Why Social Networking Is Important For Any Business

by Jeremy Miller, Technician
If you are not currently using social media for your business then chances are that you have fallen behind your competitors.

Social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ are great platforms to promote brand awareness, communicate with existing and potential customers, as well as attract new leads.

Up to a quarter of developed nation’s Internet traffic is used on social media and networks. It is free to sign up and use all of these social networks. Why wouldn’t you want to address this market?

Social media sites can help you establish your online presence. Statistics show that over 70% of people trust ads on social networks from friends, while only 10% of people trust advertisements from websites.

Social media is more than just getting your name out there; it establishes trust and lasting relationships with new and existing clients. You can keep in touch in a personal manner, update services that you offer, and offer discounts and coupons on your social sites.

Social networks work like word-of-mouth, but more reliably. Your friends and followers can easily share your content with as many people as they want without interrupting their daily lives.

This is important because if it is a hassle to view your advertising it could be considered a nuisance instead of a promotion.

Instead everyone will check their social sites and see a post from their friend to check out your business. They are already in the mood for reviewing messages, so this is not an inconvenience to read.

Now before you start making a profile on every social site, first consider what you want to get out of social networking. Most businesses could get a Twitter account to share basically anything instantly.

Twitter is great for marketing and reaching many people instantly. Since Twitter is available easily from any smart phone, it is basically like texting all of your followers at once. Your followers can then retweet or share anything that you post.

Facebook is also very popular. It is a publicly trusted location and it performs really well in Google’s search index. This means that if you are having trouble with getting your website to the top results in Google, Facebook can help. Your company’s Facebook page should not take too long to reach the top results if someone is searching for your business.

Each social network is different and attracts different crowds. This can be seen in the usage statistics for each network. This can help you determine which social networks would be best for you to reach your desired audience.

When starting out you want to start slowly. Do not join every social network you can find. It would be best to join Twitter and Facebook at first. Determine who is going to manage the social sites. Then once you have some followers post some polls or special offers to attract more followers.

Once your followers start posting to your page, read their posts and answer them. This will add a lot of value to your business.

You can begin posting articles related to your business to encourage people to spend more time reading your content. Some things to keep in mind would be to not post too often or you may be considered a spammer.

Once you have become familiar with social networks you can expand to other social networks such as Google+ or Pinterest. The most important rule of all is to be patient; you may not see results overnight. However, if you provide quality content, service, and interactions on your social sites you will be successful.

If you would like help determining where you should start or need any help with your existing social networks, give us a call.

Pinterest: The Next Social Site For Small Business?

Thomas Fox is president of Tech Experts, southeast Michigan’s leading small business computer support company.

Facebook, followed by Twitter, have always been the go to social media websites for businesses.

This year, we saw the rapid rise of Pinterest, which is now the third largest social media site today. The website continues to attract plenty of users and enthusiasts – including small and big businesses alike.

What Is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pin-board that lets people organize and share photos that they find anywhere on the web. They can create specific boards and pin any photo that they come across – in case they need it for inspiration.

The website is often touted as a digital dream collage, or a corkboard with magazine clippings and recipes.

Users can create boards about anything, and pin any photos they like ranging from recipes to gifts to fashion to food.

The website is image based only, except for the small captions on the photos, thereby taking away the clutter of texts and webpages.

Users can also view the most recent pins or the most popular ones, follow other users, like other photos and even re-pin them on their own boards.

Unlike Facebook or Twitter, where accounts can be made private, all pinned photos on Pinterest are available for public viewing, so anyone can basically comment or re-pin your photos. Likewise, you can like and pin anything that catches your attention as well.

Who Is Using Pinterest?
Pinterest has indeed grown over the past year, with a total unique visitor increase of 2702.2% since May 2011. It averages around 1.36 million users each and every day and is driving more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and even Twitter, and the number continues to rise.

Top businesses have also taken to Pinterest to reach out to potential clients. These include mobile phone carriers such as Verizon and AT&T, mobile phone manufacturers like Motorola, LG, Samsung and Apple as well as other brands such as Whole Foods, Krogers, Nordstrom and the like.

Why Should You Consider Pinterest?
Pinterest is something worth considering because it is a website that inspires action in people. It serves as a recommendation engine, or a repository of ideas, purchases and sales waiting to happen.

Pinterest users constantly visit the site to look for ideas, inspiration and other things that are out of the ordinary. Likewise, they visit the site to look for things they or their friends might find interesting or to remind themselves what they need to buy, use or revisit.

Many users also visit the site to recommend and share products that they like; and they can serve as potential buyers.

Remember that millions of users do these on a daily basis – and some of them might just end up as your near-future clients, long term buyers and potential product advocates.

Social Media For Your Business: Three Quick Tips

Social media is all the rage – we’ve written about it here, and you’re certainly hearing about it on the news and in your email.

Here are some quick tips to get the most out of three of the most popular services.

LinkedIn Can Help Grow Your Business
LinkedIn has more than 150 million registered users, which is a lot of opportunities for those who wish to use the professional social media site to help them grow their business.

The real worth of LinkedIn for businesses is to be able to connect on a one-to-one basis with other business professionals.

Many of the connections you make on the site can end up not only introducing you to partners and business influencers but potentially also referring your business to possible new customers.

Having a personal LinkedIn profile is often viewed as a digital business card or a form of online resume.

While using it as such is a good place to start, it can be taken much further to help you build a powerful presence online in order to help encourage more business opportunities and is an excellent way of both attracting and managing your business connections.

Using Twitter
Twitter is one of the fastest and best methods of amplifying the message, product and services of a business or an individual in all the social media available in the twenty-first century.
The first thing you need before launching your business on Twitter is a strategy.

Review your marketing and business goals, and don’t make this preliminary step too complicated.

Think about how your business can benefit from social media and how the industry that you are in is using it as a whole. The great majority of the time, social media will be able to fit into your digital marketing efforts.

Some things that you need to think about include what you intend to use Twitter for. Are you using it for customer research or for branding? Are you using it in order to reach a specific segment or target, for customer support, or just to raise awareness?

Another question you need to answer is whether you will be able to come up with enough relevant content to make it worthwhile.

Optimize Your Profile on Pinterest
Your B2B business may by now have created a presence on the popular and ever-growing Pinterest.

This site has achieved incredible growth, which is very hard to overlook when it comes to the potential for B2B marketers to engage with both existing and prospective clientele.
There are some ways in which you can optimize your profile on this site, however.

The About area is the keyword description of your page as it will appear in search results, should someone search for your page.

The image you use needs to be consistent with the profile graphic or avatar you use on your firm’s other social profiles for the purpose of easy recognition, though you also need to keep in mind how the image will look on your followers’ Pinterest streams.

The Social Linking area, if done correctly, can be a great source of content for your other profiles.

Decide whether you want to manually or automatically publish your pins to your Facebook or Twitter pages.

The Hide setting should be turned off so others can find your profile and pins when searching and search engines can index your activity.