Learning How to Use Social Media to Build Businesses

Written on the 21 March 2011 by Altitude Communications

Social media is not only the buzz-word on everyone’s lips, but the community that everyone has to be part of - or else you'll miss out on what is happening in the world of your “friends.” The huge wave of public interest in these new mediums has as a result, created an equal amount of buzz within business circles. To that end, a lot of business owners are asking "how do I use social media to build my business," and can social media truly be responsible for the generation of the huge amounts of profits that we've all heard about. In a word, sometimes.


But before we get onto that, let's take Social Media back to basics.

Social Media is basically a website created online for two purposes: to share information and to connect people from all over the world in a collaborative environment. You will find all kinds of social media websites that take advantage of the improvements and advancements of the World Wide Web, but the five main sites to get to know are:

  • YouTube where you can upload videos and share them to the world,
  • Twitter which allows you to blog and post 1-3 lines about your life,
  • Facebook where you can play games, post in your friends’ profiles, and comment on their updates anytime,
  • LinkedIn a social networking site devoted purely to business-related social networking.
  • Flickr where you can post and share interesting photos of yourself as well as anything else that catches your eye, and

And while these aren't the only social media sites available, the big question on everyone's lips is...

How to use social media to build businesses

What makes social media a gold mine is the kind of influence and appeal it has on people today. Kids, teens, adults, and even the elderly want to have accounts in these websites and are actively logging on everyday just to update and connect with friends and family. It is this interactivity and broad social appeal that makes social networking sites so appealing to business. So having recognised the importance of Social Media, and realising that most of the developed world’s population and their dog has a profile on one, if not all of these sites, (we are not joking about the dog part either), it would be a mistake not to take advantage of the business and advertising opportunities available.

So if you’re interested in taking advantage of social networking and want to learn how to use social media to build businesses, read on.

  • First, you have to pick a niche or a product that your target audience would want or would be interested in. Start by choosing a product or a topic that would appeal to your target market.
  • Next, create your own accounts in your chosen social medium so that your customers won’t have to be directed to a third party website if they would like to see what you have to offer.
  • Utilize the social media website’s tools and features as much as you can. Upload videos, post photos, update your statuses, and of course, get to know your interested customers by replying to their questions and thanking them if they give you positive or critical feedback.
  • Look into the advertising opportunities within the social networking sites, and design a pay-per-click advertisement targeted at your target market's interests. The procedure for advertising varies with each social networking site, but all sites feature comprehensive instructions to make it easier for you. HERE'S A TIP: Make sure your ad charges per click rather than per impression. That way, you're paying on results not on the hope that someone has noticed your advertisement.
  • Use social media to advertise your lead generation program. Everyone likes a "freebie" so entice your community into your marketing funnel by offering free giveaways and good quality information. If you'd like help creating a lead generation system that harnesses the power of social media sites and funnels hot targeted web traffic directly into your marketing funnel, then click here to learn more.

Here's some tips specific to LinkedIn and Twitter:

Top 7 ways to expand your business network using LinkedIn

  1. Upload your contacts from Outlook or your e-mail software for gmail etc. LinkedIn will then perform a search in it's powerful database to find those contacts so that you can invite invite them to join your network.
  2. Advertise your LinkedIn profile on your website, email marketing signature (all outbound emails) To add your signature to your email simple go to My Profile --> E-mail signatures to set one up.
  3. Once you have started a network create a Poll and ask questions to gather vital information about how you van contribute and add value to your new network. To create a Poll... go to the bottom footer on your LinkedIn profile (after logging into your account) and click on Polls located in the "Tools" heading area. You can now create a Poll and invite your network to participate.
  4. Post comments and replies on message boards and be sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile page. You may choose to link them directly back to your website or blog. The best thing to do is to register what we refer to as a "campaign domain name" like www.Bees2HoneyPot.com and create a free giveaway (after registration) on what's called a "landing or capture" page. This is a very clever way of building your database and adding new targeted prospects straight into your marketing funnel.
  5. Join groups - your main goal here is to become a valued asset within the groups that you join and you can do this by contributing as much information as possible. Groups are one of the most powerful tools available in the LinkedIn networks. Maximise this opportunity by sharing your thoughts and ideas and offering professional advice based on your expertise! ... The aim here is to position yourself as a valued member of the group community whose experience and knowledge is trusted and coveted.
  6. Be found - make sure that you use "key words" in your profile description so that others can find you easily. It's easy to forget sometimes that your profile is on the Internet and can be found by Google search engines...so make it key word rich rather than trying to perfect your profile with fancy words.
  7. Givers Get - Everyone would like more referrals and recommendations so why not start by giving them to your valued clients and colleagues first. This will encourage others to reciprocate and you can start building your profile and online reputation rapidly.

Here are 2 Additional Bonus Tips...

  1.  Ask a question in the public questions (under the answers tab) and be sure to include your email address so that others can expand their network.
  2. With over 43,000+ members, TopLinked and OpenNetworker are worth a look. These open networking groups within the LinkedIn (TopLinked) and all the major networking sites (OpenNetworker) systems bring together the most linked people on any networking site ... so visit http://www.toplinked.com or http://opennetworker.com and explore the largest open networker groups. Dubbed as the most helpful and connected people on any networking site, these "open networkers" claim that their system offer the fastest way to build a larger, more diverse and more valuable network on LinkedIn.

9 quick ways to use Twitter to interact with your community of Followers and Grab Attention!

  1. Tell your followers about a new product launch you are working on.
  2. Let them know about a new FREE eBook that they can get their hands on now (include the www link to the landing (capture) page -This is a great way of turning followers on Twitter into online subscribers into your database.
  3. Event promotions alerts - you may choose to countdown 1 week, 3 days, 1 day prior to the event and ask them to let others know who might be interested.
  4. Ask your followers questions and find quick answers to complex questions that you may have trouble answering.
  5. Share exciting information with your followers about business news
  6. Offer them expert tips or daily quotes to motivate them and keep them informed.
  7. Open a gmail account with google and Twitter will help you find contacts that are in your current contact list automatically
  8. Share photos and slide shows of you and your family (including your pets)... this will show them a side of you they may have never seen before
  9. Invite your followers to answer questions on how they would feel about a product or service prior to releasing it to market (market research)... and the list goes on!

The world of social media can be daunting, however, if you'd like to discuss your social media strategy and learn more tips for making it work for you, register for your FREE Client Attraction session now. This FREE one-on-one session is designed to show you exactly how to use social media, email marketing and a number of FREE tools to attract more clients into your business now. Click here to secure your place.

Copyright Altitude Communications 2011. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be used without the prior written consent from the author. See below for more details...

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Marketing Mentors Bill Doyle and Sandra Hammond from Altitude Communications publish the popular 'My Marketing Mentor' weekly eZine with over 4,200 subscribers including solo-preneurs, entrepreneurs and business owners.

If you're ready to boost your business, generate more leads and make more money, get your FREE subscription to this valuable publication, plus our popular Report "50+ fresh eMarketing ideas and tactics to help you to attract new clients like bees to a honey pot and grow a profitable business without spending a fortune." Go to www.Bees2HoneyPot.com

Author:Altitude Communications
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