Social networking for your business
In recent times social networking has become a way of life. People use social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin to find old friends, meet new people and share their life experiences with a select audience.
Social networking is here to stay so it makes sense to embrace this trend and see if it can be put to use for your company or organisation. If used correctly, Social networks can drive users to your business, act as a point of contact for new and existing customers/users and enable you to engage with people and expose them to your brand.
Before you start working with social media you need to develop a social media strategy. This strategy will set out what you want to achieve and how you intend to go about it. You will also need to determine how much time you are prepared to invest into your social activities, where you want to focus your efforts and what your goals are.
There are a number of goals you can set when using social networking to market your business. Your goals may be as simple as exposing users to your company and brand, or it may be to attract users to your company website. In any event you need to deploy your social activities accordingly.
Your social networking strategy should take time constraints into account as obviously you need to run your business, Social network marketing should only take up a small of this time at the start. As your company grows you may find it makes sense to invest a lot more time into your social network marketing activities. Many large companies employ people simply to manage their public image within the social sphere. There is also the alternative of outsourcing your companies social activities to a third part company who specialise in managing social networks for businesses.
The main social networks you should focus on are Facebook and Twitter. The reason is simply a case of numbers. Billions of people use these two services. There is also a growing trend of people making use of Google's own social network Google+
Facebook has a huge number of users worldwide and these users do not fall into any specific demographic category or area. If you are in business within almost any industry, you will find the majority of your customers are Facebook users.
With this in mind, it makes sense for your company to have a Facebook page. There is a difference between a personal Facebook page and a business Facebook page. Personal Facebook pages are used by an individual and other users can be added as 'friends'. A business Facebook page is used to promote your business both individual users and other business pages can 'like' your page. A page like is similar to adding a friend. If a user likes a company's page, the company's Facebook posts will appear on the user's time line, allowing them to keep up-to-date with the business and also to like, comment or reply to these posts.
You can read more about managing a Facebook page here.
Twitter is very similar to Facebook in terms of its demographic area. It has a very large user base that come from all walks of life. Twitter works by allowing you to create a profile. You can then select who you want to Follow and other users can then follow you. When a member visits the Twitter homepage they will see a list of 'tweets' by people they have chosen to follow. Your tweets will be visible to others who follow you. In theory the more followers you attract the more exposure each of your tweets will receive.
Twitter for businesses
Facebook for business
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