Using Social Media to Promote Your Business

Part of the Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Social media is an inexpensive way to promote your website and to keep new and existing customers chatting about your business. Here are some quick and easy tips for using some of the most popular social networking sites — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest — to help drive interest and customers to your business:

  • Facebook

    • Set up a business page on Facebook and post special offers (at least once a month) to all those who Like your page.

    • Ask customers to share pictures on your Facebook page that show them using their favorite product that they bought from your website.

    • Reduce your workload while expanding your marketing efforts on Facebook: Instead of managing both a business page and a personal page, simply allow subscribers on your personal Facebook page. Subscriptions allow you to send public updates that your subscribers can view. Subscribers can be customers, vendors, and anyone else who is interested in seeing your public posts — just as they would on a business page.

  • Twitter

    • Use Twitter to tweet interesting or unusual facts about your business or products and provide a link to that product page on your site.

    • Send out short tips via Twitter on how to use your services or products.

    • Follow customers and vendors as well as influential bloggers, journalists, industry analysts, and others with a large following and significant influence on your business or industry.

    • Use promoted tweets and Twitter cards as inexpensive ways to advertise your products in Twitter.

    • Get more visibility by tweeting pictures and videos related to you or your business to your followers.

  • YouTube

    • Create a YouTube channel for your online business, regularly add fun and useful videos, and then encourage customers to view and share your videos with others.

    • Launch a video contest: Ask customers to create short videos of how they use your product or service and post them to YouTube, and then let other customers vote on their favorites.

    • Every week, post a short (two minutes or less) video of yourself offering tips for your customers, such as demonstrating how to use a product that you sell.

    • Ask customers to submit video testimonials and post them on your YouTube channel.

  • LinkedIn

    • Create a LinkedIn profile and add links to your website: Update your profile with new links, product reviews, books or articles that you are reading, or other information so that this information appears to all the people in your network.

    • Join LinkedIn groups that may be popular with many of your customers, and frequently post questions or comments related to the products or services you offer.

    • Ask your customers as well as vendors and other business associates in your network to provide a recommendation for you or your business in LinkedIn.

    • Add brochures, PDFs, SlideShare and PowerPoint presentations, and videos to your profile under the Summary section to provide interesting content that anyone viewing your profile can download or share.

  • Google+

    • In your personal Google+ profile, create circles for your customers, vendors, and others interested in your brand.

    • Post interesting content to your customer and other business-related circles and encourage feedback or comments. Content might include your blog posts, interesting articles, product reviews, announcements about special promotions and other exclusive offers, or news.

    • Start a Hangout. Use Hangouts On Air, the multi-user chat and video tool in Google+, to create a short video that can be viewed in real-time or archived on your YouTube channel for viewing later. For example, discuss a new product or service, or chat with an existing customer to use as a testimonial.

    • Launch a Google+ profile for your business, and start a Google+ community on a topic related to your business. Frequently post information in both the community and your Google+ business profile to keep followers interested.

  • Pinterest

    • Set up a Pinterest profile for your business, creating one or more Pinterest boards with themes or product interests related to your business.

    • Add the Pin It button to your website pages so that visitors to your website can pin, or post, product images from your site to Pinterest.

    • When pinning an image to a board in Pinterest, add a short text description to provide additional information and interest.

    • Pin videos to your boards. This underused Pinterest opportunity can generate lots of views and shared pins.

    • Hold a pinning contest on your website by encouraging customers to pin an image of one of your products to their Pinterest boards. Offer a small prize to either a random pinner, or the pin that has the most re-pins.

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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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