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Effective use of social media

laptop30767380.jpgTargeting a niche market can be incredibly challenging, especially if you haven't tapped into the power of social media sites. Facebook and Twitter are both growing at an impressive rate and their immense popularity has convinced many businesses to get on the social media sites to develop stronger relationships with their customers and to gather market research information.

Right now only about 9-10 percent of small businesses have turned to Twitter to help market to their niche market. This small number will start to grow, especially as companies realize that their customers aren't opening direct mail pieces anymore and they are turning to the internet for more information. Why do you need social media sites? Even if you have no intention of getting on there and posting and Tweeting daily, chances are people are already talking about your company.

Google Alerts can help you find out what people are saying about your business on a number of different websites, not just Twitter and Facebook. This will help you gather great market research information that you can put to good use to develop future products and to market effectively to your customers.

To find out if you need to get on social media sites, do a Google search for your company. Find out if there are customer reviews on Citysearch and other websites. This will help you discover what people are really saying about your business. People use all of these social media sites to form an opinion of your company, which is why it is so important for you to focus on building your online reputation instead of allowing others to create one for you. By getting a social media page, you can respond in a timely manner to all of the things that are being said and set the record straight when it comes to your business.

When you join social media sites, be careful about being too much of a salesman on these sites. While you want to sell your product, you don't want to alienate your customers because they feel that you are just after them for their money. Focus on building relationships with them by posting information that pertains to your niche market and will benefit their life in some way. Write articles and other things that show's the customers that you are here to educate them and that you want to help them.

Release "sneak previews" of upcoming products or services. This is a fun way to interact with your customers and to keep them engaged in your website. You also need to focus on sending out discount codes that expire in a short amount of time. This is a great way to get your customers attention and to have them respond quickly. It will also generate a buzz on the social media sites and it may encourage new clients to seek out your website.

Take advantage of the discussion boards to find out what your niche market is saying. Discussion boards form relationships with customers are you are able to interact with them in a timely manner and they can finally feel your business is more than a business and that actual people work there and represent the company. Host a weekly discussion with your customers on the social media sites. Hosting discussions is a great way to attract new customers and to focus on building your reputation. Make sure you are in control of the discussion because some customers tend to fall off topic and it can leave you with issues as you try to show customers factual information while others are talking about rumors and other things.

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