Summary: Even if you’re uninterested in social media for personal reasons, your business just has to be on it. Dave Hodgden and Steve Ripper from Portsmouth Computer Group discuss how businesses can benefit from social media. Listen or read more to find out about social media and businesses.

Mike:  Hi, it's Tech Tuesday here on WTSN's morning information center, powered by Portsmouth Computer Group. Pcgit.com is the website. PCG, guaranteed one-hour help desk response and dedicated network engineer that has two convenient locations in Portsmouth and Dover. And Steve and Dave, they made it in this morning. Give ‘em a nice round of applause. You guys are just troopers, man. I really didn't think Tech Tuesday would survive.

Steve Ripper: We will do anything to talk about technology.

Mike: I know. Welcome. And Happy Thanksgiving to you guys.

Steve: Thank you very much.

Mike:  What are you guys doing for Thanksgiving? On the lighter side of things, before we get into our . . .

Dave Hodgden: It's just always a great time for family. Too much food. We've got the big turkey. We're ready to go.

Mike:  Staying home or traveling? [crosstalk] Where are you traveling to?

Steve: Vermont, in-laws.

Mike:  Dave, are you staying home?

Dave: Staying home. Got my tree house, beverages, and we are excited for the family to come try them out.

Mike:  With those favorite adult beverages?

Dave: Oh, favorite adult beverages.

Social Media for Business

Mike:  Today, let's talk about something light guys. What are we going to talk about today?

Dave: Let's talk about social media.

Mike:  I love social media.

Steve: Do you think anybody uses it?

Mike:  Nobody uses it!

Dave: I don't even know what social media was ten years ago.

Mike:  What are you guys on? I mean, I am on Facebook and Twitter that's about it, I only can do so much.

Steve: Yeah, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn because LinkedIn is like the Facebook for companies. So, you can get contacts but other than that, not too much else.

Mike:  Is that where you look for jobs? On LinkedIn? Do people post resumes and stuff like that?

Steve: Jobs a little bit, but more like if you are looking for deals or you are looking for someone that does a particular service. So, you're going to network, it's for networking.

Mike:  Alright. Dave what are you on? Are you on Facebook and Twitter and stuff like that?

Dave: I'm here on the radio, there's my social media right there. Yes, as an older veteran right here it's important in your business environment to stay actively engaged in all your social media outlets. So, yes, I have a Facebook account, I have a LinkedIn, I have Twitter, I'm on YouTube now I do videos on that one, we just talked about podcast.

Mike:  Yeah, a lot of videos, people post on videos, I mean they get more exposure when people sort of view them more often, yeah.

Dave: The problem with social media is you got to have a reason behind it, Mike, you want to kind of have to plan on "what's your message, what do you want people to know about you" and you want to have a consistent message aimed content. So, if you are going to have someone is like all of the sudden "I'm doing blogging right now" there's a good message. People join and listen more, so I think it's important to have someone helping you and have that message people want to hear and people listen.

What to Know About Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Mike:  Yeah, so what's popular now? We've heard all controversy about Facebook and Zuckerberg and what he's done or what he hasn't done. Politics got into it and people tried to stay off of politics if they can on Facebook. I don't use Facebook for politics, I don't put Facebook pictures of things that I eat and stuff like that. I try to network with people, I try to promote things, we have a WTMS Facebook page. I have my own personal Facebook page and we try to get as many likes, we try to promote things on the radio station that we do on our Facebook page and tweet it out as well.

Steve: Yeah, you know the funny thing is don't pay attention to the controversy. The controversy with Facebook is because everybody uses it. It's not really that people aren't using it. It's in the news because its rally hard to find someone that isn't on Facebook so that's why you see advertising like Dave is talking about getting your company’s message on Facebook. That's where people are going to see it, you know, people aren't really going to see it on TV much anymore. They're not going to see it in newspapers anymore — social media is where people spend all their time now. That's where you have to have your presence, you have to figure out as a company or even for yourself if you are marketing yourself as a small company, your own person business.

Do you get on Instagram? Twitter is huge, you'll hear in the news all the time Twitter is not making any money, but that has nothing to do with the number of participants that are in Twitter. Twitter's great because it's a one-time hit for all the people that are following you, so you can just keep popping messages. Yeah, so those are the big ones. Instagram has gotten bigger in the last couple years than you seen, you used to have the big two as Twitter and Facebook, but now you are seeing a lot of Instagram just because so many post are related around putting pictures up of some kind, so that's really Instagram's niche right there.

How to Best Utilize Facebook and LinkedIn for Networking and Promoting

Mike:  So, you guys obviously recommend then, if you have a business no matter how small or large that you should have a Facebook account for the business?

Dave: Absolutely. A lot of what I consider Facebook for, Mike, is what we do for the community. What's happening, not to particularly promote me or to Steve or pictures or fun stuff but actively showing what's going on in the community, how you might help particularly with the food drive you're talking about, relevant content. Another big part of LinkedIn, which is step blazer, there's a page service. So besides just being able to view anybody on LinkedIn, if you've paid for the service which is only forty dollars a month, you have the ability to get more content or information on a particular user you might want to network with. If you're in sales or marketing, it's a fabulous outlet to try to get information of a particular business you might want to do business with.

Mike:  Yeah, it's almost like Facebook you know, if you post something on Facebook they say "would you like to Boost your reach for five or ten bucks. And they guarantee so many of thousands of other views, I guess, people outside if your network, I guess.

Steve: And then the other part of it is, is that as far as your own company is concerned, think of it as a website that is already designed for you. You don't have to do anything to update it; manage it. The people who are going to go to that site already are familiar with how to use it. If you think about putting, so if you have something you want to get out like "This is what we are doing this weekend, this is what we do every Tuesday" then if you put it on your own website you have to have someone who knows how to manage the website. You have to have someone who knows web developing stuff to put things there. You have to update it and then you have to hope that your users will go to that website. You have to tell them, whereas Facebook you just say "hey, check out our Facebook page". Right, so everyone that you are talking to already knows how to go there, they already know how to open it up, and the people in your own company who have to put those post, they don't need any special training either. They can just post whatever they need to for that [crosstalk] and away they go.

Mike:  You know, I know a lot of people who don't have personal Facebook accounts but they do have business Facebook accounts.

Steve: Sure.

Dave: Like me, my wife loves Facebook, it's a great way to communicate with friends and family, but mine’s is all about the business side. She says “why don't you do personal?”; I don't feel the need.

Mike:  You don't feel the need?

Dave: I'm busy enough I don't need more people following me.

What’s SEO?

Mike:  You're more involved with the business aspect of it and trying to share your knowledge of your expertise of your business with people.

Dave: I feel that it's the website that it all comes back to there is a reason to social media from a business side Mike, that is imperative to the website. If you properly plan it and you kind of need to have a budget, what I am going to spend because it cost money if you want the account for LinkedIn, it cost money if you want to do SEO — Steve, what's SEO?

Steve: Hold on, I remember this. Um, SEO . . .

Mike:  SEO?

Dave: Steve, what is SEO? I don't remember.

Steve: Search Engine Optimization.

Mike:  Search Engine Optimization. And what does that mean for me?

Dave: For you, if you are trying to, the goal for me is I want to put some key words on my website. So, if you are searching for IT services in New Hampshire or you live in Dover that knows you're here, that my site’s specifically talking about IT services in Dover. So, you are enhancing whether they use the word or terminology called meta-tags, keywords inside my website so the person, when they start Google-ing whatever they are looking for, your site will organically show up on Google. So, you are not paying for it, then that's the best way I think for a business to do is SEO optimization.

Mike:  You're not, or you are paying for it?

Dave: You're not paying for it. Google ad words you do pay for, so I think it's a combination of both, Mike, that you want to do as much SEO organically to have you rank up on the side of the pages. Then if you really want to enhance key words, pay bit for words, so if I want to use the word "networking", that costs a lot of money because everyone is trying to use it, so find a word “security.” Find something and then bid on that and then you’re going . . .

Steve: Tech Tuesday.

Dave: Tech Tuesday. Then you hopefully show up in that site and you will see it says ‘paid ad’ if you notice when you are searching Google. So, there's paid ad and there's organically. You got to have some form of budget for all these social media aspects that needs to be part of the planning phase of your social media, from a personal site its free but from a business it has to work and needs to be little money, little skin in the game and who's going to control it.

Steve: So, if you are wondering thinking if you should be in social media as a company, think about just walking around the number of people staring at those small screens. Right, those are all the eyeballs you are not reaching. They're not listening to you, Mike.

Mike:  Good point. Alright, Tech Tuesday with our good friends Dave Hodgdon and Steve Ripper from Portsmouth Computer Group, check them out PCGIT.com with convenient locations in Dover and Portsmouth. Any final words this morning?

Dave: Have a great Thanksgiving everyone.

Mike:  You too guys. Drive safe today, Happy Holidays.