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Social Media - Can Twitter and Facebook Really Help Grow Your Business?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Everyone's talking about social networking these days and how it might be applied to businesses. Will using web sites such as Twitter and Facebook drum up more sales? Maybe. But they might not be the magic bullets you are hoping for. Here are some of the real benefits of social media and how you can use them to raise your business's profile.

Communication - Social networking sites such Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn are built around the premise of making communication easier and more fun. Their purpose is to keep users connected and sharing information by posting updates or entries about their lives, businesses, news or events. Using a tool like Twitter is a great way for a business to communicate with current clients or start conversations with new ones. So many people use these sites on a daily basis to keep in touch with family and friends, it comes naturally to them to use these sites to communicate with their favorite businesses or brands. Using social media outlets might not generate a high-volume of sales, but it will help you to build relationships and keep your brand in front of an ever-increasing internet-savvy audience.

Brand Awareness - Social media sites might not be the best place to continuously try to sell your product, but they can help you build your brand. If a user, follower or fan likes what they see, they will be more likely to recommend you to a friend of theirs, which is usually only a click away on a social media site. Facebook and Twitter make it easy to help fans and followers spread the word about your company's new products, product giveaways, or charitable causes by 'going viral' or spreading throughout your social network at an accelerated rate (like a virus). If you ask for feedback about a new product or announce a special offer or giveaway, one user is more likely to pass along this information to another user, and so on and so on. Try not to constantly try to deliver a sales pitch to your fans or followers. Using these sites purely for promotional purposes rather than committing to a two-way conversation usually is a turn-off to other users.

Education - I have found that one of the best uses for Twitter and Facebook is the exchange of educational information. On social media sites, people and companies frequently post information about webinars, seminars, free books or magazine subscriptions, articles and other tips that I've found very useful in day-to-day business. I have also learned about various promotional and marketing opportunities from other businesses in my industry. Having a social media account is a great way to stay informed and learn about goings-on in your industry as the changes happen.

It's Free - The best thing about all of this: it won't cost you a thing. All of the abovementioned sites are free to join and use -- even for businesses. The only thing any of these will cost you is your time, so why not give them a try? And you never know: that next tweet or update you post just might bring in a new visitor to your web site, or inform someone of the fantastic services you offer, which in turn might generate that next a big sale. Good luck!

 

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