Does this sound familiar? “I created aTwitter/LinkedIn/Facebook account but never use it because I really don’t know what to do or say.”

You know there’s a value to it all, but you have trouble defining what that means for you and your business. Rest assured, you are not alone.

Social media has forever changed the way we communicate. For businesses, the use of social media as a platform for marketing messages is particularly helpful and cost-effective. However, businesses often do not understand which tools to use and how much time and resources to devote, resulting in wasted time and fruitless labor.
In this column, I’ll be offering advice on how to use these and other social media platforms for your business. This will help you to start communicating with your patients, prospects, peers, and competition in a whole new way.
Tip No. 1: Have a strategy. Identify which platforms are right for your business.
Facebook was created as a way for friends and family to connect. Everyone and their mother (literally) is on Facebook now, creating expansive networks of influence. Companies are also on Facebook, using these networks to interact and influence. For some companies, Facebook is proving to be as powerful as traditional word-of-mouth advertising. Facebook is the current king of social media. If your company is not yet present, you’re late to the party.
More like a corporate luncheon, LinkedIn is primarily a professional networking site. All your peers and colleagues are present, and, it is a great way to connect and meet new people or find new opportunities. This site is also great for creating online peer discussion groups and B2B sales prospecting. It’s not as useful, however, for consumer-driven businesses.
Think of Twitter as a cocktail party. This micro-blogging site is a powerful public platform for consumers and businesses alike. Con-sumers find deals, post product reviews, and interact with customer service. Businesses are using Twit-ter to create a persona for their brand more so than with any other social media platform. Engage in a professional discussion on Twitter just like you would at a cocktail party or an industry convention.
These three sites are just the beginning. We will discuss them, and more social media tools in future columns. I encourage you to start experimenting. Just remember to treat the conversations you have online with the same care as those you have in person.
Jessica Clark is an eight-year marketing veteran in the optical industry. She has led successful social media campaigns in line with overall marketing strategy for VisionWeb.

e-mail me at


Leave A Reply