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Don’t dismiss social media

I see very few businesses in the engineering and scientific sectors that treat social media (particularly shortform stuff like Twitter and Instagram) as being worth spending time on.

I think this is a mistake, and here’s why.

Firstly, I get that there’s not going to be much engagement from customers through these channels, and indeed, perhaps even any significant cut-through. But there will be some, and the effort involved in publishing company announcements (or indeed all website updates) to these channels is trivial.

We’d probably all be surprised by how many of our customers use these services, and while of course they’re not using them to find out about blue widgets, they won’t have any objection to the occasional post on their timeline about job-related stuff. For example, I’m a Twitter addict, and although 99% of the posts I get are to do with music, football, politics, friends’ opinions, or whatever, I also see stuff from a range of organisations I only deal with in my professional life. It’s useful – I wouldn’t have ‘followed’ them if I didn’t think it might be.

They do get ‘seen’

Secondly, although links to our websites from social media won’t directly influence our  search engine optimisation (unlike links from other websites), they do get ‘seen’ by the search engines, and I can’t believe they don’t have an impact. And who’s to say that someone creating a web page which would have a positive result if it linked to us, won’t use social media for research?

It’s easy to dismiss all this stuff. But it’s also easy not to dismiss it, and to use it, even if it’s only for the most basic announcements.