Business Magazine

Using Social Media to Promote Your Business

Posted on the 22 March 2013 by Georgestevens @Nebstone
social media collage

Though it may not have been considered relevant 10 years ago, social media has become an essential tool to help promote businesses. With an ever-growing number of people of all ages signing up to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Stumbleupon, it’s no wonder that many businesses have caught onto the great promotion potential these platforms can offer. Take a look at this simple guide to build a business presence on social media.
Getting started

First of all, sign up to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. It’s important to create business accounts, rather than personal accounts because these enable you to track the number of visitors and interactions you receive. You will need to choose a profile picture and (in the case of Twitter and Facebook) a banner or header image. For the profile picture, it’s useful to simply display your logo as this will help visitors to recognize the image and the name. Whilst that photo of you on the rollercoaster might be great for your personal page, save the business account for your logo. For the header image, you can be more creative. Taking the example of an opticians business, you may want to use a smart, sleek photograph of a model wearing your glasses. This will give the impression of a glossy, quality company people may want to follow. After all, if they like your products, they’re more likely to ‘like’ your business.

Who to follow?

So you’re all set up and you’ve got your profile and header photos ready. Next, you need to think about how to gain followers. The best way to do this is to follow or like other businesses. As an optician, why not follow some of the designer brands you stock? These can give you great ideas for sharing any news or fun tips they offer. You could also follow people connected to your own business, for example, a freelance writer or photographer will be eager to promote themselves so they are likely to follow you back and share what you have to say. Thinking outside the box, why not follow some relevant charities who will value your support, for example, charities related to eye health.

Go viral

Next, you need to think about the kind of posts you should write. Post functions on Facebook and Twitter have been designed to help you share, link, like, favourite, retweet and tag other people. Whilst each platform has its own names for these functions, they all essentially mean the same thing: connect and interact with other people using social media. When you write a post, you can ‘tag’ someone (Facebook) or ‘@’ someone (Twitter) which essentially mean that the person you link to will receive a notification encouraging them to respond to you. It also means other people viewing your post will see who you connect with. This can be a great tool because if your posts are shared, the entire social circle of the sharer will see your post. When this happens more than once, it is called virality. When a post goes viral, it can be seen by a limitless number of people, almost like a domino effect. For example, if an optician wrote a tweet on Twitter: ‘shooting some new images for our glasses range with @photographer’s name’, the photographer may ‘retweet’ and share it with their followers.

What to post?

The kind of post you write ultimately depends on the type of business you are and the business image you’d like to portray. Innocent Smoothie drinks have a brand image of fun, friendly and approachable, meaning that their posts are all cute or humorous with plenty of images. An opticians may want to focus on top fashion news by linking to new trends or celebrity gossip because customers will love to know what celebrities wear as this could influence their buying choices. It’s also a great chance to share new imagery or offers. Remember to provide links to your site to make it even easier for people who stumble across your page.

Follow these simple tips and, before you know it, your business will be blooming on social media platforms as you gain followers and friends. Time to get started…

Victoria blogs for a leading online retailer of designer glasses, Direct Sight.

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