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The Five Steps to Get Started Marketing Your Business through Social Media

Using social media for your marketing campaign is popular and it’s popular because it works. People who use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn want to share what they like and new things they’ve found. It’s free and effective word of mouth advertising that reaches far more people at one time than a phone call can. Marketing through social media starts with five basic steps, but always remember, marketing through social media is about developing relationships, anything else is a waste of time.

Step #1: The first step in creating a social media account you can use in your marketing campaign is to pick a “user name.” This is the first thing people see, and we all know first impressions are the most important. Your user name for your social media account should be your real name if it’s available or a variation of it. You are the face of your business, so this is not a business profile. You should not use the name of your business as your user name. Remember, marketing through social media is about developing relationships, and people want to know the people in the business. They want to feel like they have an “in” or an expert they can turn to when they have questions.
Step #2: Fill out your social media bio and profile. What you put in your social media bio and profile will help people determine if they are going to follow you or not. Do not leave your social media bio or profile blank or fill it out later. Nothing says, “I don’t know what I’m doing,” more than an incomplete profile. Remember you’re building relationships, and people won’t trust you if you give them the feeling that you’re new at this. Search engines such as Google, index social media profiles for people to search. They will post your incomplete profile, so make sure you don’t commit this social media faux pas. Make your social media bio and profile as engaging and genuine as you can. Gear your bio and/or profile toward the type of social media site you are signing up for. A relaxed and friendly social media such as Facebook needs a relaxed and friendly bio, whereas LinkedIn is for professionals and your bio should therefore have a more professional or even resume feel.
Step #3: Add a picture to your profile. Make sure the picture is a headshot of you and is current. A picture helps your potential clients see who you are and helps them engage with you. Marketing through social media is a social event. If they don’t have a face to talk to, they will ignore you, and you don’t want to convey the message that you have something to hide. A business logo is not sufficient. Give them a face to put with your name and you will be branding your business.
Step #4: Time to find friends. Start with people you already know. Friends, family, current clients, and people in the business with you are a great starting place. Once you get the hang of how the social media application you are using works, start looking up the experts in your industry and make them your friends as well.Another way to find friends and potential customers or clients is to join groups. All social media sites have groups centered around numerous topics. Search for the type of group you would like to join, such as one that has to do with your business, and join up. This will bring you into contact with many more people who are like-minded, or who frequent your type of business.
Step #5: Stay in contact. Post updates regularly, answer questions, give advice, share links, and develop relationships. This is not a platform to be constantly selling from. It is supposed to be a social experience, and if at first you are giving a lot more than you’re getting, that’s okay. Give it time and attention and eventually the returns will be invaluable.

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