Social Media Magazine

5 Tips to Promote Your Business Like a Pro Online

Posted on the 11 November 2012 by Cendrinemedia
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Photo credit: familymwr via photopin cc

  • Ask yourself the right questions first
  • Practice the "gratitude" method
  • Context, context, context!
  • Calls to action
  • Newsletters

Social media has made promoting a business extremely easy. But easy does not mean that challenges are not around the corner. As a matter of fact, competition has never been fiercer, especially if you are a solo entrepreneur or the owner of a small business.

Looking for ways to be noticed? Here are five tips that will allow you to shine and make a difference with your audience.

Ask yourself the right questions first

In most of my workshops, I ask participants to tell me how they landed their current profession. “I had a plan,” they always answer.

No one embarks on a career with a snap of the fingers. You have to prepare and organize yourself, and usually, things will start with a pen and a piece of paper.

It is exactly the same with social media. To raise awareness of your brand successfully, you need to work on a strategy.

The first step is to ask yourself some questions. For example:

  • What do I want to achieve with social media?
  • Who is my audience?
  • What are my audience’s needs?
  • Who is my competition?
  • How unique is my business?
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  • Where do I see myself in five years?

The more honest you are in your answers, the better your strategy will be. Your honesty will also put you in the right mind frame to approach your audience.

Practice the “gratitude” method

I repeat it quite often on this blog. Only the brands that care end up winning the race.

With that said, you cannot acknowledge your followers if you are unaware of their talking about you. That is where social media monitoring comes into play.

HootSuite, TweetDeck, Google Alerts, Topsy, and Social Mention are awesome tools in that regard.

Hootsuite monitoringHow I use HootSuite to monitor mentions of my name on Twitter and Facebook.

I make it a point to thank all the people who share my content.

  • On LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook, I do it individually.
  • On Twitter, it depends on the number of mentions and RTs that I get on a  given week. I usually mention several people in the same Tweet.

Below is an example of what I do on LinkedIn:

Monitoring LinkedIn

Whenever I receive an email from Google Alerts for my name or the name of my blog, I proceed as such:

1) I click on each link to see where they lead me.

2) If I am mentioned in an article, for example, I will leave a “thank you” in the comment section or email the author directly.

2) Time permitting, I will look for a Twitter or Google+ account and reach out to the author there.

I find this method very effective because, not only do people usually respond to me, but they also tend to continue sharing my articles afterwards. And of course, when this happens, I take some time to check out their blogs / websites and see if I can find something to promote for them.

All your audience wants is for you to pay attention. When you acknowledge the little things they do for you, you put them in the forefront. You show them that you care, that you are not just there to make money. And when they realize that, they become your best advocates.

In the long run, they may even recommend you over a big influencer in your niche!

Comment appreciation

Context, context, context!

Social networks explained

Many entrepreneurs use all social networks interchangeably. As tempting as the approach may be, it proves to be very inefficient.

Remember that each network has been created with a specific purpose in mind (Refer to my articles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ for more information). So, do not just drop links and leave. Contextualize your shares, based on what you know about your followers on each site. Ask questions. Answer comments. Create conversations.

In a nutshell, give people a good reason to read, trust and support you. And they will.

Calls to action

I have talked about calls to action many times. However, I think mentioning the concept again is important.

A call to action is a short message that urges others to take action. Here are some examples:

  • “Follow us on Twitter”
  • “Leave a comment under this article”
  • “Contact us”
  • “Tell your friends about my blog”
  • “Subscribe to our YouTube Channel”
  • “Check out my book on Amazon”

Make sure you include calls to action everywhere: on blogs, websites and business cards, as well as in status updates, videos, pictures, and your email signature.

Newsletters

One of the best ways to attract and retain your audience is to create and maintain a newsletter.

A newsletter allows you to share exclusive tips and offers with your subscribers, keep them in the loop about your career, events, etc. You can see an example of mine here. I use MailChimp.

Writing an effective newsletter requires a bit of practice. But, it is well worth the effort. Here are a few tips for you:

3 Tips to Write Great Newsletters from Cendrine Marrouat

Bloggers should also give visitors the option to receive and read articles directly in their Inboxes.  If you use WordPress, make sure you check out JetpackNourish is another great service.

Now, it is your turn to speak. What are your tips to promote your business like a pro? 

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