Social Media offers some great opportunities to help build awareness for your business. Getting your name out where your potential customers are is the first step in gaining new business. Three proven target areas to focus on are your website, Facebook and Twitter profiles. To make sure you don’t miss out on opportunities, I’ve put together a simple checklist of things you should be doing to help build your social media presence.
Blog + Website = Blogsite
- If you don’t already have a blog, create one as a companion to your website
- If you’re not happy with your current website, create a blogsite using WordPress. There are many great templates out there along with advanced templates that will allow you to create your own designs. I suggest staying away from the “Flash” website templates as it causes a lot of problems for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.
- Create educational articles and provide resources that your potential and current customers can use.
- Invite Guest Bloggers to write original articles. This helps bring variety and personality to your site and will increase traffic.
- Make sure you update your blog with a new post at least once a week.
- Make sure to include buttons to Twitter, Facebook and other social sites to make sharing your articles easy.
- Add an email opt-in form to your blog to capture email addresses from your website visitors. Regardless of what some may say, email marketing is not dead, and a quality list of prospects is very valuable.
- Make sure your contact information is available on every page or there is a contact button in the site navigation.
Facebook Business Page
- If you’re not already on Facebook, sign up for a free account.
- Create a Facebook business page so you can engage your audience and increase awareness of your brand.
- Be sure to Friend your customers to make staying in touch easier.
- Share your blog posts on your business page. If you create quality content your fans will share it with their friends. You can also use a Facebook application like Social RSS to streamline the process of updating your page with your blog’s latest posts.
- Ask your community to “Like” your page. More fans means more views of your content.
- Encourage your community to “Like” your page through a contest or giveaway.
- Use Facebook ads to target prospects.
- Become fans of the Facebook pages where your clients and prospects hang out. Comment on posts and engage in conversation, it’s a great way to get noticed.
- Search for Facebook Groups that focus on your area of expertise and become a member. Join in on the discussions and provide thoughtful answers to questions. This is a great way to be thought of as an industry leader and offers fantastic networking opportunities.
- Create special Facebook Fan only offers, to make them feel special.
Twitter for Business
- If you’re not already on Twitter, sign up for a free account.
- Search for your current customers to see if they have a Twitter account. If they do, follow them and send an @message to say hi. Hopefully they’ll follow you back opening up another line of communication.
- Follow industry leaders, it’s a great way to keep up with what’s going on.
- Follow the manufacturers of the equipment you use. It’s a great way to keep up to date with new product releases and recalls. It’s also a great way to get in touch with someone should you have a problem.
- Listen before you speak. Don’t just jump in promoting yourself, see what others are talking about and add to the conversation.
- Provide useful information in your posts. Tweeting links to great content you find online is a surefire way to be thought of as a valuable resource within the community. Also be sure to tweet links to your blog posts, it’s a great way to build a following for your website.
- Use Twitter search to find prospects. It will take some time but it can be done.
- Register your Twitter username with directories like WeFollow.com.
- Create Twitter Lists and break out the people you follow into groups (ex. clients, prospects, manufactures, industry leaders, etc.). You can choose to make the lists private or public for everyone to see and follow.
- Create Twitter custom searches to follow what people are saying about you, your company, your competitors, etc. Check them periodically throughout the day to see if there’s something you need to address or to simply say thanks for the ReTweet.
- Check and reply to Direct Messages.
- Check to see who’s ReTweeting your content and be sure to thank them and maybe even give them a follow.
- Build your following by getting recommended. By providing great information you’ll become a valued community member that others will be happy to promote.
- Recommend others, it’s good to give!
Go through the check list to make sure you’re utilizing everything the tools have to offer. Be sure to promote your blogsite, Facebook page and Twitter profile everywhere online and off. Include links to your social profiles on your blogsite. Include a link to your blogsite from your Twitter profile and link to your blogsite and Twitter profile from your Facebook page. Print the addresses of your site and profiles on your business cards, stationary and other promotional items. Exposure is the name of the game here, so take advantage of the social media tools available to get your name out there.