Building your online presence

You’ve launched your business idea, created your branding and started trading. It’s a landmark moment, so pat yourself on the back. If you have invested time and money setting up your business web site and blog, your next marketing push is to use social media to raise your online profile and attract customers to your site.

What is social media?

Obviously, we all know what it is, but there is a lot of it, and it comes in different formats and caters to different market places, demographics and age groups, so it helps to have a road map. You need to select the best ones for your business. Here’s a rundown of the biggest.

Facebook

Facebook is probably the best-known social media site on the net. It started as a purely social app for students, but now its functionality for business promotion is equally important. You can set up a business page on Facebook where you can interact with your customers, promote your enterprise and generate interest in it. Facebook is great for business-to-consumer interaction, especially for fun goods and services, but businesses in all sectors have a Facebook page these days.

Twitter

The unique micro-blogging social network, twitter, is a fast-running stream of short messages. The 140-character limit is a great discipline. Use twitter for pithy news messages to drive visitors to your site. Research the right hashtags (#) for your business to identify your marketplace. Hashtags are a powerful tool. Remember to ask for retweets (“RT”). Because twitter runs fast, use TweetDeck or HootSuite to auto-schedule your tweets at different times of day to maintain your presence and catch your audience when they are online.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a network for professionals with a distinctly corporate feel. It is particularly suitable for promoting specialist skills and services, for business-to-business interaction and for peer group networking.

How will my customers find my social networks?

On your website or blog, you can add your social media buttons to link to your social media pages. It is a good idea to place these in the footer bar of your site (if you have one), so they pop up on every page your customers visit. If you don’t use a footer bar, then place your social media buttons near your top navigation bar, and to the right of the page rather than the left. Don’t stick them out on the margins where they’re easy to miss.

The Accident Advice Helpline

Take a company like Accident Advice Helpline, for example. This law firm offers legal advice and services to consumers, and it is also a useful resource for tips on accident prevention and staying safe. Accident Advice Helpline uses a variety of social networking sites to build and maintain awareness with its retail consumers and peer-to-peer sectors.

Author Bio

Fiona Faith Ross lives in South Devon, UK. She’s an English teacher from a family of English teachers. She writes science fiction, with a focus on the interaction between humans and technology. Her debut novel for YA, Far Out, is published on Kindle. Her interests include web technologies, literature, painting and writing. On the web she writes for the legal, business and consumer sectors.

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