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7 ways to use social media to build your business

Social media is the new face of marketing. With Facebook now owning the bragging rights to having nearly 1.5 billion active users, plus the millions of other accounts on all the other not quite as popular platforms, there’s a lot of traction to be had from social media that can have your business chuffing along like you always knew it could.

model train at train station

More people are watching videos; both on YouTube and increasingly on Facebook. More people are also bypassing the search engines altogether and going straight to the source; making YouTube the second biggest search engine next to Google (who also happen to own it – aren’t they lucky).

Pinterest users are also big on doing their searches through the Pinterest site itself. The members on Pinterest are also firmly tethered to their mobile devices as this is where 70% of Pinterest traffic comes from. And what’s more, they don’t even need to leave the site to view your content because Pinterest has its own mobile browser built right into the app.

Using SEO to get your site on the front page is still important, but not AS important as it used to be. Plus, it’s much harder now than in years past. Google will also kick your site to the curb if they detect any dubious wrangling of the search engine results and they’re making it ever harder for you to slip through the cracks.

The moral of the story is that if you think your business doesn’t belong on social media then you are missing out on boatloads of traffic and tons of cash. Here’s how you can use social media to increase your customer base, and create a bottom line so sweet it’ll make your eyes water:

1. Build Your Reputation

If you’re trying to build authority in the niche you operate in then social media can be a big help in establishing oodles of credibility.

To build up your reputation you must regularly share relevant content, engage and converse with potential customers, and help them wherever you can (within reason of course) to build trust and respect.

The trick to using social media for business is to not appear salesy – even though the ultimate goal is to increase your earning potential. Stay authentic and only post content that helps people with their problems. There’s plenty of time later for a sale once you have them firmly entrenched in your marketing funnel.

2. Build Relationships with Likeminded Professionals

Connecting with other businesses and like-minded individuals will help you stay connected with the industry and keep up with trends.

You may think of them as the competition but if you develop the mindset that there is plenty for everyone then other operators in your niche suddenly become a go-to resource you can use to help your customers further.

Some of the best ways to get connected are with Google Plus communities, LinkedIn Groups, and Blog tribes.

3. Try New Things

As you get to grips with social media don’t just stick with the one platform. Branch out and try a few of them. Not every social media platform is suitable for every business but you won’t know until you suck it and see.

Some just aren’t going to be a good fit but others will go gangbusters. However, it’s important not to spread yourself too thin so learning one at a time before moving onto the next will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

Once your social media presence really gets going it can get very time-consuming. This is where you might want to consider bringing on a part-time assistant or hiring a VA to take on your social media duties.

If you need great content but don’t have time to do it yourself, I happen to know a guy.

4. Create a Solid Strategy and Schedule

As with any business process, you need to take steps to minimize its impact on your time constraints. You don’t want to be spending hours a day finding or producing great content to post – after all you do have a business to run and customers to take care of.

Use your time wisely by automating your efforts. A social media scheduling application is almost as good as cloning yourself. With just a few hours a week and the right software you can schedule an entire month’s worth of social media content in one sitting, and then spend the rest of the time running your business.

While some content is evergreen you don’t want to get too far ahead on your scheduling as most content is of a timely nature and won’t have much relevance in a month or two’s time.

5. Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Main Site

As you wait for your latest blog posts to bubble to the surface of the search engine results you can use your social media clout to start building traffic to your site from the get-go.

Keywords are just as important for social media sites like YouTube and Pinterest as they are for the search engines, as users conduct their searches from inside these applications.

Both social media and the search engines gobble up keywords to determine the best content to show, so make sure you use keywords that people are looking for. Put them in the title, in the content itself, use them as hashtags, and put them in the description of your social media posts to give them the best possible chance of popping up in a user’s news feed.

6. Build up Your Toolset

A good toolbox is the best way to make efficient use of your time. There are tools to help with staying on top of your content creation schedule, tools for curating content, tools for discovering trending topics, tools for making sure everything social gets published, and tools for analyzing the performance of all your posts. There is really a smorgasbord of choice out there.

Of course, you can do everything manually but once you have a few social media platforms going at once it can be difficult to juggle them and keep them all loaded up with content your customers will appreciate.

One of the biggest time sinks I experience daily is creating graphics for Pinterest (where nice graphics are super important) and my sites. Fortunately, there are more tools for creating quick but attractive graphics for your blogs then you could possibly use in a single lifetime, it’s just a matter of finding a system that works for you.

7. Re-use Evergreen Content

Do you have an article that you are particularly proud of and is proving popular in the digital marketing sphere? Why not use that piece of content to create more pieces of content?

7 ways to grow your business with social mediaIf it’s already doing well as an article then there is a good chance that it will do just as well as a video. You could also turn it into a PowerPoint slide or a Podcast to get more exposure for your website. You’ll save time and money as it’s much easier to refurbish old content into another format than it is to come up with something completely new.

More content equals more exposure equals more customers equals more dollars to buy candy and shiny things with.

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