These days, social media marketing is pervasive. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn now have membership bases that span generations and spread across the globe. It is estimated that the membership of Facebook alone exceeds the population of the United States. The above sites allow you to create a page for your business, as well as a personal page. They are also great because they allow you to discover new business connections. These social networking websites are free to join and are driven by sharing information and referring friends. Properly using social media marketing with such a huge, referral-focused online population can make a huge difference to the success of a home-based business.
How to Use Social Media Marketing Effectively
Once your business page is set up on your social sites, you can post links to your business website to announce a new product launch, a new newsletter, or a special sale. For friends and fans who have included you on their homepage feeds, your announcement will show up on their homepage. If you have thousands of friends and fans, that’s quite a lot of free advertising.
If you blog, you can post links to your newest blog posts. You can set up your Facebook account to automatically import your blog to your business page, and automatically post the link on all your friends and fans homepages. You can also feature contests, guest bloggers and other events. If you have an online radio show or a YouTube channel, you can invite friends to listen or view your newest additions. You can also connect your Facebook profile with other networks like YouTube, and Twitter for a deeper connection with your social media circle that will “round out” your social media marketing efforts.
Because of the “sharing” nature of social media marketing, your friends and business contacts can share your links with others who might be interested in your offerings as well.
Social Media Marketing Is A Two-Way Street
It’s important to remember that websites like Facebook and MySpace are primarily for social purposes, not for advertising. The ability to advertise on such sites comes as a bonus, not as a primary focus. Become part of the social circle. Make friends, and then comment on their posts. Visit their profile pages and comment on their photos. If you make friends first, people will respond to your advertising messages and read your blog posts. Relax and get to know the people you want to reach. When people know you and like you, they will refer you their friends.
Social Media Marketing is all about content
Good content is shareable. When readers’ attention is captured by your social posts, they respond with a comment or “like”, and perhaps a share. As shares become more frequent, traffic to your linked web page picks up and you sell more (hopefully). So, make your website content good enough that readers will want to share it. Antique dealers have access to very shareable content if they will:
- Post photos and/or videos of unique inventory items as a blog post
- Write a brief story about the item: how you obtained it, or a bit about it’s provenance
- Describe the item’s points of connoisseurship: size, weight, finish, markings, etc
Now is The Time to Get Started
If you aren’t currently a member of any social networking websites, now is the time to get started. Social sites can benefit both your personal and business life. Each time you meet someone online, or share in a conversational thread, invite them to be your friend or follower. By joining social networking websites, especially one that is popular and has a large number of members, you should be able to generate interest in your business, including the products or services that you sell. Who knows, but that interest generated could turn into sales; thus making your social media marketing experience more than worth it.