Social Media Networks – the Best Marketing Tools
If you’re like many new small business owners, the wealth of free social media promotion opportunities may seem almost overwhelming. It can certainly be confusing, but there’s no reason to be intimidated. Setting up a powerful social media presence isn’t just easy, it’s almost necessary in today’s tech-savvy world!
Where to Begin
If you’re brand new to social media, Facebook and Twitter may soon become your new best friends. These sites – especially FB – have been around longer than many others, and as a result, they are extremely user-friendly.
Setting up a business page is just as simple as setting up a personal page. You’ll want to create an attractive and attention-grabbing banner. Make sure that it is relevant to your business. There are many free tools available online that make creating a banner easy and fast.
Once you’ve set up basics, such as your company’s name and vital stats, you’ll want to begin uploading pictures. Social media is extremely visual, so don’t skimp on photos. The type of photos you’ll use will, of course, depend on the type of business you own.
A photography studio, for example, would benefit from posting the best shots from previous sessions (after receiving permission, if applicable). A shopping blog should contain nicely assembled shots of clothing and accessories, either on models or artfully arranged. A cooking blog will obviously contain shots of delicious goodies, but can also benefit from step-by-step recipe photos and shots of the cook at work.
Updating Your Facebook and Twitter Pages
Updating your Facebook and Twitter pages regularly is key to keeping your fans and followers engaged, entertained and coming back for more. There’s no need to stress about updates, but they should be regular. If it helps, make a schedule for yourself. A good number to begin with is three updates per week. These don’t all need to include both text and photos – a quick snapshot or a few lines of text is all it takes to let your customers know you’re keeping current.
One of the fastest ways to bore your followers is to do nothing. There is always something interesting you can post, so don’t hold back! Even if nothing particularly interesting is going on, take advantage of the personal connection your followers crave. Let them know what’s going on at your shop!
Gaining Fans & Followers
When just starting out, the best way to gain followers is to ask your friends. It only takes a few seconds to follow a link and like your page or follow you. The more fans and followers you collect, the larger and more professional your business or blog will appear. This will prompt new viewers and casual visitors to follow you.
Keeping your personal and business social medial pages separate is an important part of establishing and maintaining a professional image. Your business and blog followers will enjoy seeing updates about new products or posts – your friends may not. Blasting personal friends with business updates can seem pushy, as though you’re trying to influence them to become customers. For this reason, it’s best to keep things separate. Let your friends know that it’s perfectly fine for them to ‘mute’ your Twitter posts. Having a separate FB page takes care of this problem automatically, since your friends won’t receive updates unless they follow – not just like – your business page.
Take it Slow
Don’t worry about rushing to create a presence on every single social media site. Your business needs to have a presence, but a small, professionally maintained presence is absolutely fine for beginners! As you become more comfortable with different sites, setting up new accounts will come naturally.