A Primer For Social Media Usage

Sept. 17, 2015

Recently I overheard a group of young women at a coffee shop discussing the number of followers they had on Instagram and how often they posted to the app. But very quickly their conversation turned towards a totally different app…to the video messaging application Snapchat, which lets users “snap” photos and videos that disappear a certain number of seconds after they are opened by the recipient.

In the span of thirty seconds, multiple social media apps were discussed, phones were pulled out and content was being shared.

Their conversation got me thinking about the sheer number of apps and social media accounts available— Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and many more—and frankly, I got overwhelmed. And I’m sure you’ve felt that way, too, especially when it comes to your vending or OCS business.

Numerous articles and blogs tell us that social media has many benefits for businesses, such as helping target audiences, etc. But how do you know which social media channels to join? What will best help your brand and image and get you the most exposure?

First, determine which accounts would be most relevant for your business. (Here’s a list from Yahoo of all of the major players). It will be too overwhelming to sign up for everything available and there is no way to keep up with the constant posting required to each site to remain relevant. See what your business can handle (will you be doing the social media or can you give that to an employee to handle?) and what the goals of your social media presence are. Once you’ve thought of the basics, it’s time to begin signing up.

Here’s a primer of the social media accounts you and your business should be on right now:

Facebook

Facebook is a great place to start for a few reasons. First, Facebook has nearly 1.5 billion monthly active users, meaning that many of your clients and their employees are on Facebook, and are comfortable with it. Also, potential clients are on the site, too. It’s easy to create a company page for your vending or OCS business at www.facebook.com. Here’s a step by step process for how to set up a company page on Facebook. Not only will this be a good resource to target potential customers, it will also give your company exposure if you don’t have a Website.

Twitter

Twitter is a great resource to connect with other businesses and see what they are doing—it’s a great listening tool, so to speak. Twitter has been described as a brand loyalty platform where users feel more connected to a business after they follow them. I would recommend tweeting at least once per day. It can be a link to an article, a promotion that’s coming up, or something that connects your business to the local community. Here’s a link to join Twitter.

LinkedIn

Want to know a fun fact? Every second two new people join LinkedIn. LinkedIn is used by a lot of professionals, and it can be a great place to build sales leads and foster relationships. LinkedIn is more serious than Facebook or Twitter, I will admit, so you’ll need to take a different approach when using this site. In my experience, LinkedIn is more for you as the operator than a landing page for your business, but it is equally as important as Facebook or Twitter. When HR representatives are looking up potential vending/OCS businesses, they will no doubt be doing their research and will take to LinkedIn. You can certainly create a page for your company on LinkedIn, however, which allows you to share your company’s achievements and showcase products. Another plus is that it allows you to see information about your audience and potential contacts. Here’s a step by step for building a presence for your business on LinkedIn.

These social media sites are fairly easy to use and don’t have a steep learning curve. In the beginning you might find yourself thinking Why am I doing this? What purpose does this serve? That feeling will pass, trust me. My advice to you is to remain patient and start slowly integrating social media into your daily routine.