Social media is a fantastic free tool to engage with your market and sell your products or services, but it can be overwhelming and a time-suck. These experts share their opinions and advice on how to best use social media to market yourself and/or your business.
Kristy Verity from kVeeMedia loves these ideas for how to use Social Media!
- Utilize every social network you can find, but find at least two that are your favorite and ‘own’ them. Post consistent, engaging content regularly but make sure to change it up on each site by not posting the same thing everywhere. Keep it interesting and always in real time. Try not to schedule too much on your networks, people pick up on that immediately.
- Explore groups on Facebook, LinkedIn etc. There’s a ton of local groups that allow posting from local businesses (community boards, mom groups, networking, leisure). Join them from your personal page and share fun, engaging posts off your business page making people want to check it out. Just don’t ‘bleed the feed,’ everything in moderation.
- Follow, talk and tag. And again. And again. Think like a blogger, tag local and related businesses. Eat somewhere? Say something about it and tag the business. Bought something? Same thing. Talk with people and businesses as if you’re having a conversation, ‘Hey @example, in LOVE with my new fuzzy socks! This was the only thing that got me out of bed and to my desk this morning (ok, maybe this and coffee)’ [post pic]. Think like a blogger, not a salesperson.
1) Do not do anything ‘just because’. Even though you may have a home-based business, it is a business, and it should be treated as such. Have an annual marketing plan that includes all offline and online activities. Your social media marketing plan should be part of that. The plan with give you a monthly, weekly and daily structure. Then you can add in immediate changes and posts as required.
2) There is a reason it is called SOCIAL media. Treat it like the world’s biggest cocktail party. You wouldn’t show up and start selling your wares to each person you meet, so don’t do it online. Post things of interest to you, about you, things you think your followers would like, etc. People buy from people they like and they will recommend those they love.
Amit Kumar from NibbleMatrix has these helpful ideas.
Facebook advertising has a feature: “Reach People Near Your Business”. We use this option regularly as it is very easy to reach/attract those people who are near my business and to create local awareness. By using this, businesses can quickly and easily find new customers by showing ads to groups of people who are near that business’s neighborhood. We think this is the best way for local businesses to reach people near them, and the best way for people who use Facebook to discover more useful things in their area.
Note from Leslie:
I think social media is great, but it can waste time if not used correctly. I have many people tell me the use automation that will send their Tweet to Facebook or their blog post to both Twitter and Facebook. Tools like this can be helpful, but you also have to consider that one message doesn’t fit all. Twitter works best with hashtags otherwise messages get lost in the feed. While other networks might allow hashtags, they’re not used as much. I use CoSchedule to help me automate social media while at the same time adjust posts to best fit the network. It even just came out with a reposting option in which with a single click you can set CoSchedule to resubmit your top posts to fill in your posting schedule.
I also use Hootsuite to manage my feeds. Social media is social, so it’s important to respond to your followers, as well as share and like their posts. Hootsuite has all my feeds in one place, including my Twitter lists, so it’s easy for me see what’s being posted, share good content, comment or like on my followers’ posts and more.
Both CoSchedule and Hootsuite have browser apps that make it easy to share and schedule other content you want to share. For example, maybe you come across a good article related to your industry, you can click the app in your browser, choose the networks you want to post to, add a message, and send now or schedule to post later.
When it comes to social media, a plan and tools are crucial, but even more important is to remember the social aspect and be engaged with others instead of just posting your own stuff all the time.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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