast to their networks. Pinterest also requires little maintenance: once your Pinterest account and business boards are running, there is little follow-up work needed.
Instagram is another photo-based social networking site. Instagram relies solely upon images, which can be edited using a variety of tints and shades, as well as photo effects. Images of food are especially well-suited for and popular on Instagram. As with YouTube, photos of your employees and customers will also be well-received and will provide effective positive marketing for your business. By posting images of your products and services and individuals associated with your business on Instagram, you can reach a new network of individuals.
Additionally, Instagram can be integrated with Facebook and Twitter, so your Facebook followers will also be notified of your Instagram posts. We discussed Instagram’s utility for businesses in our post on November 9, 2012, “Instagram for Businesses”. Please click here to view this post.
Social Media Toolbox Wrap-up
Social media sites are a great marketing tool allowing you and your customers to interact. Each type of social media offers different benefits, so be sure to maximize your social media marketing by posting the most appropriate content on the right social media sites. If customers respond to your posts, engage with them! The goal of business-oriented social media is not only for you to share information, but to also interact with your customers. Utilizing a wide range of networks suited to your business will help you to optimize your online social media presence. Explore the social network options available and find out which results in the highest customer response!
By Alissa Monti