Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2014Blog written by Rob Swenson
Social media has firmly established itself as an important communications tool for most businesses. Site features and use patterns are constantly evolving.
Even the platforms change.
One element that has not changed is the need for businesses and organizations that use social media to provide visitors with good content, not just initially but on an ongoing basis.
Social media is not a necessity for every business. But those that use it should update content on social media outlets and their own websites regularly with good, fresh content. Give readers a reason to come back.
Creating an attractive website and opening accounts on popular social sites are important steps, but not enough.
With participation in social media comes the need to develop content strategy, says James Krueger, vice president of interactive services at ClickRain, a prominent web development and online marketing firm in Sioux Falls, S.D.
“The challenge that businesses have is pulling together that content,” Krueger says. “It’s a struggle with every single business and person we talk to, having a good content strategy.”
ClickRain is a strategic digital partner of SDN Communications, the host of this blog. SDN, which is also based in Sioux Falls, connects businesses and institutions in South Dakota and much of the Upper Midwest with the region’s premier fiber-optic network.
In addition to broadband connectivity, SDN provides telecommunications equipment, managed services and security solutions to help businesses effectively conduct electronic commerce. The company has a strong interest in helping businesses enhance their cyber presence.
Krueger graciously shared some suggestions to help businesses, especially those that specialize in serving other businesses.
For starters, businesses that jumped into social media without a longer-range plan should pause and identify their objectives, keeping in mind the demands of supplying fresh content on an ongoing basis, he says.
The key social sites for business, in Krueger’s view, are:
A lot of other sites, such as video sites, are available to supplement online commerce.
The importance of Google+ tends to get overlooked. The site use has potentially significant ramifications tied to search-engine results. Google’s influence in technology world is difficult to ignore, Krueger says.
Companies may share information on a variety of electronic platforms. But they should remember that the most important platforms they have are their own website and blog, Krueger says.
“That is your authoritative domain,” he says. “You control your website and your blog. You have less control over social platforms.”
A common question among businesses is if and how they should respond to adverse publicity on electronic sites.
Krueger suggests countering adversity on whatever site the disputed claim was initially made. Being part of the conversation is important, he says. Addressing negative publicity can add to a company’s credibility.
Krueger puts email in a separate category than social media. Email remains a potentially effective marketing option because it can be used strategically, he says.
Effective marketing also might include use of traditional media outlets, including broadcast and print.
I came up in the print world, professionally. So I’m a strong believer in the power, versatility and durability of the written word. But thanks to advances in technology, short videos have become a common and potentially effective communications component.
As with websites and social media sites, the quality of content in a video is important. Posting a video for the sake of adding an audiovisual element isn’t enough.
- Make the video worthwhile.
- Make it informational, insightful or entertaining.
In my view, low-quality sights and sounds are of no more value than bad written content. They do more harm than good.
Companies such as ClickRain can help businesses develop an effective social media strategy.
SDN can provide companies with the electronic infrastructure, telecommunications equipment, and services to get them into the social media game and help keep them there.
Keep track of SDN by following them through the company’s social media accounts: