5 Things to Consider Before Bringing Your Business Online Using Social Media Marketing

Online Social Media Networking for business has arrived!  It’s a way for you to get to know your target audience and let them get to know about you and what you do.  It’s a way to build a relationship with the people who want and need to know what you know.  People do business with people who they know, like, and trust.  Establishing these relationships using social media is just good business sense.  Social networking sites give you an opportunity to share what you are doing, let your customers and potential customers see you in action and create new relationships. You can build a rapport with readers and help those who are already looking for the information you will be providing.

Today, FaceBook and Twitter are the two most popular social networks.  You may already be using them personally.  If not, you have surely been hearing about them.  MySpace, YouTube, and LinkedIn are some other popular networks.  You can trust that your customers and clients have heard of these too.  It’s everywhere!  Many are probably using them already.  What you may not know however, is that hundreds, if not thousands, of other networks exist online for any topic you can possibly think of.

Before you begin using social networking, there are 5 things to think about.  There is much more to consider but these are the decisions you will need to consider before getting started.

  • How do you want to be known?

I recommend using your full name or business name.  This will help you crate branding. Give some thought as to what you want to brand.  Is it yourself, your business, a product?

  • Who do you want to connect with?

Although there are some hot debates on the issue, I believe that there is more benefit to targeting those who are already interested in your product or service or share a common interest rather than blindly trying to reach everybody.   It’s much easier to build relationships with those you share something with than to try to convert people.  Social media networking is built on the idea of having relationships with your following.

  • What kind of things can you offer your following that they will value?

What do you know that your following wants to know?  What kind of information, trade secrets, tips, and benefits can you offer them.  What is the benefit of following you? (What’s in it for them?)

  • Are there forums where people interested in your information gather?

A Google search should be able to find something applicable to your particular business.  Joining these groups and participating in the group will quickly give you an opportunity to be respected as an expert in your field or industry.

  • What platform will you use to keep in touch with your group once you have established a following?

Tweetdeck is my personal favorite.  From here you can update both your FaceBook and Twitter accounts.  Tweetdeck also provides support along with great tutorials on how to use their application.  They also offer an iPhone application for those of you who need to keep in touch and have the ability to be mobile at the same time.  You can find Tweetdeck here.

Begin by deciding to set up business on one or more of the above social media networking sites and deciding what you’ll offer to your followers, friends, and fans.  (each network may call your network something different).

In my opinion, Facebook is the most versatile tool for keeping your readers informed about you and your activities in real time. You have much more flexibility using Facebook than some of the others.  You have more space in which to “teach” your following.  Further, there are tons of applications you can add to your Fan Page that will help you educate your fans, a chat feature, and ways to personalize your page and set you apart from everyone else.  It gives you the ability to connect or be connected with either privately or publicly.  In addition, through Facebook, you can offer free classes, e-courses and other tools to those who opt-in for different services on your website. You may also let your readers be part of virtual focus groups to help you test new ideas.

With Twitter, you can communicate with readers about new things you are doing. They can get up-to-date information about not only the business but also personal info you want to share with them.  Twitter users are limited to messages of 140 characters or less.  You can use this for giving your followers headlines and links to other sites (your website, Facebook Page or anywhere you want to send them) to find more information.

I recommend creating both a personal and a business account.  In this way you can manage both and keep your family and friends on one list and your business contacts in another.  Remember, your mother might be interested in what you had for breakfast but your business contacts probably aren’t.

What to do next.

If you are ready, just go ahead and get started.  Continue to follow this blog for ideas, tips and internet marketing strategies you can use in your business.  If you need help,  e-Edge Marketing is a full service internet marketing company offering consulting and services that can help you get started or even manage, your social media marketing campaigns.  We offer smart business owners training and services that will give your company the Internet presence your business needs now and throughout the coming decade.  Contact us today for more information on how we can help you bring your business into the 21st Century, help you get new customers, attract new customers, and increase traffic to your business.

To Your Social Media Marketing success!

P.S.  If you are interested in learning more about developing or improving the online presence of your small business, help is available.  We specialize in internet marketing consulting.  I can help you with the tools and techniques that will help you attract online customers and keep them coming back.  For more information, contact us today at e-EdgeMarketing

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  1. socialwebcms.com says:

    Things to Consider Before Bringing Your Business Online…

    Before you begin using social networking, there are 5 things to think about. There is much more to consider but these are the decisions you will need to consider before getting started.1.How do you want to be known?2.Who do you want to connect with?3.W…

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