Social media is a powerful tool for building your business. In recent years, social media marketing has gradually increased in importance. This is because more people are spending their time on social media sites; even half of all Internet users have social media accounts. That means by using Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other sites, you'll have access to millions of potential customers.
All too often, however, people are unsure about how to use social media to promote their businesses. They may not know how to set up a business profile on the different platforms of social media. Sometimes, businesses could have accounts on several sites, but feel like they're not contributing to the business. This could be for several reasons, but sometimes, it's because the account manager has not set up the site efficiently.
While there are many different social media platforms out there, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are some of the most useful sites for businesses. Here are some tips on how to get started with each of these sites.
If you already have a personal account on Facebook, you probably have a basic idea about how the site works. However, there are a few key differences between a personal account and a business page. First and foremost, a personal account is centered on a user and cannot be transferred to another person. A business page can be transferred; you just need to attach the account to a specific email address. A business page's main function is account management and advertising.
Creating a Facebook page for your business is easy. You just need an email address and a little information about your business. Be sure to provide as much information as possible so that customers can find you and learn about your business. Don't forget a cover photo and profile picture – an image really is worth a thousand words in the world of social media. Also, remember to adjust your privacy settings so users can easily access and like your page.
___ Create a universal email to connect all of your Facebook page accounts
___ Fill out all necessary information about your business (contact info, business description)
___ Upload a branded profile photo (usually your logo) and a branded cover photo
___ Adjust your privacy settings so anyone can see, like, comment, and share your content
The great thing about Facebook's business pages is that you can tailor them to meet your needs. If you'll only be using Facebook for advertising, you'll be directed to the advertising screen when you log in. Facebook also lets you link a credit card to your page so you can easily purchase ads. By the same token, you'll be directed to a page management homepage if you don't advertise on the site.
___ Review the Facebook Advertising overview
___ Set up a Facebook ads account for each of your pages
___ Explore the options you have for creating ads (types of ads, ad placement, demographics)
Facebook gives you the opportunity to manage multiple account pages, which is useful if you have one person marketing for several branches of your business. You can also advertise and manage pages from the same account. In any case, you should consider using the Power Editor extension for Google Chrome – it will make the process a lot faster.
___ Familiarize yourself with how to connect multiple Facebook ad accounts
___ Explore Power Editor and what it offers
Chances are, you're also at least a little familiar with Twitter. The site has become incredibly pervasive in society – hash tags are even listed in movie trailers. Similar to Facebook, it's not very hard to set up a Twitter account for your business. You just need some basic information and a photo to get started.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter business accounts and personal accounts are the same. However, you should have a clear idea of how you want to use Twitter for your business. This is because you'll need to create a handle for your Twitter, while keeping your biography under 160 characters.
A handle is what others will use to find you and interact with your business on the site. For example, if your handle is "johndoe", users would tweet to you by typing @johndoe. Handles are limited to 15 characters, but your handle counts as part of your tweet. For example, if someone tweets you and your handle is 10 characters, they only have 130 characters left to type what they want to tell you. That's why it's important to keep the handle short and sweet, but make sure it still clearly represents your business.
Twitter also lets you have a profile picture, a background and design headers. Your profile picture should be simple and professional, but the background and design header are great opportunities for branding. Experiment with different combinations and choose one that reflects your business, but doesn't distract users from the text on the page.
___ Create a Twitter account for your business like you'd set up a Twitter account for yourself
___ Choose a branded handle name, ideally your business name
___ Fill in your profile with a simple, to the point sentence about your business
___ Add your website URL to your profile
___ If you're a local business, or have a physical place, add your location to your profile
___ Upload a profile image (your logo), branded cover photo, and branded background design
___ If you plan on focusing your social media campaign on Twitter, look into Twitter Advertising
You may not be as familiar with Google+ as you are with the other two platforms, though it's still easy to use. You just need some basic information and images to get started. Like Facebook, Google+ business accounts are different from personal accounts. Personal accounts and business accounts operate the same way they do on Facebook. What you post from your business account will be associated with the business and what you post from your personal account will be associated with you.
However, you'll need to have an account on the site before you can create one for your business. It's also important to remember that any articles you post from either account will show you as the author – not your business. This can be a good thing though, because it shows customers that a real person is behind the business. Just be careful about using your real name on your personal account. It's important to realize that your activity on the site can impact your business.
One of the cool things about using Google+ is that you can customize your page through plugins. For example, Google+ lets you to link your WordPress account to the site. This allows you to easily share your blog with Google+ users. You can even link guest posts to your Google+, which makes sharing your articles easier than ever.
___ Learn about what Google+ can do for your business
___ Sign into your personal Google+ page
OR ___ Create a dummy personal Google+ page using the name of your business to use
___ Create a Google+ business page
___ Fill out all appropriate information for your business (company description, contact info)
___ Upload a branded profile photo and cover photo
Even if you don't know much about social media, it's easy to get started. You'll have dozens of likes and followers before you know it!
Michelle is a blogger and feelancer. She’s written about almost every topic under the sun, and loves constantly learning about new subjects and industries while she’s writing.