When choosing a medium for a business venture, it is good to consider the characteristics of the medium that make the medium effective or successful. For example, a billboard is a medium highly effective primarily because of its large size. So in order to capitalize the size of a billboard, the obvious thing to do is to make the poster on the billboard just as big.
Facebook and Twitter are also mediums. Just like a large poster on a large billboard, the best way to channel a marketing or business venture into Facebook and Twitter is by capitalizing on the features that make these social networking platforms successful. This means pictures and instant updates. The accessibility of pictures and the streamline format of instant updates distinguish Facebook and Twitter from websites.
Some businesses work better with Facebook and Twitter than others. A good example of a business using Facebook to its full potential can be found in Tallahassee, Florida. It is a locally owned bakery called Bite of Your Life that posts pictures of their baked goods in their profile as well as a photo album from the 1st annual “Daddy and Me” cake decorating class.
A lot of the business includes custom cakes orders for weddings and birthdays. When the actual birthday pictures are posted on Facebook, viewers see the birthday girl with all her friends gathered around the custom cake and then may navigate to Bite of Your Life’s page and see the very same cake.
When it comes to instant updates, it is important to avoid over-marketing. For instance, the update “2 for 1 Margaritas from 5-7 at Ruby Tuesday’s” skates the line, especially if the special is a constant occurrence. This applies more to Facebook’s status updates. It is obviously bad if a user associates a status update with the advertisements on the side panels.
A rule of thumb is that an instant update should contain information that a client or customer would benefit from but wouldn’t think to look for. If a client knew he needed certain information, he would simply go to the business website or make a phone call. Instant updates remain pure by being unexpected. Another scenario is a customer or client waiting for something for an unknown amount of time. For example, after a business releases a beta version of software, the company posts instant updates when software updates or firmware become available.
If a business isn’t of a capricious nature, Facebook and Twitter are not the best suited mediums. An example of this is a Hotel. A picture of a room, for instance, could just as easily be put on a regular small business website. A good business profile is inconstant, relevant, and not full of stuff that would work just as easily on the average website.