- Google search ranking — Social media blogs, tweets, and comments that include a link to your website increase your “link authority,” which makes it more likely to place higher on search engines.
- Getting to know industry leaders — Many cutting-edge leaders twitter about everything from industry news to their personal lives. If you set up your Twitter feed using an application like TweetDeck you can organize the people you are following by category. For example, I use: Publishing executives, Christian leaders, Software Company Leaders, Local Breaking News, and others. This allows you to get to know the thoughts and lives of people you may know only from a distance. It can build relationships and even lead to major opportunities.
- Seminars — At major conferences, many of the key people will tweet their reactions to the speaker, the data, the slides, and the reaction of the people in the room. It is fascinating to hear the thoughts of highly influential people in your profession or interest group. If you aren’t following the Twitter feed, you will miss 50% of what’s happening in the seminar, especially other people’s feedback, comments, or concerns.
- Fast-breaking news — For example, Twitter users heard about the airplane in the Hudson River long before it made any website or TV broadcast. There’s an earthquake monitoring site that posts the size, time, and location via Twitter faster than any other media. When Facebook tried to change their policies, Twitter made the news travel at light speed and the outcry was immediate.
- Loyalty — People want to be connected to the president of the company or the pastor and want to know you’re listening. They feel connected and sympathetic to you. If you are transparent and mix a bit of “business” and a bit of “personal,” you’ll find that people warm up to you and your company. They tell other people how much they like you, even though you’ve never met.
- Manage your online reputation — You must be aware of what people are saying about you and your organization. You can set up Google Alerts and TweetLater and TweetDeck to track names or phrases. Social media, especially blogging, allows you a platform to respond to events and questions.
Social media may not bring in sales with an attractive return on investment for your company, but it does have benefits that are hard to find elsewhere.
What positives have Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn contributed to you?