Use Social Media to Market Your Business
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
The Internet is becoming the preferable news source for people around the world, which is why businesses need to take advantage of social media marketing. An entirely new marketing strategy may seem very overwhelming to businesses though, perhaps because they may not know much about it or because they may not have room in their budget to take a chance on it. But with social media, it is a very affordable opportunity to promote your business online because most of the sites are free to join!
The top four social media sites you should get your business on first are LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. They are all free to join, they allow you to find and connect with your target audience online and you can create and post a limitless amount of promotions, announcements and company news!
Each of these sites has their own benefits, so it is important to give each one a chance. LinkedIn is an excellent place for you to connect with your prospects, colleagues and existing clients on a professional level. LinkedIn offers applications to add to your personal profile, which would give your LinkedIn network a better idea of what you and your business specializes in. Two great applications to use are SlideShare and the blog applications. If you conduct speaking engagements at conferences and other events, use the Slideshare application to upload your Powerpoint presentations to your profile. If you have a blog, use one of the blog applications to make your blog appear in your profile. Applications will add valuable information to your LinkedIn profile, and will promote your industry expertise to your LinkedIn Connections.
Twitter can be seen as your ultimate public relations tool. You can connect with anyone in the world and can view what they are sharing with their followers. If you enjoy what people are sharing, retweet their posts! If people enjoy what you are sharing, they might retweet your posts to their followers. Retweeting encourages people to listen to what you are saying and could strengthen the relationships you have with your Twitter followers. Sharing information is becoming a large part of marketing today because it portrays your business as a thought leader, and it encourages people to engage in conversation online. Hence the name- social media.
With Twitter, you can also attach hashtags to all of your posts in order to market yourself to a particular audience. Hashtags are keywords with the # symbol in front of it, and they make your posts appear every time that hashtag is searched for on Twitter. For example, if your business is in the non-profit industry, include relevant hashtags like #nonprofit, #fundraiser or #volunteer in your posts. This way, your target audience will have an easier time finding you on Twitter.
YouTube and Facebook are both creative ways to stay in front of your audience and provide them with valuable content on a daily basis. If you want to include your employees in your marketing efforts, YouTube is definitely a great solution. Each of your team members have their own expertise they could share on particular subjects, so why not have them create a 2-3 minute video of how their particular skills can help potential clients. You can also create videos that announce company news, specials, and new products. Facebook is the social network that combines all of these networks together. You can share photos, articles, videos and links all through Facebook. If you have a lot of photos that you'd like to share that feature your work, Facebook offers a place to store Photo Albums.
All of these social networks can be used very effectively when it comes to marketing your business. It's a great way to share information quickly to a large group of people, an opportunity to connect with people who you normally would have never met in person, and it allows your target market to find you in a quick and convenient way. Social media helps you stay in front of your online audience, brings valuable information to them on a consistent basis, and allows them to engage with your business whenever they can.