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Using social media to promote your business

Using social media to promote your business

Posted: Monday, June 7, 2010 9:04 pm
By: By Steve Holt, Special to The Press

The Press 6.8.10 There are so many ‘social media’ tools available now, it is hard to get your head around all of them, much less use all of them.
But there is no doubt that our society has embraced social media in all forms and eagerly participates. In fact, most people who participate in social media use multiple tools, not just one. So that presents many opportunities for you to reach your existing customers, plus some new ones.
Here are 5 easy things you can do to use social media to promote your business.
• Create a Facebook “Fan” page. Then provide content and information that is unique to your page, so that you offer something of value that they can’t get anywhere else.
Then make sure you stay active on the page, and respond directly to people who participate with you.
• Yelp is the largest product/company/business review website. They had over 31 million visitors during the month of March 2010.
There are iPhone and Android apps for Yelp, so people can find out about you using their cellphones, so what are they finding out about you? Go find out.
Yelp lets you create an official business page, so you can tell you own story and respond to questions/comments/complaints. It’s free.
• Find a local community organization that needs help promoting themselves, or an event they are having. Use your social media outlets that you are currently using (Facebook, Twitter, blog, YouTube, etc) to help them promote.
That will not only build goodwill for you, it will drive traffic to your social media outlets and provide you more opportunities to promote yourself. But be careful… promote their needs first, or you’ll be seen as being only self-serving.
• Make sure that you and your employees have an account on LinkedIn. LinkedIn accounts are almost guaranteed to show up high in search results.
Plus, LinkedIn is free, so it is like free advertising that drives people to your website. Make sure that your business name, spelled correctly, is present on everyone’s LinkedIn account page.
• Finally, the number one mistake that businesses make when beginning their social media push is that they become lazy. Social media is a phenomenon because of the word ‘social’, not the word ‘media’. If you invite someone to a party and all they do is sit over in the corner of the room and not speak to anyone, you probably won’t invite them back. If you are going to be involved in social media, then you need to be ‘social’. You must be actively engaged with your customers or it does more harm than good.
Social Media can provide you a tremendous outlet to grow your business, and most of it is free. But it requires a lot of time and effort, especially up front, to be done right. And never forget the first word. Become someone’s friend first, then the business will follow!

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