Monday, January 23, 2012

Using Social Media for Businesses - Part 1

Do you have a small bookkeeping accounting business online?

With social media sites reporting users in billions of numbers, one cannot be wrong to presume that social media sites have gone viral.

Nowadays, with these billions of social media users, having no social media presence could now mean a slow death to your site. If you have a small business accounting software and you haven’t brought it into the social media craze, this would not do anymore.

Now, having no online social media presence even for those big accounting on line businesses is no longer an option as having a website and online presence is not anymore enough in this competitive world of internet marketing.

So here are some tips or ways on how to use social media for businesses:

1. Review and Identify Your Assets. Before engaging in online marketing or social media marketing and engagement, the first thing you should do is try to identify and assess what is your asset. What are you trying to promote? In this way, you can determine who your target audience would be.

2. Proactively Post and Tweet. Proactively post or tweet questions that ask for customers’ thoughts on specific product ideas, marketing strategies, or anything else that is relevant. And when you get a response, dig deeper. Make any initial feedback when you get into a conversation and try to create something real from the dialogue. In this way you will get conversation that may go on for some time which will make your conversation active and be noticed not only by other users but also by search engine crawlers.

3. Proactively Post Updates. Provide valuable relevant information about your business or people enjoying your business. This can be in the form of pictures or videos. On YouTube, you can post videos of your business, customer experiences, and encourage customers to make their own. You can also ‘favorite’ other YouTube users’ videos and they will end up on your page. Remember to keep your updates relevant, interesting and attractive. In this way, other people will like and follow your page.

4. Post Fun Contests, Polls, And Questions. You should try to post interesting and fun contests, polls of questions that would let your customers know you value their opinion, and that they have a personality.

5. Leverage your Website’s Content. In order to draw more traffic to your website, put your website's content to work. Spread the word by encouraging visitors to share content they enjoy. Install a widget, such as AddThis, that automates linking to popular sites, in order to promote the sharing of your site's content.

6. Look for Friends And Followers. Search keywords to find followers and friends. Search your town and surrounding areas as well to find key influencers, news outlets, bloggers, and city officials. Also, search for large players in your market. Join in their conversation. If they share your posts, you have the potential to reach thousands. On Google+, post a comment on one of their posts immediately. On Twitter, mention them in a post immediately. You can also make a comment on one of their posts or simply say that you look forward to following their great content. Try to make them trust you.

7. Post relevantly. If you want a more useful feedback, you should post and tweet questions that are relevant to specific areas the business explores. Feedback in response to the question “What new online accounting should we offer?” will be more valuable than compliments on how nice your bookkeeping accounting is already are.

8. Provide Discounts. Offer discounts. In this way, people will follow you then and they also will buy.

9. Build Brand Loyalty. By providing quality and dependable goods and services or provide something for free, be it information or community, you can enable people to like your brand and then buy from it in the future again.

10. Offer Support. Provide customer support. Immediately answer questions that are posted on your Twitter or Facebook accounts.

11. Engage Friends and Followers. Build a relationship with people, not pitching your service or product. Provide them with story ideas and leads that have nothing to do with your business. Engage them in conversations and if possible give them a personal comment or responses. In this way, you can gather more friends and followers.

12. Interact With Visitors. Have a conversation with your visitors. Even though they are not your customers and just posting comments or questions, engage them and have a real conversation. Maybe in the future they will become your customers.

13. Monitor Trends. Find out more on social media. Use tools that allow you to watch trends unfold. In this way, you can determine what’s cool and where the demand is almost instantly by scanning Facebook and Twitter with simple tools like Topsy.

14. Reach Out.Reach out to people who you know that like you. Contact them, simply express your gratitude, invite them to your next product presentation or send them your products for testing purposes.

15. Harness your expertise. Share the knowledge you've gathered through your trade. This could go a long way toward boosting your brand.

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