Marketing yourself and your products online isn’t just about setting up the right website and having a great blog for people to read. The Internet is huge and you have to know how to utilize it to get the most effective results for your business.
Currently, the most effective way to get new customers to your website is by taking part in Social Media. Social media is everywhere. People from all ages and backgrounds use it, including the majority of your customers.
There are a number of social medial platforms that you could be part of but there are three main social media sites that you need to get to know in order to market yourself better online. These are:
LinkedIn is one of the best social networking groups to become involved in if you have your own small business. LinkedIn is like having your little black book of business associates…and their little black book of business associates…all rolled into one neat little package.
LinkedIn allows you to tell the world about yourself and your business in a professional manner. It is quite different to the other less formal social media platforms.
Think of it as a type of resume that anyone can follow. You give details about yourself in reference to jobs you’ve had, your current endeavors and a short bio and business portfolio for others to see. Then you ‘link’ your peers and partners to your bio.
You can then see your associates ‘linked’ business associates and create a larger business-based social network based on these things.
You might be wondering what this does for you and your business? After all, why would you need to have your business resume online for the world to see?
Let’s look at this from a different standpoint. If you are trying to get your name out there as a successful business person you will want to have as many people on your side as possible because the business world is all about the networking.
The larger your portfolio of people, the more networking options you have available to you. Let’s say, for example, you want to expand your business into the international market, but you don’t know anyone who is in the same field as you overseas. For the sake of the scenario, we’re going to suggest you want to expand your product to the Chinese market specifically.
In order to make that expansion, you need to know someone who is in the Chinese market. What you might not know is that your co-workers boss’s daughter’s secretary has an uncle who is a Chinese businessman in the same field as you. However, you are LinkedIn to your co-worker, who is LinkedIn to his boss, who is LinkedIn to his daughter, who is LinkedIn to her secretary, who has her favorite uncle LinkedIn. You see that person and decide to make contact, expanding your business and marketing yourself outside the box. LinkedIn in is a fantastic way for professional people to come together.
Facebook is familiar and less formal than LinkedIn.
We tend to think of Facebook as a way of hanging out with your friends, without actually meeting any of them.
As a business owner, it’s important to know that Facebook is also a very easy and effective way to market yourself into the world. Using this method of social media in a similar way to how you would use a blog is the key to getting yourself out there.
There are Facebook pages for almost everything. The key to creating a good Facebook page for marketing is not only to make sure your page is up to date and accurate, but to keep posting on your Facebook page.
What’s the point of all this if you already have a blog on your website? Facebook is different than a blog because people check their Facebook pages almost constantly throughout the day.
Have you ever watched a teenager play with their phone? These kids are constantly social networking. Not only do they look for cool memes to show off to their friends, but they’re telling their friends what they are doing, what they like, what they don’t like and who they are with. However, it is not just teenagers doing this. People of all ages are embracing social media.
What exactly does this mean for you as a business person? This means that you have to go to where many of your customers are. The quickest way to market yourself is to make sure you have a Facebook page.
There are two things you need for your page. The first is an actual Facebook page for your product and the second is a profile page for yourself.
Your Facebook profile is the place people are going to start when they’re looking for you because almost everyone uses Facebook.
Liking things on Facebook is the most important part of this social network. It might seem like such a trivial thing, but when you like something EVERYONE else sees it and they get interested.
Here’s a scenario for you. Let’s say you are a huge fan of Parkour (freerunning). It’s your favorite sport, you are obsessed with it, and you can’t get enough of it. Now, let’s also say there’s a Parkour page on Facebook (which there probably is) and you click “Like” on it. What happens next?
Your old friend Chris sees that you liked the Parkour page and says to himself, “Wow, I didn’t know Jerry liked Parkour, I’ve never heard of that, what is it?”
Chris then clicks on Parkour, thinks it looks cool, decides to give it a try as he likes a challenge, enjoys it and then clicks “Like” on the Parkour Facebook page. Now, Chris’s friend Stephanie sees that he liked Parkour and decides to see for herself what it’s all about.
Do you see the string of events happening here? Parkour has just become liked by your friends and their friends and so many people are now interested in Parkour. Can you see how the word spreads quickly on Facebook which is why you have to have a page for your product or service?
Once you have established a Facebook page for your product, you need to set up a page for yourself as a person, a page where you can say who you are and what you like, a page where you can show people “I own this company” and show off your product and service page.
This personal page is also one that allows you to blog without actually “blogging”. One of the most important things you can remember here is this: People will see your blog when they go onto your website, but they’ll see your Facebook posts every time they go to their own Facebook page.
As discussed earlier, they’ll go to their own page a lot. On average, people visit their own Facebook profile three or more times per day to update their status or check on their friends.
Make sure you have a Facebook profile you log into and update at least once a day (keeping it clean and professional, but still fun and entertaining) as well as a strictly professional page for your business or product.
As well as Facebook, Twitter is another social media you need to have in order to tell the world about your company. Twitter is different from Facebook in two ways:
- your message is limited to only 140 characters
- Hashtags are essential
The first way that Twitter differs from Facebook is that there are a very limited number of characters to write on your Tweet. In other words, this is the perfect place to speak when you don’t have a lot to say or you can get your message across in a short, pithy way.
Twitter allows you to send people little messages about what’s going on in your life or your business. You can’t get into a long description, so of you just received a shipment of walking shoes, Twitter is the perfect place to make that known. You can tweet “just received brand new stock of walking shoes for men and women! Come on by and see them.” Nobody expects you to describe those shoes, but those who are interested will then visit your site to them.
That’s a very big difference from the Facebook crowd because on Facebook everyone expects you to go into at least some detail about those shoes. Are they shoes or boots? What color are they? Do you have them in all sizes? Are you going to post a picture?
Facebook users have higher expectations than a two or three sentence post. Twitter users know you won’t go into those kinds of details. They will expect to see very basic information.
How does that help you and your business? For one thing it is easy to Tweet. Instead of having to come up with long, informative and interesting posts or blogs, all you have to do is write a sentence or two.
Another reason Tweeting is good for you is, much like Facebook, people can follow you on Twitter. Twitter allows you to follow an unlimited amount of people, read quickly what everyone is up to, respond when you want to, and then move on to other things. It’s all done very quickly, too.
One thing that really stands out from the Facebook market is that Twitter users use ‘Hashtags’ in order to find things that they are interested in.
Hashtags are a way of grouping a conversation into more organized methods of communication. Let’s say, for example, you have an online webinar and you need to keep the ball rolling, so to speak, and make sure your partners are aware of the webinar. Putting a hashtag (#) in front of the webinar name will keep your group organized.
Twitter hashtags are also a fantastic way of keeping up to date on the latest Twitter trends. Hashtags are a means of tracking what’s popular. As a person who is trying to market themselves it can be very important to know what people are looking for and these Hashtags are a very easy method of tracking those markets.
While at first the concept of Hashtags is extremely confusing to people it does get easier. In fact most television programs now use hashtags frequently, so fans of the show can follow the conversations about the program in real time while they are watching it.
The one thing to remember when creating a Hashtag is to make sure your Hashtag is relevant to your conversation or to ensure that people understand the Hashtag you’re trying to create and don’t confuse your followers by using too many hashtags in one post.
If you Hashtag your company, do so in a sentence. Simply put the # symbols before your company name and a Hashtag is automatically generated for you. Twitter also allows you to choose from unique backgrounds and colors to build a good visual market for yourself. You can make your Twitter Background relevant to your business to increase the visual appeal for your clients.