There is often the misconception that certain industries don’t need to either promote on social media or build a community there. But maybe you’re just thinking about the wrong channels.
Instead of thinking that you don't really need to use social media in your industry; think of social media as a beneficial, strategic, shiny, new tool!
We find it interesting when companies are not on social media, don’t pay much attention to it (but have platforms), or aren’t even interested in being on social media.
Yes, networking in person, at events, dinners, and conferences are all great. But it’s still limiting, and why would you limit yourself?
When you think about social media, your first thought may be Instagram or Facebook, but that’s only two different channels. There are so many more available out there, including some you may not have even heard of. You NEED to be getting the word out about what you do or what you’re building, so don’t limit your options!
Now, I’m not just going to tell you that you need it. Anyone can tell you that you need something or that you don’t need anything at all. Without a reason, it may not mean anything or help you in any way. Fortunately, we’re here to help and explain the actual benefits. We’re here to give you the why.
If you want to understand even more, you can also check out our previous article, Social Media Best Practices, which dives into what each platform is meant for.
Connect and Network
So, how do you benefit? First off, does this sound familiar: you’re going to all these events, networking like crazy, but simply ending up with contact names. You’re trying to keep up these new relationships while maintaining the old with the occasional email here and there. This is neither sustainable nore manageable - nor does it open the door to opportunities.
Why do this, when you can simply use LinkedIn. Beneficial for more than just ‘connecting,’ Linkedin is used more and more for job opportunities, relationship building, and even public perceptions between companies.
Connect! Connect with people before events, then meet and connect after! This is also where your company's LinkedIn page comes in handy and you can invite them to follow so they can keep up with news and updates. You’ve overcome the biggest hurdle: catching their interest. Now they want to know more about you and the easier you make the process, the better for them - and trust us, it benefits you both.
LinkedIn is meant to help facilitate networking opportunities and helps build those important relationships. The funny thing is a lot of people and companies don’t always think of it as social media. It’s social, it’s digital, is media…Social Media = the Social Network.
The Power of Cross-Channel Promotion
And what about YouTube? If you’re doing events and/or a lot of interviews, public speaking, or even interesting smaller-budget commercial videos, YouTube is your platform!
YouTube can be misunderstood as well, especially since it can be a complex channel to grow. However, there is power in combining channel benefits. Consider combining forces by establishing a synergistic relationship between LinkedIn and YouTube.
YouTube can be used in one of two ways or even both. If you have great content and can make videos all the time, that is incredible. Keep doing it, keep going, and keep building that content. But if you’re more focused on short clips, interviews, and speaking events - that still works too.
Use the power of combination and cross-channel promotion. House your videos on YouTube and then share them on LinkedIn. This gets you more views and gets the eyes that you want on the video. You can either clip a shorter preview and share that with the link, or just share the link and let the preview image from the link send them to watch more (also we suggest the first option over the latter).
Don't wait for people to discover your other channels. Be proactive and cross-promote to drive your audience where you want them!
I know we’re focusing more on the benefits of LinkedIn here, but if you’re in an industry that doesn’t commonly see the value of social media, this is a big one to focus on first.
As for other channels, one of the biggest reasons companies think they don’t need social media is because they believe if they have one channel, they need to have them all. But this isn’t Pokemon, you don’t need to catch ‘em all. It’s not as complicated as you may think but also not so simple to downplay the necessity or the work. You just need to find the channel(s) with the audience(s) that fits your goals.
However, it’s not just specific to companies, but rather entire industries. Of course, retail, travel, hospitality, service, and really any B2C company industries know they need social media. They need the public eye. But we have noticed that the STEM industry (and many organizations in the B2B industries) is particularly distrustful, disbelieving, or unsure about the benefits of social media for them.
We get it. STEM companies don’t often sell straight to the public and don't see the use. However, how do you think huge companies whom you aspire to become, became known? Social media, traditional word-of-mouth, and PR. Not to mention, in today’s age the power of being visible is a significant factor in more than just public optics. It can be a major contributor in determining potential valuation with investors. Being vocal, being educational, being a thought leader - all by using socialis media - are great ways to establish trust and credibility among those with dollars.
It all comes back to knowing your audience, who you want to be your audience, and where those people are (what platforms they’re on).
Companies and people networking are on LinkedIn - but so are people looking for opportunities, investments, and the next big thing.
People are talking to each other and sharing on Facebook and seeing ads. People want to see benefits and results and testimonials on Instagram. People on Twitter want news and drama. People on YouTube want to feel like they know you. And people on TikTok want to see how things work, who you’re working with, and learn what they aren’t seeing on the news.
Knowing your channel and highlighting the right content is how you can see large leaps of growth in ways you may not have considered.
One last benefit to think about: when businesses and people can see you, get updates from you, and get the inside scoop, they also trust you more. The world is changing, the reasons why people don’t buy from companies are changing, and the reason why people will work with you or buy from you is changing. These same reasons also affect if people will tell others about you and if what they say will be positive or negative.
Get out in front of the world, and tell your story the way you want it told.