Have you been avoiding Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook? Think social media is silly? You may be missing out on a great way to drive traffic to your website and promote your business.
Here are some tips on the three major players. Each has potential advantages for your business:
Facebook: Facebook helps you connect with people on a personal level. If you’re just building a website, post a message inviting your friends to check it out. You can create a Facebook page for your business and share a link to your website, as well as links to blog articles, special deals, and other “bread-crumbs.” Just remember, don’t be “all business” on Facebook: keep it light and conversational.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is all about building business-to-business connections. So, share company news, links to your blog articles, or milestones your company has achieved. Join groups and answer questions as the “Expert” (provided you have good answers, of course.) With LinkedIn, you can endorse the skills of your connections (and your connections can endorse you!) You can also request recommendations, which can result in nice testimonials for your business.
Twitter: A tweet is a short,140-character message: the perfect way to share links to your blog posts. (So if you’re not blogging, it’s time to start.) While it might take a little time to get the hang of hashtags (#PatriotSoftware) or retweets, you can have a little fun with Twitter. Keep your posts intriguing so that others will share — pose a question, make an observation, post a video.
New to Twitter? Start following a few notable people that you admire. Many times, they will follow you right back. Twitter will also suggest like-minded people that you can follow as well. As you post relevant content and offer valuable insights, you will gain more followers.
More Social Media Tips
Make use of shortcuts. With social media management tools like Hootsuite, you can automatically post to multiple social avenues at once. Use a URL shortener such as Bitly to shorten your links. And, if you’re not in the office, you can post from your phone or other device (just make sure to proofread your post first.)
Regularly contribute. Sporadically posting here and there will not do your business much good. Commit to posting regularly to keep your business on people’s minds. Whether it’s once a day or once a week, find a rhythm that you can reasonably sustain while you juggle the rest of your business.
Talk about someone else. Social media is about relationships…give and take…. interactions…conversations. So if you’re always talking about yourself, you may discover no one is listening anymore. Here are ways you can strike a balance:
- Is your business supporting a charity or involved in the community? Write about an event you took part in, and then post photos on your blog.
- Review your previous posts occasionally to make sure you don’t sound like a broken record. Don’t repost the same articles or ideas over and over again.
- Acknowledge your customers publicly and respond with personal messages when appropriate. Give customers the credit when they share great ideas.
- Respond gracefully and quickly to complaints. Because social media is a public venue, the sooner you deal with a negative post, the better. Thank your customers for alerting you to a problem, apologize for the inconvenience, etc. You’re acknowledging that you’re not perfect, and customers will appreciate your honesty.
Set time limits. Remember: social media should be just one part of your total marketing efforts. It’s easy to lose track of time reading other people’s posts or trying to craft the perfect message. Be disciplined, remember your goals, and don’t engage in social media at the expense of your business.
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