Any business owner needs social media to develop and protect his reputation, gain visibility online, and build a strong online presence. When it comes to starting an online business, your biggest problem is being invisible. Whether you want to use social media to connect with industry influencers or build relationships with your customers, it’s worth taking an approach that ensures you pick the right tools. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can be very useful promotional tools for your business.
Here are a few simple steps to getting started with social media marketing:
Define the Goals of Your Social Media Strategy
Before starting a social media campaign, ask yourself a few questions. What do you want to achieve? Why are you investing time and money? How much are you willing to invest in social media? Beginning with the end in mind is the key to success. An effective social media campaign can help establish your credibility, reach out to potential customers, and rank higher in the search engines.
Set Up User Profiles for Your Business
Sign up on all the major social media sites. Start with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Create a Facebook fan page for your business. Write a short description of your company and include a link to your website in your bio. Keep your profile informative and friendly – don’t make it overly-promotional.
Engage with Like-Minded Professionals
Search for industry influencers and see how they use social media. Contact them, exchange ideas, and talk about new business opportunities. Share their posts and show interest in their work.
Find Your Community
Find out where your customers are hanging out and how they are spending their time. Use free tools like Twitter Search, Google Blog Search, Facebook Search, etc. Think of social media as a cocktail party. You are there to mix, mingle, and make friends. Wherever you find your customers is where you should start investing your time and resources.
Participate in Conversations
Social networks are an excellent way to promote your brand. It’s worth joining these sites, starting a group, and then inviting people who might be interested to the group. Add yourself to groups and communities that share common interests with your business. Understand your customers’ needs and participate in conversations.
Measure Your Results
Set up the tools that you need to measure the results of your social media campaign. Define what your success criteria are. Be patient. Success will not happen overnight. At the beginning, establish a regular reporting process that could be done at the end of every week or month. Make use of analytics tools and adjust your strategy accordingly.
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