Social Media For Your Business

So you want to know more about using social media for your business.

Maybe you’re someone who’s more traditional. Your business connects are offline and you don’t really get the big deal, or maybe don’t understand it.

You could also be the person that gets the big picture and totally sees the value in using social media for your business, but you can’t figure out how to connect it all together … how to make it work.

If either of these scenarios sound like you, keep reading.

What I’m going to share with you in this post, and those that follow is a simplified way to understanding how to use social media for your business.

Contrary to what many believe, venturing on the internet to do business is not a scary thing, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s actually easy if you know the purpose of each site and understand that:

#1. Yes you need them all (or at least most of them), and

#2. All social media sites are not create equal.

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make in using social media for your business is trying to use one network in the same way that you would use another. Another is not understanding some basic principles that will allow you to build a community … a following if you will, and make the process of doing business online much easier.

Social Media for Your Business: The Rules of Engagement

Entrepreneur.com did an awesome job of breaking down 10 Laws of Social Media that you can apply today:

1. The Law of Listening
Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking. Read your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than clutter to their lives.

2. The Law of Focus
It’s better to specialize than to be a jack-of-all-trades. A highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy intended to build a strong brand has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that attempts to be all things to all people.

3. The Law of Quality
Quality trumps quantity. It’s better to have 1,000 online connections who read, share and talk about your content with their own audiences than 10,000 connections who disappear after connecting with you the first time.

4. The Law of Patience
Social media and content marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. While it’s possible to catch lightning in a bottle, it’s far more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long haul to achieve results.

5. The Law of Compounding
If you publish amazing, quality content and work to build your online audience of quality followers, they’ll share it with their own audiences on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own blogs and more.

6. The Law of Influence
Spend time finding the online influencers in your market who have quality audiences and are likely to be interested in your products, services and business. Connect with those people and work to build relationships with them.

7. The Law of Value
If you spend all your time on the social Web directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversions and more on creating amazing content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become a powerful catalyst for word-of-mouth marketing for your business.

8. The Law of Acknowledgment
You wouldn’t ignore someone who reaches out to you in person so don’t ignore them online. Building relationships is one of the most important parts of social media marketing success, so always acknowledge every person who reaches out to you.

9. The Law of Accessibility
Don’t publish your content and then disappear. Be available to your audience. That means you need to consistently publish content and participate in conversations. Followers online can be fickle and they won’t hesitate to replace you if you disappear for weeks or months.

10. The Law of Reciprocity
You can’t expect others to share your content and talk about you if you don’t do the same for them. So, a portion of the time you spend on social media should be focused on sharing and talking about content published by others.

So where should you start with using social media for your business?

Here’s a quick list of the networks we’ll be covering in this series:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Google+

LinkedIn

Pinterest

Instagram

Click on any on of the links to skip to your favorite network, or click here start social media marketing for your business with Facebook Marketing Basics for Beginners