Over the last few weeks I’ve been writing about Why I use social media, and this week I thought I’d get more specific and share with you just a few of the tools I use to build my social media presence. Remember, this is just a small sampling. I use a lot more business tech tools but these are the staples I use for my social media efforts, and why.
Facebook is now rivaling Google as the top search engine. I want to be where my audience is, so I created a free Facebook business page where people can “like” my business. All of my blog posts are visible on my Facebook page’s wall so my fans can get updates without visiting our website. It’s an easy way to meet my audience where they want to be.
I don’t fully understand the purpose of Twitter but I know I have an audience there who cares about what I have to say. So I send updates to my audience via Twitter each time we add something to our website, like a blog post or event update. By the way, are you following me on Twitter yet?
Sort of like Facebook for professionals, Linked In is an important place for me to connect with business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals. These are people that fit one of three categories: 1) They can use my help and fit the demographic of my target audience, or 2) They are connected to people who can use my help, or 3) They can (or are connected to someone who can) help me reach my goals and help other people. There are tons of ways to use Linked In effectively to help your business grow.
In fact, there may be someone in my Linked In network that can help you reach your goals. If you and I are not connected yet, feel free to join my network.
It can be very time consuming to send updates to so many different networks. I use Hootsuite to tie Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and my blog feed together. This saves me a lot of time by allowing me to create one post and share with several audiences at once. Here’s a screen capture I did a while ago showing how to use Hootsuite.
I use MailChimp (it’s free) to produce a free newsletter that I send to subscribers of different topics. It’s a powerful way to measure the audience’s interest in what I have to say, as well as get the content to the audience on a regular basis. And, in order to send emails to the audience you have to have their permission so once they sign up, you can send them valuable info on a frequent basis.
This is simple enough. My website has an RSS feed where subscribers can get daily updates emailed to them. The difference between this and the newsletter is the frequency of delivery. The newsletter goes out every so often with hand-picked articles and updates, while the RSS feed goes out once per day if there’s new content on the website.
I think too many business owners overlook the power of a good blog. Each time you write a blog post, you are adding more keyword-relevant content to your website. That helps search engines know you’re a legitimate player within the sea of millions of websites. It’s a little time consuming but definitely manageable if you’re willing to put some systems in place to help you be more efficient.
I didn’t realize the power of forums on your own site until I had been in business for several years. When we introduced our forums on our website, we found people spending more time on the site, and engaging in the community by voicing their opinion. That means they’re comfortable spending time on your site, which means they’re more comfortable with you. Kind of nice! The interaction is exactly what you want on your website, blog, forum, or social media network.
Other people’s blogs
Taking some time to visit other blogs in your niche or close to your niche can be a good strategy for you as well. This is a good chance to promote others. Why would you want to do that? Because they often return the favor. Plus, when you leave a comment on other sites, you get to leave a link back to your site. Links back to your site are an important way to help build your site’s validity for search engine rankings.
Niche discussion forums
Not only can you connect with people in industry-specific forums and build relationships, but you can also drive more traffic to your website. Here again, without being spammy, you can help people within that niche community and establish yourself as a subject matter expert. At the same time, if you offer some free resources on your site, you can refer people to those resources as a way to help them without spamming people. Again, it also builds another relevant backlink to your site.
I could go on with the tools I’m using, but this post is already getting long. Over the next few weeks and months I will continue to highlight tools I use to help my businesses grow, whether for social media or just for efficiency. Be sure to check back next week.
What social media tools are you using for your business? Leave a comment below to share your tips and tools for our other readers.