Using Social Media To Promote Start-Up Businesses
If you are planning to launch a start-up business or have recently started one, you probably have encountered a wealth of information on using social media to promote a business. Though there are millions of social media users across the world, around 900 million of them, it is easy to get carried away by the numbers. Finding the right social media sites to promote your business to maximise its potential is essential for business success, and this is where you should concentrate your efforts.
What Social Media Engagement Can Achieve For Business
Social media in essence is about engagement through sharing, which for business means targeting your product range, your articles, or your services at engaging a potential customer or client base. Collectively, products, services and articles are known as content, and it is through offering quality content that success through your channels can be achieved.
Social media has around 900 million users globally and covers every topic range you can think of. As well as engaging a potential customer and client base or readership, social media is also relevant to search engine optimization. Social media is a unique format as it helps you promote your content directly to your audience, and in turn, it generates traffic via people sharing your content with others, and through SEO.
Perhaps more importantly than this, however, social media with its online reviews helps a business build trust and nearly every brand you can think of uses social media for this reason. Consider this: you come across two companies offering the same services; one has 250 Facebook likes, the other 43 – which one would you opt for? So regardless of whether you’re an online retailer, an affiliate marketer, offer a service such as tuition or run a news site, social media can help you build your business online.
Popular Social Media Sites And Their Uses
Getting to get grips with the nuances of social media’s role in promoting your business can cause more than its fair share of headaches. Here is a list of the most popular social media sites and their uses:
- Facebook is predominately for sharing. This can be products, articles, or services. In a nutshell, it’s for sharing your content with as many people as possible.
- Twitter is about sharing news on any subject. Don’t let the word news make you feel it does not apply to products. New product launches, new stock ready to be sold – Twitter is good for all of this.
- Google+ is in part a combination of the two and has become important for search engine optimization if nothing else.
- Blogging is a great way to impart news and expertise to your readership, customer and client base, or followers. It offers a good way to attract visitors to your site via search engines.
- YouTube is about showcasing videos to a wide audience. It is being utilised by businesses all the time to sell products and services. As YouTube is owned by Google, videos tend to feature prominently on search engine results. You can also utilise the YouTube ads to make a secondary income stream.
- Pinterest and other bookmarking sites are very good at showcasing visual products. If your business is selling something online, albeit a product or service, ensure you are posting on Pinterest and as many bookmarking sites as you can find.
Social Media And Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Good positioning on search engines is about unique quality content that is well shared and well linked to other websites. By sharing your content on social sites, the more chance there is of people liking it on Facebook, retweeting on Twitter, or sharing the pin on Pinterest. Links are important for good SEO and posting your content on social sites provides a link from the social site to yours, and in every case, this can be targeted to a specific web page. This also ensures Google indexes the web page, adding it to its database, ensuring it can be found on search engines.
A Social Media Strategy
Step 1: Create a Facebook Page, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram Page For Business
These have their uses regardless of the type of business, and all help considerably with SEO. Ensure you create business pages on Facebook and Instagram. This keeps your personal details and indeed social media life hidden from your customers or clients, and it offers better options to promote a business.
Step 2: Identify Social Media Sites That Are The Most Important To Your Business
If your site sells products, make a list of all the online bookmarking and video sites you can find and create accounts. If your business is for services, or information, or is for an affiliate marketing revenue stream, you want to spread the word in as many ways as possible. Use blogging sites such as Tumblr, Blogger and WordPress.org to syndicate your blog posts and services, and try to create news content if you provide services to show your expertise in your field.
Step 3: Use Social Media Tools Such As ‘If This Then That’
‘If this then that’ or ifttt.com automatically updates your social accounts. This is easy to establish and works by syndicating the information across a host of social sites automatically as soon as one site is updated. This, as you can imagine, saves a lot of time. Be cautious, however, and ensure social sites suited to the business, such as bookmarking sites for online retailers, appear just as you want them to be found.
Automatic syndication has limitations and often links and pictures do not appear as you would like them to. Nonetheless, and especially for syndicating blog posts via an RSS feed, it is a very good time-saver for promoting your business via social media. Not all social media can be syndicated in this way, but the sites that ifttt.com syndicates to are well worth creating accounts on to promote your business. The more social media sites you post on, the better.
Step 4: Use #hashtags
Whenever you post your content, ensure you use accurate #hashtags. This will help users find your content when they search for it. So if I’m selling tyres on eBay, #tyres, #cartyres, #car, #tyres is good, and for sports news, #sportsnews, #football #cricket, and so on is good.
Step 5: Once It Starts
Once your content starts hitting the social media world, monitor your accounts for feedback. Concentrate on the sites you’ve identified as important to your business and respond to questions and comments. When responding, try to be helpful and non-abusive, even if the commentator is not pleasant. Professionalism goes a long way.
Step 6: Participation
Twitter and Google+ show trending topics and these are popular subjects people are discussing. It is worth performing the odd Twitter search to see what people are talking about concerning your business and making a contribution to the discussion. This is a good way to make connections and hopefully achieve more success.
Step 7: Monitoring Success
Monitoring success has proven to be quite difficult for social media. Unlike SEO results, which can be measured on click-throughs and content engagement, it is not so simple on social sites for a variety of reasons. You may feel if you provide news that 10 comments on one story are a good sign of success, while 100 likes of a product video on YouTube with no obvious link to sales may not be immediately obvious as positive.
It is worth remembering, however, that though people may not directly access your main site via social sites, it may prompt them to return later. Always keep in mind that social media is for sharing content, so any like, comment or retweet is positive.