The number of social media arenas and users is in the trillions but many business owners don’t take advantage of the ever-growing world of using social media—even on a personal level. If you are not, you are missing out on the opportunity to drive sales via your personal connections.
Using LinkedIn the Smart Way
Image via Flickr TheSeafarer
In its infancy, LinkedIn was viewed as a way for professionals to stay connected—more of a look what I’m doing now type of social media. Today’s LinkedIn is much more than that. Even with a basic account you gain an increased chances of selling or benefiting from joint ventures.
Beyond the advertising options on LinkedIn (and every social media venue offers paid advertising), use LinkedIn to offer and receive recommendations. The recommendations you receive appear in your profile under the Skills & Expertise section; the more you receive (and give to others), the bigger chance you have to gain customers from those recommendations.
It is also a good idea to join LinkedIn groups that are similar to your business or organization—even if they are competitors and post about your business. Many referrals are born from idea sharing and there are 400 million users on LinkedIn just waiting to share the interesting.
Use Your Facebook Page to Gain Followers on Your Business Facebook Page
Don’t rely on your business Facebook page alone to promote your business. In fact, every post you make to your business page should also appear on your personal page. Add your business page as a “like” on your personal page for all to see.
Facebook now has over one billion users and they’re not all sharing baby or vacation photos. They are sharing YouTube videos and how-to posts. You can do the same on your personal page but make those posts engaging enough to receive clicks and comments and above all, do interact with those who like and comment on your posts. A page alone—even a personal page—without interaction is not participating in “social” media.
Use Google+ to Make Email Connections
Creating and posting to your Google+ page is another way to increase your social media connections. Make sure to use tons of photos (Google loves images) and videos (Google owns YouTube). With approximately 340 million users, Google+ also affords you the opportunity to engage in email marketing campaigns as everyone with a Google+ page has a Gmail account.
You can also take advantage of your personal Google+ page to promote your Google Places (business) page. While you don’t want to over-promote, timely and interesting posts on your industry help to build your knowledge, experience and brand.
Twitter for Customer Support
UPS, Hewlett Packard and American Express are just three companies using Twitter to quickly answer consumer support questions. Be more personal by using your personal Twitter account or assign an employee to tackle consumer issues with a Twitter account associated with a name, not your business name.
Comcast used the now widely followed (65,000+) Bill Gerth to respond quickly to customers questions and concerns—even inform consumers about area outages. With 500 million Twitter users, creating a caring customer support campaign will surely help build your brand as well as consumer confidence and trust.
The key to making personal social media connections work for you on a business level is staying active and engaging, interacting with followers and being on platforms your target market enjoys.