Series 4, Article 58
Do you remember the saying “If you build it, they will come” from the movie Field of Dreams? Well that might have worked for a “baseball field in Iowa”, but it doesn’t work for the internet. In fact, you can have the most amazing, beautiful, informative website and yet get no traffic at all. It’s like printing business cards and then never passing them out.
Social media is the fast, easy and inexpensive way to get customers. Savvy business owners have to know and use a variety of social media networks in order to “shake hands with the public” and to stay informed about the latest interests and needs of consumers.
Here are the 7 most important social networks to bring traffic to your website:
Facebook is definitely the largest and most popular networking site on the web right now with over a billion users. A Facebook business page is used to advertise products and services, inform your “friend” or “like” base of special deals, new products, events at your business, etc. You can also upload photos and videos to entertain or educate your customers.
Anyone who needs to make professional connections should be on LinkedIn. Known as the social network for your career, you can promote yourselves and your businesses, outline your education and work experience and make connections with other professionals. Meeting customers, get in touch with vendors, recruit new employees, write articles, and keep up with the latest in industry news.
Like Facebook, Twitter has become a top source for real-time news sharing. It is the simplest of all social media platforms, with messages limited to 140 characters, and the added ability to share photos and links. Use Twitter to give a “shout out” to your friends and customers about a current special – “30% off to the next 5 people who come to my store”, “Just got a new shipment of Beanie Babies!”, “Tonight is Taco Tuesday!”
Google+ is the second largest social networking site, which has personal profiles for posting status updates, photos and videos, as well as “Circles” and “Communities” for sharing
information with different groups of people. Google combined the best of Facebook and Twitter into one site. You can add new content, highlight topics with hashtags, and even separate contacts into circles.
Where does everyone go to watch or share video content online? It’s obviously YouTube. YouTube is now owned by Google and is tied right into your Google+ account. Create your own “Channel” and post videos about your business and the products or services you offer.
Pinterest is a giant, inspirational, virtual bulletin board. To use this for your business, collect inspirational photos that relate to your products or services. Are you a public speaker? Post inspirational saying on posters. Own a coin store, a bakery, a massage business? Post photos that inspire people to seek your business out and connect with you.
Instagram is like a visual Twitter. It’s the ultimate social network for sharing real-time photos and short videos while on the go. If you have new products, a party at your store, a busy night at your restaurant? Snap a photo or shoot a video and post it on Instagram. Let your potential customers know that your place is the place to be.