Question: What social media must a business do?
I think it depends on the business. I agree, every business can benefit from using social media, but first you have to consider the type of business and what result the business desires.
A retail store might want to sell via Facebook, or it might want to provide information about sales, coupons, etc, or perhaps both. A professional business such as an attorney or an architect might want to show level of knowledge and competency.
Which sites I recommend will depend on what kind of business, what the business wants to accomplish, and the demographics of the potential customers/clients.
A sloppy implementation that is out of date and non-responsive isn’t going to help and will actually cause harm. So before entering into social media, management of the business needs to provide the proper support and be all in. I see a lot of businesses that set up the most basic facebook page and nothing else. Then they complain when only a few people (normally their friends) like the page. Well, of course. There is nothing there to like.
For example, if I am working with a personal injury plaintiff law firm, I would recommend a Facebook page, a Google business listing, Twitter, and a Blog. I always recommend all professionals of any kind have a LinkedIn account, but the business might want to have a LinkedIn page as well.
Then I would use the Blog to generate the content, which would focus on appropriate issues such as what to do after a car accident. The very sort of things potential clients would be seeking. I would also use YouTube for videos that provide information on various legal issues and introduce the lawyers and the firm. Everything gets linked together.
Over all, the goal would be to show the practice areas of the firm, the knowledge of the individual attorneys, as well as the human side of the attorneys. If the firm does pro bono work or something special in the community I would be sure to address that as well.
If I were working with an insurance defense firm, I would focus even more on LinkedIn, because that is where the potential clients are located. So even the area of law will impact the direction I suggest.
On the other hand, if I am working with a retail business, for example a small clothing store, I would want to set the store up with a Facebook page that enables sales on its page as well as via its website. I would do Instagram, a Google business listing, and a blog, perhaps focusing on fashion. I would also use Twitter. I doubt I would bother with LinkedIn, though I would recommend the owner of the store have a LinkedIn account.
I would make sure the Facebook page offers coupons and brings up sales and I would communicate that through the other sites. I would encourage communications on what the business can do for the community that relates to its customers. For example, a clothing drive during which people who bring in a clean piece of clothing for donation receive a discount on something in the store. Again, everything gets linked together.
As you can see, I am less focused on the individuals in the case of the retail business, and more focused on the product. When it comes to a professional such as a lawyer, however, the potential client needs to feel comfortable with the professional, so I would focus on introducing her and showing her level of knowledge. If the owner of the store had something unique about her, perhaps well known in the community, I would focus more on her. It would depend on her story.
Social media should not be used in a cookie cutter fashion. Whatever sites you choose to use and whatever content and method you use needs to be directly related to the type of business and the goals that business has for using social media in the first place.