Social networking sites are extremely important for startup companies because they are a free way to gain a lot of publicity. People are comfortable using social networking sites, so they are more apt to search for a company and get to know a company through these mediums. Fortunately over in the land where social media networks are created, most networks allow companies to create specific brand pages on the social networking sites. As December 9 of this year, all the major social networking sites will allow brand pages. Twitter was the last of the four to open up brand pages (following Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+)
Brand pages generally work differently than traditional individual accounts because they are catered to the needs of a business. If your company still has an individual account and not a company account on any one of the four major social networking sites, it’s time to take social media a bit more seriously. Today 73% of U.S. companies use social media for marketing purposes, and that number is only expected to rise as brand pages become more popular.
If you’re starting a small business and still on the fence about utilizing brand pages, consider a few of the benefits:
Benefits to Utilizing Social Media Brand Pages
Mobile Capabilities – The New Year is expected to be the year of the mobile takeover. People will be searching and surfing on their phones more than ever, and this includes social media. While it can be difficult to optimize a website for the small screen, many social networking sites already have an application that easily converts content for the mobile screen. This will help insure that you have information on the web that consumers can find easily on their cell phones.
Brand Page Perks – There are perks that go along with creating brand pages. Twitter recently announced that their brand pages will allow for larger headings so that companies can include their logos next to their company name. Facebook brand pages have features that allow people to “like” an entire page; thus increasing your exposure. Google+ is connected to gmail accounts, and Google places, making it easy for your company to stay connected as a company (as opposed to as an individual).
Price – Brand pages are completely free to create. While some marketing services charge a larger fee for companies versus individuals, social networks do not care. They are happy to have your company participating, so there is no reason not to take the opportunity.
Comfort Level – People are comfortable using social networking sites because they have their own individual accounts. While people often get frustrated trying to navigate their way through a company website to find the answer to a simple question, they are more apt to remain on a social networking site. They will be able to get the information they need; thus boding well for your business. After all, frustrated people rarely buy.
The most important thing to remember is that you have to manage all of your brand pages. While it is certainly worth your while to have a presence on all of the social networking sites, it can be difficult to keep them maintained. For this reason, many companies hire someone or ask their marketing department to keep an eye on the accounts and answer any customer questions. In the end you will find that brand pages are great for creating and maintaining customer relationships.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from merchant services to liability insurance for Resource Nation, an online resource providing tips for small businesses and entrepreneurs.