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Effectively using social media to build your business

Today, there are ever growing numbers of businesses that are joining the movement of social media networking. Business owners have become to see the power that these sites have when it comes to reaching out and finding those right customers. If you have not begun using social media networking to build your business, you are missing out a lucrative opportunity to find those segments of your target market that may have been missed by your more traditional marketing methods. For that reason alone, it is crucial, for every business owner to become educated about what social media networking can do.Here is how you can effectively use social media to build your business-

The reality is that most social media networks (especially Facebook and Twitter) are growing in huge numbers and sheer popularity. This can shown business owners that getting their business on social media networking can offer them a chance to gather valuable market research information and develop stronger and better relationships with their customers (both existing and potential). However, even with the data that shows how popular this type of marketing has become; only about 10% of small businesses have turned to Twitter. This is unfortunate in many ways, especially due to the fact that starting up on these social media sites, is free. This means that even the smallest businesses can take advantage of social media, just like their larger competitors who have extensive marketing budgets.

In addition, to being cost effective, studies are showing that direct mail has become less and less effective. There are many reasons for this, but the main indication, for the failure rate of direct mail, is that consumers are turning to the internet to gain the information they are seeking, before making a purchase. The bottom line is that if your business is not online, you are missing out on potential sales.

Another factor to consider if you are decided to use social media networking, to grow your business, is the fact that many people are talking online. It may not matter if your business has an online presence or not, your customers and others may be talking about you. This makes it even more important that you are online to see what is being said. Many business owners are finding that using social media networking to promote their business, has also given them valuable insight, into how to better their products or services, and attract more customers.

There are a number of easy ways that you can find out what is being said online about your business, or its products or services. One of the easiest is using Google Alerts. This alert system searches many different social media networking sites, to let you know what and who is being talked about. Using this simple tool on your computer can help you to gather the right market research, which in turn can help you to develop better products and services, and know how to market more effectively to your target market.

Finally, when you do position your company online you want to remember the following guidelines-
- If you are only using your social media networking to pressure your customers to buy from you, they will quickly tire of your constant sales pitch and move on. You want to make sure that you are offering something of value to your customers.
- You need to be consistent and up to date with the information you are posting. If you fail to maintain your social media networking sites, your customers will interpret that as not caring, and will move on.
- Remember, that you are there to gain information not just to pass it on. Do not overlook the needs to check out the discussion boards, ask your customers questions and find out what you need to do, to make your business and its products or services better.

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