Auberon Waugh invented this phrase to describe the middle classes who were well-educated, had strong political views and were social concerned.  It wasn’t a compliment!  Today it might be used in a completely different way – to describe people who spend all their time on social media.

I’m a big fan of social media – but don’t want to share every detail of my life on it.  I find it really useful for all kinds of things, both business and personal, but I do think before I post.

Quite apart from the personal advantages of being able to keep in touch with family and friends scattered all round the world, I find social media is a really powerful business tool – as long as it’s used intelligently.

Social media for business

It’s a great way to connect with people you would, otherwise, never meet.

LinkedIn is a valuable tool to make connections with potential clients and build relationships, which is particularly valuable if you’re offering products or services to other businesses.

LinkedIn groups are an excellent way to get in front of a bunch of people who are, potentially, all ideal clients.  As long as you share your knowledge to help others, you’ll soon become well-known as an expert in your field.

Facebook is an excellent platform if your business offers personal products or services.  Bags, shoes, crafts, gifts, wedding stuff, personal development, fitness, nutrition and beauty all do well on Facebook.

That doesn’t mean that there are no business people looking at it – it’s just that, when people are on Facebook, they’re usually ‘off-duty’ and are operating as a husband, wife, friend, son, daughter, football fan, etc.  They’re in social headspace and aren’t looking for business services so much.

Facebook is community oriented where like-minded people gather round the things they’re interested in.  Elly Prizeman launched her unique shirt business on Facebook and has grown a successful business as people get to see the latest designs and feel part of her community.

Twitter is a much more random means of making connections.  You may be connected to someone who has 30,000 connections and, if they share something you tweet, all those connections have the potential to see it – which is why things go viral really quickly.

Some of the big organisations use Twitter to respond quickly to customer queries and complaints.  It moves much faster than LinkedIn and Facebook – and it’s unfiltered so you can see everything, unlike Facebook where only a percentage of what’s posted is presented for you to read.

The other plus with Twitter is that, using a social media management tool, like Hootsuite, you can run a permanent search for any terms you want to keep up with.

If your business is visual Instagram (owned by Facebook) is a powerful tool.  For example; Joe Wicks, owner of The Body Coach, has become a millionaire through Instagram.  He uses it really effectively to share before and after pictures, short video clips of recipes and to establish his hashtagged keywords.

The other visual platform is, of course, YouTube.  Not only does it carry a wealth of information, but many people use it as a search engine.  If you want to know how to do something, there are probable several videos on YouTube explaining how.  That means it’s a great place for you to have short videos about your services.

To get the most from YouTube see it as a means of showing off your expertise.  If people can see how good you are there’s a much higher chance of them considering using your services.

Clearly, there are dozens of other social media platforms – but these are the ones most people look at first.  If you want to get your name and expertise in front of people you really do need a sound social media strategy.