If you’re a small business or entrepreneur, chances are you’ve dipped your toes in the social media waters. But have you really  jumped in?

Social media is a wonderful and exciting world, and understanding each of the tools. Will give you the confidence to build a real following that you can grip to establish brand awareness and increase sale. And best of all, these social media platforms are free to use.

Imagine going to an event and sending a piece of paper around with a message on it. The message reaches 500 people in 1 minute. Out of those 500 people, 50 of them come over to your table because they’re interested in your message. Out of those 50 people, 10 end up buying a product. Was the 3 minutes (or less) it took to draft up that message worth it? Most businesses would say, “Yes!”. Now imagine being able to have that same result every single day.

It’s not guaranteed that you’ll make 10 new sales every time you send out a message via social media, but the reach you have with social media is instant and effective. Once you have followers on Twitter or Facebook, you then have a built-in audience right at your fingertips! And, they’re all potential or returning customers.

The chapters in this book will help you gain a firm grasp on using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. Once you understand the function of each platform, you’ll be able to navigate them with ease and functionality, and you can start creating buzz in no time. Here are just a few examples of ways in which you can use social media to expand and promote your business:

• Use Facebook and Google+ as a customer retention tool by personally posting on clients’ profiles, thanking them for their business.

• Tweet daily or weekly discounts to your followers on Twitter.

• Post new product pictures or recommended items on your Pinterest board, keeping your clients visually interested.

• Make your brand a vital resource by posting business related advice or tips on your Facebook page.

• Keep customers informed of your company’s happenings, events, or news via Google+.

• Post photos of relevant info (products, events, happy customers, everyday office happenings) on Facebook and Pinterest to give your followers a glimpse into your real life.

• Use all your social media platforms for sales leads. Potential clients may start messaging you on Facebook or Twitter, so be prepared to interact on these mediums as well. Creating a fan base isn’t just for rock stars. Your business, no matter how small, can have fans. Social media allows you to go beyond just the services you provide, by being a resource and a brand that people rely on. You can be a real person who shares real thoughts. You can be a team of people that loves helping their clients and loves to show it off, too. Social media transcends traditional ways of business. You are now visible, able to be heard, and given the opportunity to interact with customers in a way like never before. Each chapter in this book is meant to provide you with a base to start from, as well as best practices for each particular platform. You’ll also gain a great overview of how to use each platform to your advantage. You don’t have to dive into all of them at once either; start with one social media site and become familiar with it until you’ve got it mastered. Here are a few things you can do to get familiar with each social media network:

• Look for other businesses that may offer the same products or services you do and check out their profiles and recent activity. This will give you an idea of some things you could, and should do, too.

• Set up a test account either as a personal page or under a different name. From here, you can play around at your leisure without worrying about making mistakes in posts, or posting something on accident.

• Identify features: On Facebook, this would be learning how tag people or pages (this can be done by putting the @ symbol in front the person’s name or page you’d like to tag.) Another great feature on a Facebook Page is the customized tabs. You can add a tab for users to sign up for your newsletter, to access specials or discounts, and to advertise upcoming events you may have. On Twitter, identify how to reply to other users, how to retweet, and when to create hashtags. Research some apps and add-ons available that may be useful to your brand.

to be continued…

This is the post taken in the book of Social Media Marketing. Originally published by Skadeedle.



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