I must confess that I was a little on the slow side when it came to using social media as a way of marketing businesses online but with the recent news that Facebook is overtaking Google in terms of popularity, no business can ignore this way of marketing now.
With this in mind I have picked out the 3 essential social media tools.
Love it or hate it, FB is here to stay, for now anyway. Personally I am pleased that there is serious competition to Google now and while you might not think of FB as a search engine, increasingly people will use the search functionality within to find stuff their interested in (e.g. your business or website link?).
I think it is vital to have a Facebook page for your business and to be clever with it. Once you have 25 fans you can choose your own facebook URL. So instead of having ‘Mike’s Guitars’ you could use ‘London Guitar Shop’ which could help more people find your page.
Ensure you have an enabled wall on your business page and think of it as an opportunity to provide some sort of utility to your visitors, whether it be information or entertainment. Use it to publicise news or events relevant to your business.
Make sure you keep your wall lively so people keep coming back (and help spread your word for you).
FB really is the new word of mouth too and if you have a localised business then it can be a really powerful way of getting your message out locally and even help you expand beyond.
I have mentioned video quite a bit and the importance of youtube for marketing your business. Youtube is fast becoming only second to Google in terms of search engines.
People spend hours on youtube casually surfing around for stuff and doing searches so why not tap into this and get your business / website under their noses?
For instance, if you ran a blog about recipes / cooking etc then why not make a short video presentation to accompany one of your ideas? By having a youtube account that is linked to your business you could then reply to other peoples’ videos with useful comments that could prompt people to check your offerings out.
Also consider that you could use Youtube for more than marketing and advertising. You could perhaps make a video presentation that covers a FAQ page you have that can act as a walk through guide.
For instance, as a musician, you could provide some basic information about the equipment, or even how to tune your instrument in 3 easy steps etc.
Is Twitter a fad or here to last? Well the jury is out on this but everyone seems to be tweeting so it makes sense to jump on the bandwagon.
Most people consider Twitter as a broadcast medium but it’s real usefulness can come when you engage in conversations with others, rather than just using it as a soapbox.
Also, don’t just start tweeting assuming that everyone is going to listen you. It’s important that you spend some time just listening and observing the behavior of those that you want to engage with.
There are lots more tools out there of course but these three are the key ones to focus on for now. Ignore them at your peril people!