You have all heard about the big four players of social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. And you are probably already providing value and engaging customers on most, if not all, of these social websites.

If you haven’t / aren’t, now is the time to get on board with social media. I often recommend to our clients to register their name and/or brand on as many social media websites as they possibly can and not to just limit themselves to the major social media players mentioned above.

The reason why is quite simple, one social site might be too small or just emerging today, but in 6-12-18 months time, it might be the dominate place your customers and prospects use to obtain additional information about your services/products, connect with peers or share their unique experiences. Wouldn’t you prefer to have solidified your profile by registering it under your brand name instead of discovering that one of your competitors or somebody else in your territory is using your cherished brand? I know I would.

Just to put the last paragraph into perspective, 36 months ago, nobody knew what Twitter was… look at it today, it’s just shy of reaching 100 million users. I have witnessed numerous clients reaching out to their customers and growing their online market share faster than in previous years.

The only reason to use a specific social platform for business is if your audience is there. No platform is right for every company. If you’re using social media to grow your business, focus on the sites and applications that are already being used by your target audience. But also register or reserve your company name on as many social media sites as you can for three important reasons:

  • You want to protect your brand and keep someone else from using your name.
  • As your social media network grows so does your reputation and its selling opportunity.
  • What may be an unimportant platform now may eventually become a hangout for your audience.

Remember, there’s no one rule that’s right for every company. While much of the advice you hear might be solid, it may not be appropriate for your business. So always solicit data in a timely manner from your target audience by asking: In your opinion, what is the most effective and desirable way you like to share communication?