Integrating Social Media into Your IT Business

A simple online search of how to use social media for business can produce enough results to leave your head spinning. Here are some simple tips to start integrating social media into your marketing strategy.

These days, many businesses are using social media to connect with their clients and to promote their services, and IT companies are no exception. Businesses of all sizes choose to add social media to their marketing mix because it is relatively cheap, easy to use, and their customers and prospects are already there. But, a simple online search of how to use social media for business can produce enough results to leave your head spinning.

Here are some simple tips about using social media in your IT business, including how companies use it and which networks you should consider.

Social Media Uses in Business

Customer service: Companies like Dell (@DellCares), Samsung (@SamsungSupport), and BlackBerry (@BlackBerryHelp) are using Twitter and other social media platforms to provide quick, personalized, and low-cost customer support to their users.

Feedback on products and services: Social media can serve as a focus group of your target users when you ask questions about a recent product release on Facebook, for example. Or, you could ask your customers what features they would like to see included in the next iteration of your product.

Staying in touch with clients: Social media makes keeping up with all your clients and prospects much easier. When clients follow you on Facebook or Twitter, you have added opportunities to keep in touch, so they will think of you the next time an IT need arises.

Knowledge leader positioning: You can provide clients with useful information that will remind them of why they do business with you. For example, providing helpful articles about your industry on LinkedIn can position you as a trusted resource.

Social Media Networks You Should Consider

Facebook: Small businesses love Facebook because virtually everyone is there; users tend to speak up when they have a question or comment; and the network provides a rich community for sharing via text, photos, and more.

LinkedIn: Since your clients and prospects are likely to be on LinkedIn, you might consider creating a company profile there, too. It’s a great place to recruit talent, to network, and to find discussions to join surrounding your industry.

Twitter: Twitter remains a viable content sharing platform, not to mention a place to network with industry peers (and to provide customer service, as mentioned above).

YouTube: IT companies can offer how-to videos on YouTube to help clients use their products and services more effectively.

Google+: While Google+ is a strong social network in its own right, you probably won’t find the robust community that awaits you on places like Facebook and Twitter. However, many IT businesses are using Google+ to collaborate in and out of the office. Hangouts provide an excellent virtual meeting space for employees who work remotely.

Pinterest: If your IT company sells visually-oriented products and services, you might consider Pinterest, too. For example, a web design company could create endless Pinterest boards on what makes a good website.

The key to selecting which social networks to join is to start small — in fact, you’d be wise to start with one, and then branch out from there if you wish. Don’t try to do too much too soon, and remember that nurturing an active community on one social network is much better than trying to juggle too many if you don’t have the resources.