Why a business should have a social media strategy

About a month ago I discovered Empire Avenue and since then I can’t stay away from it. Every evening I spend about 30 minutes playing the game. Or is it a game ? I suppose the best way to describe it is a game with a reason ! I do it because social media is one way of promoting a website and raising your brands profile.

I have 5 websites, at least four blogs, two Twitter accounts (one with 2,700 followers), two You Tube channels, a Flikr account, a Tublr account, two Facebook pages, a Foursquare account, a LinkedIn account, an Instagram account, and two Google + pages. I also have Audioboo and Sound Cloud accounts. All those accounts take some maintaining !

The main reason I have these accounts is to promote my travel agency, Global Holidays and also because I enjoy writing. The more writing I do the better I get, although I suppose my readers will be the judge of that !

I have been calculating the size of my audience and its fairly impressive. My websites get about 4,000 page views a day, sometimes more. Add in my blogs and other stuff and I would think my overall page views and exposure on a good day will be about 5,000 a day. I recently registered with Klout and my Klout score is 37. Klout meaures your influence through your social media efforts. The maximum Klout score is 100 but not many reach that score, and Klout tells me that I am fairly influencial, so my aim is to increase that score which will mean my influence is increasing.

Back to Empire Avenue. In a way it’s similar to Klout but far more complex. You start the game with a pot of virtual money, called Eaves and you can use this money to buy shares in others. It’s very similar to the real stock market because you have to judge whether you will get good dividends and if the share price will increase. Now here is the interesting bit. Your share price increases based upon your social media activity. Just like Klout, you register all your social media accounts with Empire Avenue and they measure your influence by looking at how many interactions you have through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc etc.

I started with a share price of 10 and 3 weeks later my share price has gone up to 43 so I am heading in the right direction. The long established players have a share price over 500 and a portfolio value of £161M so I have a long way to go to catch up, if I ever do.

The reason I like the game is because I think there is a way to make money from it. You can use your virtual currency to buy advertising and also to reward people for “liking” your Facebook page, following you on Twitter or even watching a You Tube video. This, of course, is good if you have something to promote or sell but also, Google is using social media in its search algorithm so the more influential you are in social media the better your website will do in the search engines.

So, Empire Avenue encourages you to create good blog and other content which drives more traffic to your blog and web site. Give it a go. It beats Farm Town or Farm Ville !

Social media for a business is all about creating avenues of communication with your customers and potential customers, building your brand and driving traffic to your websites. It takes hard work to make it work. I don’t see that many brands have got it perfectly right yet but it’s still early days.

There is no doubt though that if a business does not have some sort of social media strategy they risk being left behind.

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