Putting your brand to work online

The explosion of social media on the Internet has created an incredible opportunity for you to connect directly with your clients and to be found by other people who are literally searching for exactly what it is that you have the offer. Used correctly social media can lead to greater customer loyalty and explosive business growth. However if used incorrectly you can quickly be labeled a spammer and drive away any audience you might’ve had.

Depending on the type of business you have some social media sites may create more value than others, but there is a small collection of sites which can benefit anyone with an interest in building their brand, connecting to existing clients, and creating new relationships and new business online.

Your blog

Even if you already have a web site, a blog has become an essential tool for sharing information about what you do and engaging people online. You can set up a blog for free at word press.com, and you can link it to your main web site if you want. A better option is to host your own blog with your own domain name. Hosting your own blog it is an inexpensive option and is easy to do and it can be outsourced even if you’re on a tight budget.

On your blog you can share information about your industry, your own business and what you do, talk about news and other subjects which are relevant to how you help others, and you can even throw a little bit of personal information into your blog as well. Because blogs offer the ability for others to leave comments, invite people to do so at the end of each of your blog articles. Ask a question and let others contribute to the content you are creating online.

Facebook

The results are in and at least for now face book has the most activity of any online social media site. Facebook is about people connecting to people. Create a personal account that is for your name. Invite people you know to connect to you. On Facebook these connections are known as friends but don’t read too much and if that word. The more people you connect to the greater your chances are of being found by people looking for you.

After you have created a Facebook account you can then either create a group or a page which is specific to your business or your product. Invite people to become fans and members of your groups and your page. If you already have a mailing list of clients invite them to show support for your business by joining your Facebook group and becoming fans of your business or product pages.

When you have your own group on Facebook, you can send e-mail to anybody in the group. Take advantage of the opportunity to let people know when something big is going on but don’t abuse the group by sending a constant flow of e-mail.

YouTube

The growth of online video is simply explosive, and the availability of ridiculously simple to use video cameras like the Flip Video leave you with no excuse not to have your own video channel sharing with people and connecting to them.

What kind of videos can you create?

• Create videos answering commonly asked questions about your business or your industry.

• Create videos demonstrating what you do or how to use your products. For example if you run an auto service business, should that he is showing how tires are balanced, and the oil is changed. Should be TI is demonstrating special equipment that you have which allows you to serve your customers’ needs. If you’re a dentist shoot some videos demonstrating proper tooth brushing and flossing technique.

• Create videos explaining how to select products or services in your industry. Don’t make it a pitch. Educate the viewer. People may watch you are videos from locations where they can be your client, but they may know someone in your area and will send the video along. This is the basis of viral marketing and it can cause a business explosion.

Each time you upload video what the web address for your blog were your main company web site in the description for the video. Do this every single time. Also be sure to fill out the profile information for your YouTube account and every social media site you use. Let people know we you are, what you do to help others, and how they can find you.

Social media marketing does not need to take a lot of effort but if you learn the tricks of the trade and apply them consistently you can create greater customer loyalty, more referrals and more new business than you ever thought possible.

Make your business more visible online: www.yoursocialbrand.com

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