As an entrepreneur, you’re probably aware that being part of social media is no longer a choice, but a necessity. So, before you jump in, it’s important to figure out which is the best social media outlet for you to reach your target market. Most people probably feel like they need to be on multiple social media channels, but to do all of them at once, especially if you are just starting out, can be really overwhelming. Take a look through my top five methods of promoting your business through social media and choose the one that’s right for your business.
Top 5 Social Media Outlets
(Constant Contact, IContact, Mail Chimp)
Sending out paper newsletters has now been replaced by e-newsletters, which, fortunately, is the much more cost effective choice. There are plenty of programs online that will cost you only pennies per newsletter and are well worth the investment. An e-newsletter is a great way of keeping in touch with either people who are already your fans (who have bought from you in the past, for example) or people who are interested in your product or service, and are looking to cash in when you have a special event or a sale.
Blogs are most useful if you want to educate your consumer, or if you want to give them a behind-the-scenes peek at what you do. Many huge corporations are turning to blogs to create a “face” for their corporation. Because blogs are written from a first-person point of view, and tend to be more casual in tone, you can understand why they are a very powerful tool for showing your clients the “real” you. If you are in a service business, a blog is an invaluable way of creating “expert” status for yourself. Say, for example you are professional organizer, a blog dedicated to organizational tips and tricks could bring you lots of business. People get to reading it, they get to know you and trust you, and they will hire you.
A blog doesn’t have to be text only. It could be audio (Podcast), video (Vlog) or photo (Flickr, Picassa, Photobucket)
At half a billion users and growing, it’s hard to ignore Facebook. Your business should have a Page on Facebook because it’s a great way for staying in touch with your current clientele, and allowing them to connect with other “fans” of your business, creating an atmosphere of commumity. Although it is tempting to try and get as many fans as possible, remember that it’s the quality of your fans that counts every bit as much as how many you have. If you set-up a Facebook page, check it often and respond to questions and comments left there. You can also use it to solicit opinions from your clients by asking them questions.
Twitter is micro-blogging: each “blog post” is a Tweet of 140 characters or less. Many people find Twitter the most difficult to manage because there is a great deal of “noise” on Twitter, more so than any other social media platform. Having said that, Twitter is the best way to find new customers for your business, and customers who may not have even known that you existed. It allows you to carefully monitor what people are saying about your business, both positive and negative. It is also an excellent platform to connect with other people around the world who are doing similar work or running similar businesses. Opportunities for collaborations abound.
Video is big. Big! YouTube gets one billion hits per day. People love to watch video. Get yourself a YouTube channel, and then brainstorm ideas of videos you can create to put up there. They could be interviews with people that work in your company, they could be educational, or they could display your product or service in an attractive way. The possibilities are endless!
To start off, pick one social media outlet, get it up and running to the point where you feel really comfortable, and then move on to another one!