Social Media Can Help You Grow Your Business
There are many ways to go about growing your business, but social media is one of the quickest and easiest. It’s an effective way to gain new customers, increase brand awareness, and grow traffic to your website. For these reasons, it’s no wonder that over 66% of marketers are using social media to grow their business in this day and age.
While there are many social media sites to choose from, we’ll focus on the two most popular: Facebook and Twitter. These sites have the most users and can really help you reach a large audience.
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#1: Facebook user growth continues to skyrocket
Facebook has over 1.06 billion users, with over 500 million of them active daily (source). If you aren’t taking advantage of this for business purposes, you need to start now.
Take these steps to get more out of your Facebook presence:
• Add a business page. If you already have a personal account, set it up as a page for your business instead. You can use the same account as your personal page, but if you don’t want to spend your time managing two accounts, go with the business page.
• Be active on Facebook. Use the News Feed to post updates and announcements at least once every day and link back to specific blog posts or pages on your site. You should also create a page to highlight your blog.
• Customize your profile. Create a professional profile that is tailored to the services you provide or industry you work in.
• Share things that are relevant to your niche and audience. The easiest way to do this is by simply clicking on the “Share This” button on your Facebook Timeline, which will show any updates you’ve made on other sites or platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. If a post goes live on your site, you can also use the Status Update tool to quickly post something that will only go out to your followers.
#2: Twitter is a great channel for attracting new customers and increasing brand awareness
Twitter is one of the most effective sources for building brand awareness and keeping in touch with current customers. It’s also a great way to find new customers, especially if you’re in a highly specialized industry or niche.
For business purposes, you can use Twitter to promote your business, build relationships with other people in the industry or niche you’re in, and even reach new customers.
To use social media to grow your business on Twitter:
• Use Twitter’s Lists. Lists are groups of users that can be customized according to their interests. You can create lists based on your industry or business niche, and these are great places to share status updates and blog posts from your site.
• Use Twitter ads. Twitter has recently launched a new ad platform to help you target potential customers, get more followers, and drive traffic to your website. If you’re interested in advertising on Twitter, create an account with the network and follow their instructions for creating an ad.
• Be active on Twitter. Use the “Tweet” button to quickly send updates about your business or website, and include a link back to the original source of your post/news/blog post.
• Use the Twitter search function to find potential customers. Look for key words that include your business name or brand, and see what people are saying about you. If there are any issues or complaints, address them or contact people directly using the Direct Message feature.
#3: Linkedin is a great place to connect with other businesses and potential customers
This site is a great way to connect with other business professionals, share ideas, and promote your products or services. It’s a professional social media site, so be sure to keep your personal and business information separate. If you have a personalized profile that includes links to your site or blog, people will think of you as someone who is only out for profit & can’t be trusted.
To use social media to grow your business on LinkedIn:
• Build a professional profile by including a photo and a short summary of who you are. You can also list your education, skills, and awards.
• Connect with other people in your industry or anyone who might be interested in your business. Send them connection requests through the “Add Connection” link on their profile, or ask them to connect with you.
• Host a group. If there’s a subject you’re passionate about, create a discussion group that allows people to discuss relevant topics. Make sure to add value by sharing your own experiences and point of view so people will want to participate.
• Be active on LinkedIn. Share status updates on your company blog or website, or share interesting articles or videos from other blogs in your industry or field. Comment on discussions and make sure your profile is up to date with the most relevant information, including new accomplishments and awards.
Social media is a great way to reach out to potential customers and the best way to learn about what’s going on in your industry. Take the time to get involved and join conversations, or start your own if you’re passionate about a particular topic. The more you use social media, the more it will help you grow your business.
Begin your social media marketing campaign today.
#4: Instagram is the fastest growing social network of all time
Instagram is a mobile app that allows you to take photos or short videos and share them with your friends and followers. It’s one of the fastest growing social networks ever, and it’s a great way to attract new customers. However, it doesn’t work as well for promoting your business as the other social media sites mentioned so far.
To use Instagram for business:
• Create an account for your business. Don’t make the mistake of using personal information to create your account, so make sure to use your business name and any legal information, such as your company’s name.
• Add a profile picture. Most users upload a photo of themselves that’s about 225 x 150 pixels or smaller. You can also add text or a logo to the photo. It’s best to not use your business name or logo as its own image, otherwise people will see it as spam.
• Include a link to your site or blog on your profile. This tells people that you’re a professional and not just a person selling something. Include the name of your business and website, but don’t use something like “click here” or “go here” in your description. Use the link shortener bitly to create a short, easy to remember link.
• Add new photos regularly. You can upload as many photos as you like, but make sure to add new ones regularly. Don’t post too often though, otherwise people will get annoyed and stop following you.
• Engage with other users. Follow other people to see what they’re posting and comment on their photos showing them support by liking or commenting on their images. Also be sure to check out comments from people who have liked or commented on your images, maybe there’s a question or compliment that you can respond to immediately so your followers see it as an interaction.
• Use hashtags. Hashtags are words you put in front of the word or word and a number sign (#) to tag your posts. Here are some common ones used by businesses: #business #businessowner #startup #smallbiz
#5: Pinterest is perfect for visual businesses
Pinterest is unique among social media sites in that it allows you to create collections or “boards” for each area of your business. It’s a great place for any visual business, as companies like interior designers, artists or photographers will find this site easy to use.
To use Pinterest for business:
• Register a Pinterest account and create a board. You can have up to 30 boards, and you can fill each board with pictures, videos, or links to products or information about your business.
• Use the “pin it” feature to add images to your topic of interest. You may also use the “share” button to add them to Facebook, Twitter or another social media profile you own.
• Make sure to include a description of your content in the notes section when sharing images. This can be the same as what’s written in your profile, or it can provide more information on a particular item.
• Preview items before pinning them. You can preview before pinning by clicking the checkbox next to “Preview” when you’re sharing an image.
• Use hashtags to group and categorize your boards, as well as add more keywords to attract more followers. You can also use hashtags for searches so people who like certain items on your boards can easily find the content you’re sharing.
• Tag photos. When you share a link to an image, be sure to tag it with the appropriate hashtag so people who are interested in that topic can easily find it.
#6: Snapchat is great for communication and marketing
Snapchat is an interesting social network because it’s targeted toward teens, but also has a large following of adults as well. It’s primarily used to share pictures and videos, but it also allows you to send text or voice messages to your followers. You can send pictures that automatically delete after a few seconds, or you can send images or videos that remain on the recipient’s phone for a short time before disappearing. This is an excellent way to communicate with customers in an informal manner and share information about your business in what’s basically a closed community.
To use Snapchat for business:
• Use the “friends” option to send a message, photo or video to a specific person.
• Use the “add friends” option to invite people who use Snapchat or find them using their username. You can also share your Snapchat handle on your website and social media profiles so people can find you.
• Use the “stories” option to share photos or videos with your followers for up to 24 hours before they disappear. People can post their Snapchat username in the story too so people can comment or send them a message.
• View and reply to messages by accessing the “snap code” section under contacts. You can also send a “snap code” to people who want to get in touch with you using this social network.
• Use Snapchat filters to add fun effects to your photos. You can find these filters in the filters menu next to your profile image.
• Use @username hashtags when sharing a photo or video with a specific person. This will show them that you’re sharing it on behalf of them, so they might feel more inclined to follow you as well.
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#7: YouTube is your go-to video platform
If you’ve created a video for your business or want to start recording videos, then you’ll want to take advantage of the many features YouTube allows for. The most popular option is to upload a video that will then be shared on Google+, but it’s also a great place to share product reviews, how-to videos and other information related to your business. It can also be an informal place to communicate with customers and friends on an individual basis.
To use YouTube for business:
• Choose a video length and upload a video that you want to share with your followers. You can upload as many videos as you’d like and then share just the link by using the “post” option. You can also create playlists of your videos or search for videos others have created related to your business, or find places where other people are posting comparable content. If you’re seeking feedback on a video you’ve created, make sure to reach out on a company blog or Facebook page.
• Use the “share” option to email the link to others, or use the “embed code” option to add it to your website. You can also add it as a shared video on your social media profiles.
• Register an account if you haven’t already done so. YouTube is a free service, and you can also find tips and information on how others are using YouTube for their businesses.
• Use hashtags to create a searchable index for your content. For example, you could use @username when tweeting about a video you’ve posted.