Using Social Media to help your business
Building your online presence is about more than having just a website. At the very heart of your business’s online identity sits your website but today there are so many tools available for small businesses to use that cost you in ‘time’ rather than your cashflow, that will help bring in potential customers to your website and build up your online presence and in doing so, your fantastic business reputation.
Social media, things like Twitter, Facebook Business Pages, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and blogs began their online domination purely for the purpose of personal social networking, finding friends and telling them what you had for lunch. Riveting right?!
However, social media in a business context is another kettle of fish! These social networking websites are in fact potential marketing goldmines for small businesses who already have the ‘personal touch’ down pat. Social media marketing is a soft-sell approach that lets potential customers see your business for that passionate, professional and personable operation that it is and helps breaks down the barriers when it comes to contacting you. Social media helps people find the ‘people’ they want to do business with.
The first thing many of us do when we’re looking for products or services is look online, the same is true if someone recommends a business, most of us will try and find their website. By having your online presence in more places than just your website, you help bring credibility to your business and people will intuitively feel a sense of trust which may just prompt that phone call or visit to your business.
The benefits of integrating social media into your every day, every week or every month customer building AND keeping strategy is huge:
- Social media can showcase your knowledge and expertise in your given field and build your reputation and credibility.
- Social media can provide an easy means of communication and feedback and shows customers that you’re open to two way conversation.
- Social Media is brilliant for giving customers resources and information otherwise hidden within the depths of the company filing cabinet.
- And they are a fantastic way to build credible back links back to your website and another place to utilise your keywords building strength in your optimisation (SEO) efforts.
The search engines love these tools mainly due to their constantly changing content! Believe me it can be worth the effort.
Want to learn more? Come along to one of our Social Media for Small Business courses!
So what are these Social Media Tools and where can you find them?
It’s important to note that this is only a very small list to show the types of social media tools available to use but these are the most widely used for business:
LinkedIn is a business tool for business professionals to ‘exchange ideas, information and opportunities’. Once you’ve set up your own profile detailing your work life to date you’ll be able to find other people that you know and build your network of contacts. LinkedIn helps you control your online identity, create a company profile, and very easily allows you to utilise the knowledge of other professionals in the network. Many businesses use it as a way to find business opportunities.
Have a look at LinkedIn www.linkedin.com
Twitter is a simple tool to quickly disseminate information to the ‘listening’ audience but here’s the catch, you’ve only got 140 characters to get your message across. It is also the most fantastic way to keep track of what is happening in your own industry and an amazing source of resources for your business. It does take a little getting used to especially finding some good Twitter accounts to listen to and interact with. You can use Twitter to highlight new blog posts, product launches, offers and promotions, office updates, actually anything that might provide some value or insight into your business. It is a way of showing customers the personality behind your company and many say that this is the trick to using Twitter (as all social media in fact), providing a good balance of business, personal and soft sell posts. Hard sell is definitely bad etiquette!
More about Twitter www.twitter.com
Facebook Pages for Business
A Facebook business page is a fantastic tool for business because it places your company right at the heart of the world’s most popular social network; it will help your business connect and engage with customers, meet new ones and will help spread your business message via the friend network. Plus the search engines love them.
Learn more about Facebook Business Pages
Pinterest is a great tool for those of us who prefer our information in a visual format. In simple terms, Pinterest is a social network that works much like a pinboard in your office. Each pinboard is a collection of images focused around a topic where users can click on an image and be taken to external webpages. Suitable for virtually any type of business, Pinterest is a valuable tool for showcasing your products and services and helping customers find out more about how your business can ‘help’ them.
Learn more about Pinterest for business
Blogs are a particular type of website that were more traditionally used as online journals. What marks a blog from a normal website is that it allows the blog owner to post information via a content management system and these posts are then listed on the blog in chronological order. What makes a blog so appealing for business is that it’s a brilliant vehicle to disseminate information to your potential and actual customer base whether it be company news, event information, product and service information, testimonials, case studies, industry discussions, how-to’s, top tips… the list of potential items for posts is endless!
Today’s blogs are fairly easy to set up, there are a few basic guidelines to be aware of but there is plenty of information on the internet about business blogging. And of course we can help set up your business blog and give you plenty of advice on how to make it work for your business.
We’re happy to tell you a little more about what optimisation means and how it works with your website. Please contact us here at katproductions.