There are more and more people logging on to different social media outlets every day — just ask employers!
At this point, the question is no longer should I use social media to prmote my business? It’s how to use social media to promote a business.
More importantly, how do you use social media to thrive in a tough economy. A recent study showed that two-thirds of the survey participants actively use social media for work. Here are five ways to go from surviving to thriving using social media during a tough economy.
1. Create a dynamic Facebook fan page. If you’re not on Facebook, why not? Facebook now boasts over 200 million users, and it’s where all your friends, family and customers are. Don’t just create a standard fan page, but add some dynamic features like flash, videos, html code, etc. There are so many people creating new fan pages each day that you have to give users a reason to come back to your page, and that’s going to take creating some dynamic elements.
2. Find a social bookmarking site that works for you and stick to it. There’s a lot of great social bookmarking sites out there including Delicious, Digg and StumbleUpon, but find the one that works for you. Social bookmarking is a further way to connect and network with others, but it also helps you build links and increase your SEO value.
3. Offer an incentive on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, then start one and write regular posts. As you start getting an audience and getting page views from sites like StumbleUpon, then you can offer an incentive. Popular incentives right now include free trips, laptops and MP3 Players. During a tough economy, people like free stuff and people will like you when you give free stuff away. Even better, incentives often spread like wildfire across social media outlets. Even if you’re lucky enough to have one post “go viral,” make sure you continue writing high-quality posts. Give users a reason to come back if you want to grow your sales base.
4. Listen to your audience on Twitter. Note that I didn’t say market or promote yourself on Twitter, but I said to listen. Find your targeted audience and listen to what they have to say. There are some great brands that are effectively using Twitter. Comcast uses Twitter as a form of customer service, to respond to complaints and problems in real time and offer customers quick solutions.
5. Test, test, test. Although this may not seem like a way to harness social media, it’s very important if you’re going to have a successful social media campaign. Before going completely public with a new Facebook app or blog incentive, send it to a few key people to give them an opportunity to test drive it. This allows you to keep tinkering with it until you get it right and can help avoid a social media disaster.