A look at how to use social media to benefit your business

William Linard: Six steps to social media success for IT companies

CompTIA’s William Linard talks about the strong potential social media holds for your company.

In 2013, establishing a social media presence is no longer just something forward-thinking companies experiment with, it’s now an essential part of any marketing and promotion efforts. There are over 100 million people on LinkedIn and just as many on Twitter, while Facebook boasts 800 million users, YouTube hosts three billion videos, and blog posts dominate task specific searches on Google. All of this adds up to a powerful medium through which companies can carve out any identity they choose and establish a direct relationship with customers.

Social media holds strong potential for IT companies, who can use it to establish their expertise, increase their online visibility, drive qualified traffic to their websites, and generate more leads and sales. Here’s six tips for social media success:

1. Start with a keyword analysis
You need to make sure the content you create matches up with the language your audience uses. If you’re writing blog posts about ‘securing your infrastructure’ but your customers are searching for ‘how to keep hackers out of my network’, you’re not doing anyone any good. You can run a keyword analysis without cost by using Google’s Adword Keyword Tool.

2. Create a blog
Once you know the best words to use, start creating blog posts that target your keyword phrases. There are plenty of choices for blogging platforms, WordPress is an open source solution that scales well and has thousands of free plug-ins.

3. Establish profiles on the social networks that your audience already uses
Most likely this will be on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. To determine where your ideal customers spend time online, survey your current customers.

4. Establish a YouTube channel
Once you’ve uploaded your first video, you’ve created your channel. Since you’ll be identified on YouTube through your channel’s name, choose it wisely. For example, ‘PowerBoy17412’ doesn’t carry the same credibility as ‘ITexpert’.

5. Create an editorial calendar
Creating and executing a social media strategy is a lot of work and can often feel overwhelming. An editorial calendar can help alleviate this feeling and help you accomplish your social media goals.

6. Measure results
Put a plan in place to regularly measure your results. Besides Google Analytics, both Facebook and YouTube provide rich reports that give you feedback on whether people are responding to your content.

William Linard is CompTIA’s Membership Engagement manager

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