So you run your own business and you’ve successfully got your website up and running. You’ve tweaked the content for SEO and you’ve started working on back links to improve your site ranking. What else can you do to improve your online presence? The next step you need to take is to explore that brave new world of social networking and use Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to market your business and find new clients. In this article we’ll look at a couple of ways to get the best out of these tools.
In the last few years businesses have woken up to the advantages of using Facebook to interact with their customers and contributing to an online community to increase brand awareness, without overtly broadcasting promotional advertising. The first step obviously is to create a Facebook Fan Page in order to connect with communities, clients and potential customers. To do this the page needs to be socially active and offer enough to recruit new fans. This can be done by constantly creating fresh content, posting updates and promotions as well as new photos and by hosting events online. Add links to your business blog on your Facebook page, accept all friends requests and reach out yourself to everyone you know from friends, family, acquaintances and people you meet at business events.
For businesses, Linkedin can be an even more powerful tool than Facebook, particularly when it comes to networking. If you take the time to set up a strong profile as well as getting involved in groups relevant to your business and build a good reputation from your community, you will soon begin to increase the range of your influence and advertise your expertise. To do this effectively you need to keep reinforcing current connections and building new connections. You can reinforce your current connections by writing recommendations for other people you have worked for and with, as well as requesting recommendations from clients and people you have worked with. You can build new connections by both contacting other clients and businesses and by participating in forums and discussion groups. Display your expertise, be helpful and people will start coming to you for advice.
Though still finding its legs for business purposes, Twitter is already proving to be a powerful brand management tool and useful for generating leads. Once you have established your presence on your website, Facebook and Linkedin and have determined your potential clients and market audience, you can then seek out people in that market using tools such as Twellow, a kind of Twitter yellow pages. Once you have found this audience it is easy to follow their tweets and to get them to follow you. This in turn will open you up to all their contacts too, provided the tweets that you put out for your business are interesting, respectful, honest and don’t try to force your company or product down people’s throats. Better instead to provide general and insightful news about your industry that they might be interested in and that might then lead them to look at you as an authority on your chosen profession.
These are all basic steps to get your business out there in the world of social marketing. Once you have mastered these there is much more that you can do, but even just these basics will improve the reach and reputation of your company greatly.
What social media sites do you use to market your business?
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