Monday, May 10, 2010

Tips for Social Networking- Small Businesses

The first thing a start-up business can do is establish its social networking sites online. Social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Blogspot, provide small (and even large) business with effective free marketing tools. The first thing we did—before we received our grant—was create this blog. We’ve had blog experience with our previous business (La SuaVoce Designs We found that by writing a helpful or interesting blog post once a week or so brought traffic to our blog and consequently to our online shop.
• We suggest using because they allow people to “follow” your blog. This means that when your followers sign into their accounts, the title and first few lines of your more recent blog post will appear on their home page.
• Use pictures! To be perfectly honest, I lose interest easily while surfing the web. If a blog is just a block of text, I’m going to pass it by. Using pictures and even videos in your blog will help attract readers.
• Write about your personal life only if you really think other people want to read about it.

Since the blog is mainly for your business, it’s not a good idea to consistently blog about your kids or dog. It’s certainly interesting to drop in a few things about yourself (since this proves your business isn’t just a impersonal corporation), but I’d focus mostly on providing interesting resources for customers and other business owners. That’s our goal anyway!
Once you’ve created your blog, it’s time to head to Facebook. If you already have a Facebook account, it’s really easy to create a fan page for your business. On the home page of click on “Create a Page for a celebrity, brand or business.” It’s pretty easy to navigate from here. What’s nice about a Facebook fan page is that your friends (and their friends, and everyone else!) can “like” your business. You can update your status just like a regular Facebook account and write notes about your business. You can even add pictures. Those who “like” you will see your status updates on their home page.

Finally, create your Twitter account. Twitter is essentially like the status updates on Facebook. This tool allows you to keep your followers updated about the goings-on of your business. For example, if you’ve spent all day searching for domestic violence safe havens (like us) you can write so in your twitter update. Your followers will read your updates on their home page.

At first, you probably won’t have many followers on Twitter. Don’t get discouraged. Follow these simple tips, and you should be getting traffic soon:

o Follow others. Look to follow your friends or people and organizations you are interested in. The more people you follow, the more exposure you will receive.
o Don’t post an update every minute. If someone updates their Twitter all the time, it clogs up my home page, and I end up un-following them

o Post any sales or discounts you offer. Twitter is a great way to reach your customers. A quick note about sales or discounts can really bring traffic.

o Include links in your updates. If you write about a new product, provide a link for that product in your update.

Blogspot, Facebook, and Twitter can expose your business to the online world. Update them frequently, use them to connect with customers, network with professionals and others in your trade, and feel awesome when a ton of people start following you!

Uncovered Artistry Boutique

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