Ideas to Market Your Business Using Social Media

Online Marketing Ideas

Get on the Social Media Bandwagon!

Social media is here to stay! Whether you like or not, to survive in a highly competitive marketplace, you must keep up with the Joneses when it comes to social media. If you are already using social media to market your business, then good for you! But if you are not, you can probably bet your competition is. If you’re not familiar with social media sites or don’t feel confident in how to effectively use social media to promote your business, we have some great ideas to market your business using these sites that are here to stay.

Like It, Link It, Pin It, Tweet It

By now, even the most anti-social media business owners have heard of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and LinkedIn. You can’t even watch a television show or TV commercial without seeing or hearing the phrase, “Like us on Facebook,” or “Tweet Your Thoughts” today! Social media is a “paperless” way to promote your website and get and keep new and existing customers talking about your business and all your great products and services.

Social media sites will drive interest and customers to your business, and the more active you are on social sites like Facebook and Twitter, the more fans and followers you’ll get (or so you hope). Think of social media as one big online flier where customers can tell others how great your product or service is and a place where you can announce sales, discounts and special events to a huge number of people with a few clicks of the mouse.

Why is a Business Named “PaperDirect” Encouraging Online Marketing?

While social media has become a hugely popular marketing tool, keep in mind there are still plenty of people out there who like and even prefer more traditional marketing tools such as brochures, fliers, newsletters and banners. PaperDirect is your one-stop online shopping source for these marketing supplies and more, but we also want to help small business owners by suggesting ways to market your business using the Internet.

Yes, we love when you buy our paper products to promote your business, but we care just as much about your success as ours, and if we can suggest some ideas to market your business the paperless way, we’re happy to do so. In fact, you can find PaperDirect on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest, so if we’re on the bandwagon, we want you to join us!

Use Facebook to Market Your Business

Facebook is currently the most popular social media site and has been for quite some time, and because it’s so popular, young Mark Zuckerberg, its founder, is quite the wealthy man. Launched in February 2004, Facebook, as of September 2012, has over one BILLION active users, and more than half of those users make updates, check messages, post photos and “like” things using a mobile device such as a smartphone. Some users can’t go a day or even an hour without checking their FB page.

Facebook is available in over 70 languages, and a couple of years ago it was estimated that about 42% of the U.S. population had a Facebook account. You’re already probably starting to see how  many people you can reach once you have created a Facebook account, and here’s how you can use it for your business:

  • Set up a business page on Facebook and post special offers regularly to those who have “liked” your page.
  • Post polls that ask customers fun questions about your products or services. For example, if you own a video rental store, ask customers to choose their favorite video game or favorite movie of all time. It’s fun and gets people talking about movies, which, in turn, gets them thinking about renting from your store.
  • Ask customers to share pictures that show them using something they have purchased from you. This promotes your products and recognizes customers who have spent money on your “stuff.”

Use Twitter to Market Your Business

When was the last time you tweeted? Have you ever tweeted? Do you even know that tweeting is not just something that birds do in the springtime? Twitter, created in 2006, is a social site that allows users to send (and receive) text messages of up to 140 characters. As of mid 2012, 500 million people were actively using Twitter, composing around 340 million Tweets every day. Now, Twitter is one of the most visited websites on the Internet and can be also be accessed on mobile devices. Again, Tweeting is something some users cannot go without even for one day! How can Twitter help your business succeed?

  • Use Twitter to introduce interesting facts about your business or promote products; provide a link to the product.
  • Tweet little tidbits about how to use your product or service.
  • Tweet pictures related to your business to your Twitter followers.
  • If you  have time, respond to Tweets about your business.

How You Can Use YouTube to Market Your Business

Chances are pretty good that you’ve watched a video on YouTube–maybe a dancing cat, a five-year-old singing phenom, a not-so-bright teenager riding his bike off his garage roof onto his trampoline. Or maybe you watched a video about how to program your remote control or change your oil. The variety of videos you’ll find on YouTube is vast, and while many YouTube videos are posted for entertainment, more and more businesses are using this site to tout their products and services. Here’s what you can do to promote your business on YouTube:

  • Create a YouTube channel for your online business and regularly add fun and useful videos.
  • Start a contest of some sort. You could ask customers to record themselves using one of your products in a unique way and then let others vote on the best video.
  • Post short videos a few times a month offering tips. Show off  a new product or explain how something works.
  • Post testimonial videos from actual customers who love a particular product or had a wonderful experience with your company.

Use LinkedIn to Market Your Business

LinkedIn is a rapidly growing social website for professionals. In fact, it’s mainly used for employment networking rather than socializing, but it’s still in the genre of social network sites. In June 2012, 175 million people were registered on LinkedIn. Most people use this site to post their resume, job skills, work history, get recommendations and endorsements and find work. The more “connected” you are on LinkedIn, the more visibility you get. For your business:

  • Create a LinkedIn profile and add links to your website; update your profile regularly.
  • Join LinkedIn groups that may be popular with customers and post questions or comments related to your business’ products and/or services.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask customers, vendors and business associates  to provide a recommendation for your business.

How to Use Google + to Market Your Business

You may have been asked to “plus one” a link a friend of colleague sent you. Google + is similar to “liking” something on Facebook. Here’s how your business can use Google +:

  • You’ll have to use your personal Google+ account to set up a Google+ Business Page.
  • Create circles on your business page that are made specifically for existing customers and prospective customers who may be interested in what you’re selling.
  • Post interesting content like blogs, articles, product reviews and promotional announcements to your customers and other business-related circles. Encourage feedback.
  • Connect with people talking about your business – comment, ‘plus one’ them and add them to your circles.

You may be wondering what it costs to set up these social media pages. Here’s some information that may help you decide which social media sites would help market your business and which ones you may not need at this time. 

As of now, setting up business pages on all of these social media networks is absolutely, 100% free. There are no fees associated with set-up. If all you are looking to do is set up a profile, you are all set without paying anything.

However, if you want to gain followers, reach more people with your posts and/or advertise your products/services, you’ll have to bring out the company wallet.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & YouTube offer paid advertisements on their sites. These come in the form of Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and Cost-Per-Impression (CPM). You pick how much you want to spend, set your budget and watch the community interact. This price can range from $1 to $1,000,000 – depending on your goals.