8 Fashionable Staples For Your Social Media Closet

Fashion Week Spring 2013
New York Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow, and while we aren't covering the runway here, we are talking fashion. What's currently fashionable for social media, that is. But like all women with great style, you must first learn that not every trend fits. Finding the right network and tailoring it to hug the curvature of your business in all the right places gives you a polished look, whereas trying to rock all the trends off the rack will give your biz a hot mess of a social presence that seems thrown together and frantic.

Any stylist will tell you that classic staples are a must-have for every closet, while trendy accent pieces should be thrown in to keep you current. These social networks do a killer job of acting as your solid social media foundation and make your bottom line look fan-fucking-tastic in the process.

  1. A Blog — The company blog is like the LBD that never goes out of style. It's the central hub of your social media efforts, and the place where all roads lead to on the Internet. It's where you can interact with customers, share ideas, and get feedback. You can even learn what your customers like and don't like based on which posts are popular, how many comments a post receives, and the comments and social shares you're seeing. It's like a mini think tank and it's always fashionable. Want to know how to get started on your own blog but think you don't have time? Read the How to Create Content and Stay Sane series first, then check out What Should I blog About later.
  2. YouTube — Like haute couture and sky-high pointy-toed Lady Gaga-inspired platforms, YouTube is a hard beast to tackle. It's not always a good fit for those with little to no video experience, but it's an attention-grabber when you can pull it off right. The key? CONFIDENCE. There's nothing worse than a gal who has the makings of a killer video, but can't quite rock viewers' asses off due to a lack of self confidence. If you want to dip your toes in the YouTube scene (or wear some sassy 6-inch heels to your next shindig), take some time to research other video creators in your niche to see what they're wearing down the digital runway. Take note of the lighting and camera placement, the length of their videos, their backgrounds, and quality. Write down what you like about those videos and the elements that made you sit and watch them all the way through. Now do that, but with a trillion times more gusto and style. Show 'em what you've got!
  3. Stumbleupon — Surprise! I bet you weren't expecting this one, right? The Stumbleupon social network is like high fashion haute couture — confusing, intriguing, and mysterious, but something you can't (and shouldn't) ignore. In my professional blogging experience, I've seen more traffic come from this little social network than all others combined. At its core, Stumbleupon is a website discovery service. Users offer up sites to "Stumble," and "Like" those pages that they've stumbled upon based on their interests. If enough people like your page, it will be seen more often. Though this network doesn't make many headlines, the community is highly engaged and self-policing so a word to the wise — if you get in on Stumbleupon, make sure you're not spamming the network with your own content. Spread the love and submit other pages that you like (but maybe don't come from your URL).

See the rest after the break!

  1. Facebook — This one needs no explanation, but it could use a little Tim Gunn-style direction. What's going on on your company's Facebook page? Have you let it sit by with no action, no links, no activity for a few seasons? Get back in there! Engage with your Facebook community! Use it to spark conversations, take polls, share images, curate content by sharing links from around the Internet, but don't open up shop before you can dedicate time to it and make it fabulous. You don't want crickets, mothballs and spiderwebs mucking up your sweet fan page.
  2. LinkedInLinkedIn drives more traffic and more leads for B2B (business to business — think copywriting services, PR, or anything else that helps other companies) than any other social network. The big disconnect here is that only 47% of B2B companies use LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the new black, so you'd better take stock, dontcha think?
  3. Pinterest — The current darling of the social media world, Pinterest has the makings of a social media staple. Many have tried to duplicate, but Pinterest is now a huge, pulsating, and thriving community. A visual network, Pinterest has been shown to drive more traffic than Facebook and can be a top referrer for many industries with eye-catching photos, product images, and quotes. Pinners love quotes; There's a whole category for quotes now. Pinterest has come under fire in the recent past for the lack of attribution for photos found on the site, so here's my recommendation — watermark all of your images (meaning the ones you take yourself and upload to any of your social networks or blogs) so that when people start Pinning them, the community at large will always know where it came from. Like great fashion designs, images on Pinterest have a way of getting swiped and replicated by shiesty Pinners.
  4. Instagram — This spry network was recently bought up by Facebook, and is the top mobile photo sharing site out there right now. The Marc Jacobs of photos if you will. How can you use Instagram for your business? Give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your day-to-day, show them how you create your products, new displays in your stores, or things you see while out and about that could interest them. Think your biz is too boring? Wrong. Check out what General Electric is doing on Instagram and how they've turned a non-glamorous industry into something fascinating.
  5. Twitter — You know by now that Twitter is amazing for pageviews but posting things other than your own company news and actually engaging with your following is the key to a successful Twitter community. Treating Twitter like your own personal RSS feed isn't going to win you new followers. In fact, it may turn people off. Like a self-absorbed friend who can't stop talking about herself, people will stop listening and eventually hit that "Unfollow" button. Don't be another tragic example.

Source: MBFashionWeek, BIBHU MOHAPATRA