It’s 2013, which means your business (if successful) is using some form of social media to help facilitate communication with clients and target potential customers. If you’re not doing this by now, then you’re living in the shadows and wasting a great opportunity to expand your business’s horizons, further its growth, and help it reach its full potential.
While taking advantage of social media and using all of its benefits for your own gain takes a lot of work, it’s worth it. Here are four ways to put social media to work for you so your business can flourish.
Choose a Medium
Whether it’s LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, choose a medium and invest your resources into taking full advantage of its benefits. You can certainly try using all of them at once, but you risk being overwhelmed. Each medium comes with distinct advantages and disadvantages, so weigh them out when considering which one is best for promoting your business. Here’s a few statistics to help you out:
LinkedIn: 43 percent of businesses have found a customer through LinkedIn.
Twitter: 36 percent of businesses have found a customer through Twitter. Companies with more than 1,000 Twitter followers generate about 800 new website visitors each month.
Facebook: 52 percent of businesses have found a customer through Facebook (more than any other medium). Companies that generate more than 1,000 Facebook Likes also receive about 1,400 website visits per day.
Join Groups and Participate
With LinkedIn and Facebook, you can sign up for different groups where you can respond to discussions and questions. This is a great way to communicate with clients and seek potential customers. It’s important that you’re proactive and regularly contributing to online conversations. And remember that your business reputation is on the line.
With Twitter, being proactive is a must if you’re going to take full advantage of its benefits. The conversation is continuously happening, so posting one or two “Tweets” per day isn’t going to cut it.
Once you’ve developed a rapport with your audience, they’ll help you spread your message and your company name. Again, it’s important to stay consistence and invest time in communicating with people online. In a sense, you get what
Share Useful and Interesting Information
You don’t necessarily have to research and write articles to inform people. There’s a lot of information available on the Internet, and circulating other people’s material is a great way to network and show your appreciation for their work. Disseminating useful and interesting information is not only a lot easier on you (you don’t to do the work of researching and writing it), but gathers interest from the people following you if the material you’re sharing is valuable and beneficial.
If you want to produce original content and you don’t write, you can always contract someone to do it for you. This is a great way to vary the information you’re sharing while getting your own message out too.
Remember: It’s Not All About You
Sure, you can promote your business’s programs, services, and products, but if that’s your only contribution on social media then people will quickly label you as spam and quit following you. Again, you get what you give.
Developing a bad online reputation is harmful to your business, so if you’re not sure about how to develop a good one, contact Michael Fertik on Behance. As the founder of Reputation.com, he’ll be the first to tell you that you need to
balance things out; about 80 percent of your posts should relate to your industry and 20 percent should relate directly to your business.
Social media is a great tool if it’s used the right way. Stay proactive and consistent and you’ll reap the rewards in no time.
Image via Flickr Mykl Roventine: Out & About