How to Utilize Social Media to the Advantage of Your Business
Starting a small business can be an illustrating experience, but like all fulfilling things, it requires groundwork. From pricing out your products to developing your name and business plan, branding alone takes a lot of time and effort. It is your responsibility to capitalize on all of your opportunities, to maximize the return on your investment.
In a world heavily affected by internet access, you've been given the ability to place an advertisement directly in the home of a potential client. There are several ways to take advantage of this network, although it can also be used against you. I'd like to share the ways I've gotten my company noticed. Specifically, by managing, maintaining, and increasing the traffic on my social media accounts.
An important thing to realize is the time you spend developing online content can establish credibility, create easily accessible information for clients, provide a direct way to communicate with the demanding market and allow your company to quickly become well-heard of. This being said, the quality and content that you are going to be promoting must be top-notch, or you run the risk of ruining your reputation rather quickly. Be sure to use high-quality, professional images on all of your pages, be consistent with designs, and frequency of posts.
Considering that this is an incredibly effective, fast, and affordable means of advertising, any doubt in your ability to represent your company in it's best light, or lack of devoted time, may require you to hire a social media expert to assist you with the work. By any means necessary, get your business online as soon as possible. I find the following websites to be the most beneficial for networking your small business.
Facebook- Connect with people who share similar interests, in addition to connecting with people you know in person. You can create a page for people to follow and friend, and share with them current projects or business updates, pictures of recent events or quick tips. You can also use Facebook to cross promote other social media sites, grabbing attention from many people from multiple resources.
Twitter- Many people use Twitter for it's short, direct statements. Use it to share links to relevant content, interact with potential customers by retweeting interesting comments, and sharing company updates. You can also cross promote or share pictures.
Instagram- Post pictures of your business, workplace, portfolio, art and inspirational, motivational images, to draw clients into a visually stimulating source of information.
Pinterest- Bookmark articles, pictures, quotes, pictures and company content on your Pinterest boards. Many people go there to be inspired by clever crafts and ideas, so use Pinterest to offer some groundbreaking philosophies that got you where you are today. You should also optimize all of the pictures on your company website to promote pinning. Many people share each other's bookmarks and your picture could spread like wildfire.
YouTube- YouTube is an often underutilized avenue for business marketing. Now you have a place to put up commercials, infomercials, sales pitches and more; a place that you can link to with all of your social media accounts. YouTube is one of the most viewed websites in the world and sellers who accompany their products with videos have statistically improved sales.
Blog- There are several blogging and writing websites you can join, like WordPress, Blogger, HubPages, and of course, EzineArticles. Whether or not writing is something you enjoy, (and if it is not, you can hire a ghostwriter) it will establish you as an expert in your field. The information you publish builds credibility of you, your knowledge and your company. Blog articles should always be posted with bright, large, clear professional quality photographs to draw in the eyes of your readers.
Beside drawing attention to your website and business, these sites will allow you to make additional money by selling advertising space or promoting products that you or your company use. You can also offer contests, build a decent FAQ list, cross promote other small businesses, provide recognition to your clients, update your portfolio actively, increase your customer service reputation, and much more.
Remember to be cautious, and ensure the quality of your online presence, as well as your products and services, because of the speed of communication. A bad review can and will be spread just as quickly as a positive one. Try scheduling social media maintenance and blogging into your work schedule as soon as possible. It can, and will, change the game for your small start-up. Last but not least, be sure to take full advantage of these six social media accounts (and others) to connect with clients all over the world wide web.