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The businesses I deal with all have the same questions when it comes to Facebook, Twitter and the other social platforms. My answers have always been that social media serves primarily 2 functions:

  1. Networking
  2. Entertainment

As simple as they may sound, the reality is that implementing them is anything but. Here are 2 tips (one orthodox and one unorthodox) ways to leverage social media for your business.

Networking Tip for social media (orthodox) - Eliminate the Noise

Usually, the first focus of a business is to follow as many people in their market as possible. The idea is that it increases reach. In reality, it increases more noise than reach and for many, unless you are good at constantly pruning your stream, it will render your twitter feed useless.

The real power behind social media is the ability to network with other businesses (and customers). The real power is leveraging link velocity across other people's network.

But how do you do this?

An easy way is to build a small list of people who you want to engage and then rather than focus your energy on your main, ever growing stream, focus it on the people who you want to affect.

There are a couple reasons why this works.

  1. People notice when you are addressing them. Believe it or not, most twitter accounts for businesses are pretty lifeless with very little engagement. You could very well be one of very few people that the business interacts with.
  2. You are able to easily navigate your stream by focusing on 10-20 people who ultimately will matter to your business- It makes it much more manageable to target a few people than it would be to target everyone.

Entertainment Tip- Leverage Facebook's main point of interest for users (unorthodox)

Most businesses spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to figure out how to get

Here's an unorthodox tip that works because you are leveraging the reason why most people are on Facebook- for the pictures. And all it requires is existing customers and a camera.

This works well in businesses that are social in nature, such as restaurants but works with other businesses as well if you can think outside the box

  • Take a camera to work with you and start creating a database of customer photos.
  • Match the name of the person with the photo.
  • Now, update your Facebook page with the pictures, tagging the pictures with the person's name.

What this does is help you build a community of active customers. A customer will naturally want to look at the picture of themselves and will, in all likelihood, "like" the photo, and may even share the photo, giving the business a much needed lift in the customer's community.

And....most importantly...it helps with Facebook's edge rank so that when you do have an offer or promotion, it will be more likely seen, which is a big plus.

If you liked this, you might also enjoy How To Dive Into the Social Media Marketing Jungle as a Small Business