Burgeoning social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are increasingly embodying the future of advertising for large and small businesses alike. Business owners are progressively looking towards Facebook marketing and Twitter marketing as mediums to enhance their business models and boost traffic. Here are some of the ways you, as a business owner, can use Facebook and Twitter to augment business.
Establish a public Facebook page
A free Facebook page is the ideal platform for businesses to establish a presence. A personal profile is more often than not regarded as the property of a person rather than a business and is also limited to 5,000 friends unlike a public page which can amass limitless followers.
Start by building a fan page and interacting with your followers through this page. To promote this page, you could perhaps attach links to it on your website or in any email communications to your existing customers, who will then in turn promote it to their friends. Use your page as a communication device to monitor conversations between customers; as a promotional tool to post the latest updates on a newly released product or as a discussion forum to alleviate concerns that your customers may be experiencing with your product.
To ensure you are doing the most with your Facebook page, you should regularly post status updates and messages; upload videos and photos as well as run competitions and offer discount coupons to those who respond best to your competitions. Having a public Facebook profile will increase your search engine optimization as Facebook is one of the most highly visited sites on the Internet.
Join a Facebook group and hold Facebook events
As a show of solidarity and to forge connections with other likeminded businesses, join a group which increases your visibility amongst customers who regularly frequent those groups. Each group can serve as a way to extend your tentacles and supplement your business.
Facebook Events is another way to spread the word about upcoming functions, promotions or activities in a viral manner. Activities that your followers attend will appear on the homepages of their friends so rest assured your event will spread across the internet in an unprecedented manner. For instance, a local jeweller may want to publicise a mega sale he is about to hold before Christmas or an independent bookseller may want to promote an upcoming reading session with a renowned local author. The possibilities are endless. If you have no events coming up, hold one to generate buzz about a new product. You could throw a product launch party, a wine tasting session or even a cocktail night to attract potential new customers.
Hold a Facebook ad campaign
Facebook is a cost-effective way of advertising to prospective customers with limitless opportunities to boost business. Instead of spending an insurmountable amount of money on outdoor or print advertising, test specific ad campaigns on your Facebook followers. If the ad goes viral, you could transcend across the mediums and use the ad on a billboard or in a magazine. You could utilise the traditional direct marketing technique with ads that contain engaging copy and vibrant pictures or launch an incentive, discount or promotion that appeals to your customer base.
Facebook allows you to determine your target audience by filtering your followers according to their age, interests, location and gender. As you filter your followers, Facebook will constantly update new followers who fit into these categories so you can roughly gauge the size of your target demographic on Facebook.
Tweet a new initiative
Twitter is akin to a micro blog as it is a constant stream of one’s thoughts that they share with other people. Unlike a blog however, Twitter updates are limited to 140 characters and represents an easy way for a business to build its online presence and establish a steady following of fans.
If you ‘tweet’ about a new product you are set to launch, an avid Twitter user may stumble upon your post and decide to follow you. When he decides to follow you, his followers may take the lead and your group of followers will start to magnify. Twitter also contains the ability to search tweets, thereby giving someone the opportunity to search for whatever promotions, discounts or events you may have been tweeting about.
As good as it is to establish yourself as an industry leader, Twitter also allows you to follow experts in the industry and provides you with the opportunity to learn more about specialist areas of expertise that could enhance your business model.