How to Use Facebook and Twitter
Presently, Twitter and Facebook seem to be the most prosperous social networking tools businesses can use to promote their business and in this chapter we’ll take a look at these two sites in depth. We’ll also take a quick look at LinkedIn, a social networking site for businesses to connect with each other – great if you’re a service provider or have a need to connect with other business owners.
How to Use Facebook to Promote Your Business
Facebook is a rapidly growing and had over 1 billion users at the end of 2013. This makes it a ripe opportunity to boost your business.
The first step to promote your business with Facebook is to a “Facebook Page” and you can only do this after you have a personal profile. Facebook offers you the ability to separate your personal and professional social networking activities and offers a number of settings, which you can adjust to meet your needs.
The trick here is to get people to “like” your page. If you’re familiar with Twitter, you can employ a strategy of following others to get them to follow you back, but Facebook Pages don’t work in such a reciprocal manner. You can invite your friends to like your Page, tell your mailing list, include “Like Us on Facebook” buttons on your website and even use paid advertising on Facebook.
Other ways to get your page noticed:
• While signed in as your Page, engage other Page owners through their own content. Like, comment and get in on the discussion.
• If you run your business offline, be sure to share your Facebook Page in your store or on printed materials.
• Have a strong theme to your Facebook Page that sets it apart from other Pages…then people will be singing your praises and bringing followers to you.
• Post regularly and gauge what interests your followers. Do they respond more to photos, videos, quotations or is it something else?
• Create a compelling page design with an attention-getting profile picture and cover photo.
• Have fun and be personable. Often, Facebook users want to see the “real” person behind the business, but remember to stay professional.
• Respond to comments and engage your followers in discussions.
Facebook also offers the opportunity to create “Facebook Groups”, which are great for topic discussions with your customers, peers and more.
And remember, you can always find a lot of useful tools and widgets to ntegrate Facebook into your other marketing. Have a look here for ideas:
How to Use Twitter to Promote Your Business
Your first step to use Twitter effectively to promote your business is to register and create an appropriate profile. That will include potentially creating a custom Twitter background and learning about all of the tools, applications and gadgets you can use to optimize Twitter as a marketing tool.
You’ll need to decide whether you want to use your personal name or business name. Many people suggest using your personal name to connect on a more personal level, but the branding that using your company name affords can be attractive as well.
Many people have personal and business accounts, and juggling them can be challenging, but it makes it easier to separate your personal and business ventures. Add to that, if you plan to sell your business down the line, having a separate Twitter account that you can pass on is probably a good idea.
• Follow other likeminded businesses and Twitter users. Engage them in conversations and many will follow back.
• Just like with Facebook, tell your website visitors, newsletter subscribers, customers and more.
• Embark on a targeted Twitter ads campaign to get more follows.
• Use hashtags and get in on popular discussions. A hashtag when one or more words is prefixed with the “#” symbol. This instantly lets Twitter’s search engine deliver any tweet containing that hashtag, if you search for it.
• Use retweets, but add some useful thoughts. Retweeting is the process of rebroadcasting another user’s tweet if it is funny, noteworthy or otherwise interesting to your followers. Instead of just doing a plain old retweet, add your own thoughts or encouragement to the author, so you can make a better connection.
• Design your page with a branded background, profession profile picture and header photo. First impressions are important, so make the best on possible.
• Pay attention to what your followers seem to like. Do they like answering questions, respond to photos, etc?
• Create or join tweet chats. Tweet chats employ the use of hashtags, but are usually during a certain block of time where people get together and discuss a specific topic.
• Be courteous and respond to tweets directed at you. Where possible, thank people for retweeting you.
• Use the Twitter Advanced Search function to find people to follow and people who might follow you. You can also look through the follower lists of people who target the same market as you.
Promoting Your Business With LinkedIn
Designed for professionals to network with other professionals, LinkedIn isn’t like other social networking sites. It’s ideal for finding service based companies to work with and if you’re a service company, it’s a great place to be represented.
Like many social networking sites, users can invite, create and join groups and search for like minded individuals. However, LinkedIn offers much more.
LinkedIn allows business owners to:
• Receive Recommendations – Other business owners can boost your profile by recommending you and your business.
• Create Groups – Like Facebook, you can create a group for your target audience to join. This gives you the ability to connect with and market directly to them.
• Utilize Applications – LinkedIn offers applications like Blog Link, Polls, and Reading Lists to help you enhance your profile and connect with others.
• Advertise your business on LinkedIn for more awareness, traffic and exposure.
Time to Get Social!
LinkedIn is a fantastic opportunity to build your professional network. Along with Facebook and Twitter, and any other social networking tools you choose to use, promoting and growing your business just got easier. That being said, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a few do’s and don’ts.