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Take advantage of social websites to connect with a wider audience

Do you think it is important for more people to connect with your business online? You know, not just having a website, but having visitors who care about what you do, and are interested in paying for your product or services? Making your business “connect-able” means using the right channels to grow on-line and offline. Social media websites have grown in a very short time as the preferred platforms for people to connect on-line; I will share a bit on how you can use them to connect to more people.

Major social media websites broken down

You may or may not be using all social websites but you most likely are familiar with Facebook, Twitter and Youtube; which are the top three social media sites (most traffic). In addition to these three, Linked-in is another useful website that I recommend you use to be more connectable online.

1. Facebook is very popular in Trinidad and the Caribbean and can be useful to you as part of building your community online. You have the option of choosing a Facebook page or a group.

PAGES – You can use a Facebook page to share updates of your choice to your “fans”, your page will be the official “representative” of your company on Facebook. By sharing regular useful information to your fans, you can benefit from their likes or comments on your links. These likes and comments become visible to their friends (other facebook users who are subscribed to their updates).

GROUPS – You can use a Facebook group to promote or discuss a specific area of interest within your industry or product offering. Groups are great for communicating more directly with other Facebook users as users receive notifications when there are new updates. Also, there are group chats that can be used for more direct interaction between members of the group.

2. Twitter is a social website that allows users to share text-based updates known as tweets of up to 140 characters in real time to followers (persons subscribed to tweets of a particular user). For a business person like you, Twitter will give you the opportunity to connect with people interested in your products or service. Otherwise, you may also connect with leaders in your industry as well as celebrities or persons of interest to you.

There are lots of ways to become popular on twitter but my simplest advice is to

Be yourself – There are a lot of bots and spammers of twitter, if you be authentic it is more likely for you to be followed.

Be awesome – If you share updates, photos, and videos that are interesting, funny or useful people will follow you.

Don’t over promote yourself – Promote others sometime and avoid being selfish in the way you share. You will thank me later.

Ask questions – This is a good way for you to stimulate discussion, grow your base of followers and get varied opinions.

Share the responsibility – You can have other trusted persons from your company assist with the tweeting for your brand.

3. Youtube is known as a great place to find funny, interesting videos but it is also the second largest search engine. This means people are looking to youtube for information almost as much as they are with google. Youtube is a video sharing website and community that is used to upload, share, view and rate videos.

Businesses like yours are already using youtube to share motivational videos, product demonstrations and customer video testimonials to promote their brands. You can take advantage of Youtube by being creative and using this website to promote the uniqueness of your brand, I recommend:

HOW TO VIDEOS – Posting tutorial videos on your product or on topics within your area of expertise is a good way to reach new persons.

CUSTOMER SERVICE – Address common customer service queries by giving helpful information that most of your customers need answered.

PRESENTATIONS – Give presentations of helpful tips as well as product demonstrations. These will give opportunities for users to get to know you better.

INTERACTION – Youtube is a community, so it would help you to interact with other users by viewing and commenting on other videos and discussion on areas related to your area of expertise.

Before getting started, remember to set up your channel; this is your profile on YouTube. Fill out your channel with your company contact information and some information as to what kind of videos you will be sharing. Be sure to include links to your website as well as other social media profiles.

4. Linked-in is more of a professional networking website than anything else. It allows you to connect with people who you know and to be introduced to people you don’t know through mutual contacts. I would say it is often underused but holds immense potential for networking on-line and giving your best first impression to prospects as well as partners.

You can use Linked-in for your business as well as for personal networking:

FOR YOUR BUSINESS, your company Linked-in page gives you the opportunity to tell about your company story, products and services as well as career opportunities. Creating a company page is important as it allows you to put the information you want persons to find when they search for you.

AS A PROFESSIONAL, your Linked-In profile will give information on your career accomplishments, your qualifications and recommendations by persons who know you.

On Linked-in, there are lots of useful features that would help you present your uniqueness, as well as share information valuable to the persons you are connected to. Tools like Answers and Groups create the opportunity for experts and interested persons to discuss questions related to a specific industry or area of interest. If you are an expert, you can use these tools to grow your audience and your professional network. If you are not an expert, you can learn from them by exposing yourself to various perspectives on issues in your industry making you more knowledgeable in the process. You would be surprised to know how much you can gain for yourself and for your business from sharing useful information, asking questions and being friendly on-line.

What about you? What are your success stories?

How have you been taking advantage of social and other websites to connect with more people on-line? I have covered four, but we all know there are more ways to grow your business on-line. Please share more in the comment section below. Also, for more updates in the series follow Caribonix on twitter or subscribe to our blog.

 

Written by

I help businesses use the internet to grow their presence and reach new audiences. At Caribonix, I manage sales for web services.

One Response to “Take advantage of social websites to connect with a wider audience”

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