Using Social Media to Boost Your Business
When we first launched our e-commerce sites, my husband and I debated on the importance of social media and it’s placement on our store sites lalababyboutique.com and brainytoddlertoys.com. I thought it was important, well mostly because everyone else was doing it and we needed the extra publicity. But my husband didn’t think so, he didn’t think we should have any links on the store site linking out to another location like Facebook or twitter, “why risk a customer leaving the site and losing the sale.”
Well to be honest the debate is still ongoing, while we are both unsure how linking out to Facebook or twitter affected our sales we did agree that we needed to be more social and get the word out about our stores. And now with things like the Facebook “like” button it’s gotten a lot easier.
But what if you have a business but don’t know a thing about social media, where do you start?
The best place to start is Facebook one of the most popular social networking services around. You should create a Facebook Page for your business and start inviting friends to like your page. If you don’t already have a Facebook Profile you should create one of those as well. Some people choose to keep their profile and fan page separate and others seem to find a happy medium in which they use both profiles to promote their brand or business.
Linked In, a business oriented social networking site, is another great outlet for you to promote your brand and business. You can set up a Business Page and even create a Linked In Group. A linked in group is a great way to share your expertise and hopefully bring in clients.
Be sure to check out The Top 5 Ways to Market Your Business with Linked In.
Twitter, a microblogging service, is another great tool that can be used for business – unfortunately it often gets abused easily. I know my private messages are riddled with spam replies. Nonetheless if Twitter is used effectively it can really give your business a boost.
Creating videos and posting them on YouTube, a video sharing service, is another great way to promote your services, brand or product. Imagine how much more effective it is – if you were to visually walk people through your great iPad app. And if you don’t have a product to sell you can still promote your service by offering helpful advice like a video on how to add video to your wordpress blog. Video is a great way for you to establish your expertise and promote your brand. You can also create your own custom YouTube Channel like the one below.
There are so many ways you can boost your business online via social media and other online tools, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Creating a plan up-front will make things easier, be sure to define your target audience and determine how you plan to create value to your audience. Remember that social media goes both ways so it’s impossible to control the conversation.
Don’t bombard your audience with sales talk – be authentic and don’t be afraid to show your personality.
When it comes to business, which social networking service do you use the most or had the most success?