SM.1The question is repeatedly asked by SME’s and Entrepreneurs; Can I make business out of Social Media?   My response is Business is about people and relationships.  And Social Media helps you amplify these.  If you are doing a good job; the good is amplified and if you are doing a bad job; the bad is amplified. 

A second question that routinely comes up; “what platform should I use?”   And my response is “use Social Media to deliver the PUNCH.”  LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ are like the four fingers and a Thumb.  “5” Together deliver a PUNCH. Maintain your presence on “5” platforms but LASER on “3” platforms. And remember Social Media platforms help you drive traffic to your website so establish the link.   Now I will borrow from Robert Kiyosaki and assign a definition to each of the “5” platforms.

  1. LinkedIn: This is a PROFESSIONAL network.  There are over 250 Million professional on LinkedIn out of a global professional workforce of 620 million.  Members have the highest income brackets of around USD 124K per annum. Check out LinkedIn strategy of the Emirates Airlines company page with over 163,596 followers.  Also check out Mashreq Bank company page.
  2. Facebook: This is a PERSONAL network wherein you focus more on the social side of your connections.  This has over 1.1 billion members. Check out the Facebook page strategy of Sharaf DG Online with 330,262 likes.  Also check out City 1016 – Open Your Heart and Khul Ke Bol with over 238,200 Likes.
  3. Twitter: Twitter is about PERCEPTION wherein you share your opinion.  Most of your followers are unknown to you but have a perception about you.  Twitter has over 600 Million members and it’s a darling of celebrities and media. Check out HH Sheikh Mohammed’s Twitter account with over 2.5 Million followers.  And also check out Emirates ID Twitter engagement for customer help with over 38,600 followers.
  4. Pinterest: This is about PICTURES.  There are over 70 million members and the large percentage of them is female who regularly pin pictures. Check out the strategy of  UAE Golfline @ http://www.pinterest.com/uaegolfonline/
  5. Google+: This is a darling of Google and is about PASSION.  This network is for people who share a passion.  It is a growing network and a great platform to be on to enhance your SEO ranking. Google has a small business following in UAE so it makes good marketing sense to create differentiation through Google+. Check out Souq.com account on Google +with over 97,200 followers

The icing on the cake is WordPress; YouTube & Slideshare wherein you can park your content including videos, presentation, images to share across your Social Media platform.  Like Google+; Slideshare has small following in UAE and your presence on Slideshare shoots up your  SEO ranking. Check out strategy of  www.salesfore.com how they cut down the sales cycle to 20% by posting all relevant Sales presentations on YouTube.

PROFESSIONAL, PERSONAL, PERCEPTION, PICTURES or PASSION; in Business you must identify your target audience; who and where.  And the five “Ps” provides you with the platform of your choice to position your business. 

P.S. – Watch out for my # 2 of 6  posts on how to make a business out of LinkedIn