Start Your Social Media Marketing with the Big Three
It is true today that a lot of entrepreneurs are using social media to enhance their sales and build their small businesses. There are hundreds of social sites on the Internet but without a doubt three of the biggest and most important are Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Each of the three is different: Facebook is for friends, Twitter is for followers and Linkedin is for connections. I would suggest starting with these three and then adding others later.
Facebook now has over 300 million users and growing and that is more than the population of the United States. This offers an exceptional way for the Internet marketer to publicize their business and grow prospects, but here is a word of caution: Facebook is not to be used for direct marketing; it is a social site not a business site.
The best way to send friend request is to someone you know that is in the same nitch as you and then request some of their friends…just send out a few requests each day or Facebook will shut down your ability to request friends for a while.
There is a way to use Facebook to market but you must stick to the guidelines if you are to prosper otherwise it can defeat your purpose. For example, Facebook is like joining a large party of people at a social event; if you go there and begin to try to pitch your business to every new person you meet, they will think you are some kind of nut and will not want to be your friend.
It would be the same as if you went to a birthday party and pitched your business; it is not the time or place. The first objective of Facebook is to build a list of friends. Seek out those who are likeminded as you who have an interest in whatever it is that you are involved with. As you build friendships, people will want to know what you are involved in and seek you out. If you’re not already involved with Facebook; you should go ahead and sign up.
Once you have signed up:
There are two ways you can go: set up a personal account and/or a fan page and you should do both. But remember that if you use your business user name for your personal page, you will not be able to use it for you fan page and there is where you want it. Read the Facebook rules for usernames here.
When you get your personal profile set up, you will then want to set up a business fan page. Before you do, read the limitations on such accounts (FAQ here). For information on how to set up your business fan page, read this article. The business fan page gives customers and fans of your business a place to register as a “fan”; this will expand the presence of your business in that your fans will get the updates you post. You may also decide to use Facebook’s ad services to advertise your business.
One way to get further help in setting up you fan page is to look at some of your competitors pages and see how they are constructed. Their posts, photos and videos will let you see how they are using Facebook and perhaps give you some ideas for your pages.
If you don’t yet have a Twitter account, you need to get signed up. Twitter is growing by leaps and bounds and may even pass Facebook one day. Twitter has a little different approach; here you get followers. You may wonder how you do that and it is simple: just follow others. There is an unwritten rule that if you follow someone they should follow you back. Not everyone will but probably 50% or more will.
Twitter will only allow you to follow 2,000; you will then have to un-follow those who aren’t following you to allow you to continue to follow more. Go to www.dossy.org/twitter/karma and set up an account which will let you see who is following you and who isn’t and then you can un-follow those who aren’t following you.
The best way to go about it is to search for people who are involved in your particular nitch. For example, if you are in network marketing, type that in the search box and see what comes up or if you know someone who is big in network marketing, type their name in. Then you can click on followers on their profile and click on those you wish to follow. You probably should stay within about a hundred per day so as not to raise a red flag with Twitter. Business Week recently posted 20 ways businesses use Twitter that might give you some ideas about how you can best use Twitter for your business.
You will also want to reserve an account in the name of your business. This will give you the option to tweet in your business name as well as keeping someone else from registering your business name. Twitter has a simple guide to give you information on how Twitter can help your business. You may also want to check Mashable’s Twitter Guide.
Just as on Facebook you might want to check out how your competitors are using Twitter for their business by typing them in the search bar. You could also check out what is found by typing in the name of your service or product.
Helpful Twitter tools: You can better leverage Twitter by using the tools to enhance your account, you’ll want to learn and use a few more advanced tools. Here are some you can check out TweetDeck, Seesmic, Tweetie and Twitterfall. I won’t go into detail on how each of these work here.
LinkedIn now has over 50 million users from over 200 countries and is business oriented. This is where you make contacts with other business owners.
To get started you will want to register your business name so it will be reserved for your use only. You can use the same stragity here as on Facebook and Twitter: look around at what your competitors are doing on LinkedIn to advance their business and implement some of the same things on your account. You may have customers using Linkedin that you can look up and connect with.
LinkedIn has some powerful features. For example, you can encourage your customers to give you a “recommendation” on your profile. Your LinkedIn profile will come up high in search engine results and therefore be a high profile place for other prospects to read recommendations that other customers have given you. There is no better way to give credibility to your business than the recommendations of satisfied customers. If you would like to read an excellent article on the subject, read Chris Brogan’s post, the elements of a good LinkedIn recommendation.
There are many subject matter groups on LinkedIn. You might want to find some groups that have a connection to your business and become involved. By participating in the conversations, you can answer questions and become established as a knowledgeable person in your field.
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