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How do I use social media for business?

Social media for business is a very popular and powerful tool which you can use to great effect.

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It’s almost essential for any business (even small ones) to have some sort of social media presence. The most popular channels to opt for tend to be Facebook and Twitter but as there are so many different social sharing platforms available you can tailor them to meet your own specific business need.

A good example of this would be for product related businesses, where the visual aspect of showing customers your offerings is key. For this type of business a strong focus should be placed on the visual social channels like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Business that promote services as opposed to physical products would be better suited to social channels like Twitter, Facebook, Blogger and LinkedIn.

Knowing what channels you should be using is one thing, but what do you actually post on them once you have them? Here I offer some tips on what you should and shouldn’t post on your social media for business.

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Don’t go mad with the self-promotion:

We are all guilty of getting a bit over enthusiastic with the self-promotional posts and I am no exception to this rule. After researching for this blog post I will be dropping some of the ‘Look at me’ stuff in favour of other people’s good stuff instead. The ‘rule’ for self-promotion on social media is one-in-seven, one post in every seven should be about you/your business and the rest should be sharing valuable content, including posts from the community. This doesn’t mean you can’t promote your business in those other posts; just be sure you do so by using great content.

Start a conversation:

People love to talk, it’s a fact. Even more than talking about stuff people like to share their opinions on things. Ask your followers to comment on questions you pose that are relevant to your products or services. Twitter lets you create mini surveys which are great to gather feedback and make new connections. Avoid heated debates or sensitive subjects though as you risk alienating followers, you should remain neutral.

Share you knowledge:

Share hints, tips and facts relevant to your area of expertise. Just make sure to check these facts as otherwise people are likely to pull you up on them.

Keep it smart casual:

While including fun posts that reflect your personality is a must, it’s important to create content that benefits your followers. That can mean posting tips on best practice, providing access to premium content, or offering special deals on products or services.

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Never get personal:

Make sure you keep your personal and business life separate on social media. Always create separate accounts for you business social channels and don’t cross the streams!

Finally don’t repeat the same content across different channels (again guilty). If you find that your customers are scattered across a variety of networks, focus your efforts where they are most active. If you’er not sure then conduct some research to find this out first.

When small-business owners apply best practice tips like these to their social media engagement and promotion, they’ll likely see an increase in target audience interaction across all their digital platforms including their website.

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