5 Social Media Tips and Tools for Business

SocialmediaandyourbizAre you using social media to enhance your marketing strategy? Or have you fallen into the trap of setting up your business on a social networking site and rarely using it as a platform? Your Facebook page or website isn’t the equivalent of a phone book entry. Social media is a tool for networking. These are the tweets, posts, and blogs that are, engaging enough to get your potential customers’ attention and updated often enough to keep them coming back.

Networking, in person or online, takes time and dedication. Networking is all about keeping in touch and reminding your clients about the value you offer. The key is to know what your customers want and how to use online marketing and social media as a tool to provide it. The best way to do that is to first monitor current online conversations in your industry. What are they talking about? What does your client base want? Then, after analyzing your target audience, engage them by providing that information though blogs and post updates.

It is all about interaction. The point is to add value for your potential clients. If they find themselves in need of your services, that value is why they will contact you instead of a competitor.

5 tips to manage your social presence

To provide the added value mentioned above, you need to consider the quality of your online presence.

  1. Keep your posts concise, relevant and with valuable information. A flood of advertisements will not engage your customer base.
  2. Develop an ongoing relationship with your customers. For example, if your business specialty is event planning, you can share helpful tips for hosting a successful dinner party. Respond to their comments in a timely manner. Use their name when your respond to create a personable relationship.
  3. Ask questions, request feedback, and share stories to encourage participation.
  4. Post photos and contests and provide discounts for potential customers. (Remembering that flood of advertisements will not engage your customer base.)
  5. Break down your social media strategy by setting small, concrete goals. Try creating an editorial calendar with target dates and themed content.  Be consistent.Tools to manage your social presence

If you think you don’t have time to check Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn several times a day, there are tools to manage your social networks and online reputation efficiently.

  • You can set up software, like TweetDeck and HootSuite, to manage different platforms simultaneously. Check out smallbiztrends List of best media management tools for small businesses.
  • There are tools so you can receive text or email alerts when you get new comments or messages. In addition, you can add RSS feeds or Google Alerts to monitor your online brand. You can archive your social media content with Tweettake. Take a look at Socialnomics’ +100 social media tools article, which highlights ways to manage your brand more efficiently.
  • Whether you’re a beginner or advanced user, Social Media Examiner  has great tips, trends and how tos that’ll inspire your content generation.
  • If you’re an advanced user check out Mashable’s social media cheat sheet to streamline you workflow.

Use social media management tools, like HootSuite or Facebook’s timeline schedule feature, to share your posts ahead of time and at selected times.