Boss Lady

5 key ways to leverage social media for business

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Social media can be a valuable marketing tool, if it is used correctly. But it takes more than just adding a business profile to Google+, Facebook, or Twitter to generate results with social media. The social network may help you connect with your fans and followers, but if you don’t leverage that connection to produce sales or marketing leads then it is all for naught. Here are a few ways you can make sure to get the results you want with social media.

Social media lets your friends tell their friends about your business profile online via likes, shares, and comments who, in return, will tell someone else. This exponential power to reach people is beneficial for business and can get you noticed quickly. However, not just any status update will go viral. To increase the chances for exposure and sales, here are a few strategies to get you started.

1. Create excitement with social media

Social media can be an ideal place to hold a contest, conduct a giveaway, or take a poll. Just make sure whatever you giveaway, that it relates to your business. This way, even the giveaways act as introductions to your business profile. If you collect email addresses for the giveaway, you can also use this information to build your marketing lead list.

2. Showcase your products and services

Even if you have the best products or services in the industry, you’ll never get people interested in what you have to offer if you just sit at your desk and wait for them to come to you. Instead, show the world what you have. You can do this with interesting images, projects, or short videos that people can see on their news feed. Short videos on Facebook that are created with their editor are set to automatically play when a person scrolls by them. This can increase the number of people who are viewing your offerings, whether they click on the video or not. They have to be done with the native video player in Facebook to have this autoplay feature. If you choose to use YouTube videos, they can still be embedded in other social networks, but they don’t have the same quality or features.

3. Make your business interactive

You want to build a rapport with your friends and followers so that they come to trust you like a close friend. This will help you when it comes time to buy as they won’t hesitate to trust you. That means that you also need to comment on other people’s posts, answer questions or comments posted to your feed, and seek advice and acknowledge your biggest fans. One easy way to do this is to hold a branding contest for creative people who want to help you create a logo or design a book cover for your next e-book. You can also simply ask for opinions on two different versions of profile image and generate an interactive session in this fashion.

4. Build your credibility with social media

Try to get your social media connections to review your products and services. You can do this by asking for testimonials or endorsements that you post directly to your website. However, there are third-party social networks, like Yelp, that are used to write official reviews. If you can get a few really good reviews for yourself on a site that collects them, then, you are well on your way to generating a rock solid reputation online by sharing them on social networks, with one caveat. It’s true that if you get a negative review, your first reaction may be to take a magical heavy duty paper shredder to erase it from the Internet. However, even a bad review can be dealt with in a fashion that converts an unhappy customer into a fan. So, take the time to address negative reviews in a positive fashion too.

5. Put up a store on social media

It doesn’t have to contain all your inventory, just enough to show people what you offer and how to buy while online. E-commerce software like Shopify links to social networks directly so that you can advertise some of your specials and items that way. However, you can also use features like Facebook Shop or even just add a price to an image you post on Pinterest, with the link going back to your website. You can also identify bloggers and other internet personalities who might have an interest in what you’re offering, and then contact them to showcase your products. Whether you sell electric toothbrushes, smartphone apps, or anything else, the key is to make sure people know you are selling and that they can browse your items on social networks even as they catch up on what their friends are doing online.

As always, the goal is to generate enough interest to either get the person to self-identify by adding comments, to sign up their email, or to buy from your social networking sites. By providing multiple business profiles in a variety of different social networks, you can capture attention and generate excitement and bring it directly back to your landing pages or websites.

About Paisley Hansen

Paisley Hansen is a writer focusing on health, home-decor, DIY and marketing and business.

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