A lot of us don’t know where to start with social media when taking our business online. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… But social media is important, both as an outbound marketing tool and as a way for customers to find your business.
Where do we start and how? In this post I’ll help demystify answer these questions and give you five simple tips in an order that you can do at your own pace that will help you get your business online and also get social media working to your advantage.
Social Media Strategies
1. Get your email sorted.
Most people will have this done already, but if your email ends in @yahoo.com, @eircom.net or something similar, you should consider setting up a proper email account just for your business at www.gmail.com.
Not only is gmail trusted by everyone everywhere, it also offers a great and easy to understand interface and gets you a few other benefits including google+ (google’s social media answer to Facebook which is becoming more and more popular) and google drive (which allows you to store your documents in the cloud – useful for storing files you may need when away from your work or home computer).
2. Get a Website.
This can be as simple or as hard as you make it. It can cost nothing or thousands. The best advice is to start small and then scale it up as and when you see fit. Start with a simple home page with your business’s contact details, a description of what you do and any other relevant information.
Quotefish.com provides you with a great business page by automatically generating the information when you sign up, which you can then link to in your emails or share with your customers.
These days, less is more, so forget worrying about multiple pages with loads of information nobody will read, Google now looks for relevant content, not a lot of it. Keep it simple and to the point – Google and your customers will thank you for it.
Wix and Weebly are great free websites that help you build your own webpage, especially because they can give you a blog as well. Blogging is a great way to share your knowledge of your industry, and it helps people find you with google. The more you blog, the more google has to relate to you. Importantly, keep your blog posts relevant, google doesn’t like fluff.
Links: Quotefish, Wix and Weebly
3. Get your business on Facebook.
You probably already have a personal account on Facebook, but is your business on there? It’s easier than you think to set up a business page, and by getting your existing friends to like and share it will open up your business to their friends, who may not know you or your business. It’s an easy and efficient way to get in front of more potential customers.
Simply sign into your normal Facebook account, look for the link ‘PAGES’ on the left hand side, hover over it with your mouse, and the word ‘MORE’ will appear. Click on that, then the ‘Create a Page’ button, and you’re off! You’ll have your own company page in no time!
Once you’re set up, by clicking on your new business page under ‘PAGES’ you’ll then be posting on Facebook as your business, so you can post upload images and share links just like normal.
TIP: You must have 25 fans to set a username (like www.facebook.com/quotefish) for your Page!
Link: Our Facebook Page
4. Get a handle on Twitter!
Everybody is talking about twitter. But why? Simply, it’s the easiest and quickest way to get a message out to a lot of people. Once businesses sign up, the first question they have is, now what do I do? Well it helps to have a few people following to you, otherwise you’ll be talking to an empty room. The easiest way to get followers that are relevant to your business is to do this – find businesses like your already on twitter and follow their followers. Another great tip is to start following the followers of your favourite radio announcer. You’ll be surprised how many follow you back out of courtesy and how quickly you’ll have an audience.
Make sure you tweet interesting tidbits and links to relevant websites, retweet other people’s tweets, and don’t be afraid to start a conversation by tweeting people back.
Two great (and free) tools for building and managing your twitter account: Tweet Adder and Tweet Deck
5. Business to Business with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a different beast. It’s Facebook for business people. Don’t worry about setting up your business page on LinkedIn, no one will really care or notice it. Instead, treat it like your online resumé and fill your personal page with everything about you. You’ll soon find old work friends and people you used to do business with contacting you. Once you’re all set up on LinkedIn, join a few groups and start a few discussions, ask a few questions or answer some! Not only will you make new contacts, it’s a great way to let people know what you’re doing, and it’s always fascinating to see who’s been looking at your profile.
Implementing these tips may take a little while to complete, but the great thing is once all the hard work is done, you may find you enjoy posting, tweeting and blogging.