It’s clear, social media is no longer an option for businesses. Any progressive marketing campaign is today infused with a social media plan tailored to complement a company’s personality, products, messaging and, most important, the personality of its clients. Social media gives a business a mighty persuasive, dynamic and vigorous ‘in the moment’ connection to clients and contacts, enabling for an advocacy businesses have never before leveraged – one they can create and, even better, control.

How does a business control its social media? A business is the sovereign of its social media, commanding social media platforms with as much energy as the business sees fit. The flip side of this social media opportunity; however, is that not every business sees the value in robust, compelling social media positioning. Instead, they view social media as an ineffectual chore performed only to keep a minimal pace with any competitors that may also be content with lethargic social media efforts.

Do you really want to be lethargic?

What a waste of time and effort not to give something 110 percent! Why do it at all? Businesses need to understand that the energy they put into social media will benefit them greatly in the form of online reputation, thought leadership, social marketing and even a boost to brand awareness and, better yet, brand loyalty. As 2014 emerges, deploy social media tactics that will work for your business.

Here are four serious social media suggestions to get your boost your social engagement.

Embracing LinkedIn Showcase Pages

In late 2013, LinkedIn launched showcase pages, a content platform on LinkedIn where companies can freely publish information related to a specific area of their business. The debut of LinkedIn showcase pages enables companies to better position brands by sharing more relevant, targeted information. For businesses with diverse platforms of services, showcase pages allow for profiling different products, services and areas of specialty. LinkedIn is a huge force in social media sharing for professionals. Businesses that embrace all the nuances of LinkedIn for content sharing will benefit with boosts to online reputation, brand awareness and expanded professional networking.

Google+ Your Business

You may be hearing a lot about Google+ for business. You may be hearing it is a game changer for social media. You may be hearing that optimizing Google+ accounts can actually help with search rankings. Well, you are hearing right. Google+ should be viewed as a mandate for 2014. Quite simply, Google+ is one social media platform that your business needs to optimize. With Google leveraging Google+ to collect personal information, Google+ is increasingly being showcased by Google to be a decisive, perhaps even indispensable, and certainly integral component of its SEO matrix. During 2014, businesses will grow to value Google+ as part of a progressive social media campaign.

The Rise of Visual Content Marketing

We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. With companies becoming brand publishers and online marketing teams being driven to produce uniquely memorable content, the rise of visual content marketing was only a matter of time – and timing. With platforms such as Pinterest finally beginning to make sense to businesses, creative graphics and branded images that reflect a company’s mission, products, services, goals and philosophies are growing in popularity. As infographics become common components of online marketing and even advertising strategies, companies will find that seeing is believing when it comes to engaging an audience of prospective clients. Companies such as Starbucks, Kraft, Pepsi and scores more are actively creating increasingly elaborate visual content; validating that the power of the picture is paramount in 2014.

Tweet Your Business

On January 8, Business Insider reported that A brief pause and an offhand joke between panels featuring Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Facebook global marketing solutions VP Carolyn Everson at CES in Las Vegas gave a hint to just how fierce the competition is between Facebook and Twitter. No offense to Facebook (yes, your company should have a Facebook presence) but 2014 is the year your business needs to be active on Twitter – assuming you are not tweeting away already. Twitter is a massively fierce social media engine that creates thought leaders and allows content sharers to distinguish themselves from their rivals simply by being forthcoming, smart and relevant.  Tweeting allows a business to be reactionary, even revolutionary. Tweeting allows a business to share its original content and build relationships to create additional opportunities to maximize content platforms. Do not underestimate the role Twitter is playing in the way businesses communicate with clients and prospective clients today.

With 2014 underway, entwine your business in social media platforms that you feel seize the best opportunities for marketing and networking. Ultimately, where your company communicates its messaging is entirely up to you. Exploring the benefits that can be derived by embracing a cross-platform social media approach might be a good move in 2014…sooner than later.

About the Author(s)

Chris Miles

Chris is Founder and CEO of Miles Technologies, an award-winning IT, business software, web design/development and online marketing firm with the mission of providing highly customized, groundbreaking technology solutions that further businesses’ goals and objectives.| Facebook | @MilesTech | More from Chris

Founder & CEO, Miles Technologies
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