Need to market your business, but would rather hang out with social media at the end of a long work day? Happily you can do both, because using social media is one of the biggest advertising assets of the 21st century. So, kick off your shoes, log into your social network of choice and employ the slacker’s guide to getting your business ‘out there’, using your love of social media to help you!
First, it’s alter-ego time:
Let’s just be clear from the off, even if no one ‘sees’ you on social media, it’s still a media which represents you. So, if you’ve created a business and want to use social media to advertise yourself, then you will need to separate out your personal side from your professional. No matter that you already have a whole host of Facebook friends; this will help to get you started but that page and that personal wall and photo album of you with a drink in each hand is not going to be the right format from which to springboard your business.
So, create a business page in your chosen social media platform and make sure that you conduct your business from here, not from those personal pages. Of course, it’s fine to pop to your personal pages, tell your friends and their wider network what you’re up to and direct them over to your biz page, it’s a great way to get your traffic started and who knows, you could get yourself some clients that way, but conduct all of your other advertising and marketing from your biz pages only.
Secondly, surf before slacking:
Exploring your options is the quickest way to find the social media platform which best suits your business and advertising needs. OK, so you might be a proficient Twitterer (or confirmed Twit?) and maybe have even started using it to hint about and share your business plans, but you won’t know if this is the most effective method for you until you see what else is out there – so check what’s trending (yes, you can use Twitter to help you do this of course) but then investigate those trends and see what will work for you.
Finally, perform according to the platform:
Your approach to advertising your business using social media should be the same as tackling any other task: use the right tool for the job. Now you’ve seen what’s out there, you can decide which platform best suits your needs. So, if you want a softly-softly, informal approach to getting your business noticed, then social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter might be your best starting point as these platforms are known for being less formal.
If you really want to employ a bigger guns and more formal approach to advertising – of either yourself and your business or affiliated products and services, then LinkedIn is a better platform because this embodies the wider professional networking end of the ‘social media’ spectrum: the people on LinkedIn are there with business rather than fun in mind, so this may better suit your purpose if you want to implement a more formal marketing plan.
Similarly, if what you do is highly visual, for example it includes graphics, design, images, animation and photographs, then you could consider social media sites such as Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram, all of which are growing in traffic by the day and show a high response rate for getting traffic to websites through linking to and following image boards. A highly visual and free way to advertise what you do is to create boards with images of your own work, linked to your website and get them out on these social media platforms which really play to the power of attraction from images. Seriously, it doesn’t get easier to advertise yourself than by sharing your images on these platforms.
Ok, so you don’t feel like you’re slacking yet? The truth is it does take a little time to get your social media working for you in the world of advertising, but happily once it is set up, you can legitimately incorporate social media time into the marketing of your business – and no-one will be able to accuse you of slacking from your work because you’re not only making social media part of your work, you’re also making it work for you!