Use social networking websites like Twitter and Facebook efficiently and they can help you build new connections. You can increase brand awareness, direct people to your website, introduce you to new customers and help you make friends in your respective fields.
There are many benefits of Twitter in the way it works with Google. If you have a website and want to build traffic, Google pulls data from social networking sites especially Facebook and Twitter. So having a presence on these networks helps in SEO. Each posts provides a back link as, Twitter creates optimized status pages with a URL which can now appear in Google’s top results.
You can’t simply register on a site and expect the customers to come flocking. Building an online presence can be done for free or next to nothing, but it does take time and what you get out of it very much depends on what you put in.
Let’s look at Twitter as an example. Signing up is free and easy. Most people can manage to complete a profile and perhaps put up a picture. But after this there’s a bit more work involved. First you have to decide whether you want to ‘follow’ anyone –in other words, whether you want to read their updates. For example, you might decide to follow people local to
the area, similar businesses, news feeds or even a few random celebrities. The chances are, if you start following people and engaging in conversation with them, you’ll gain some followers back. If you Tweet – make your own posts – without doing this, you’ll get far less traffic.
Of course if you only post advertising links, you don’t get the same level of interaction but you do save on time. You can even treat Twitter like an RSS news feed if you want information without building your own brand – just follow and read
without ever posting yourself.
You can even use Twitter to resolve customer complaints. Big brands such as BT, O2 and Starbucks, for example, all actively search for their names and get in touch with the relevant Tweeters when there’s been a problem. Similarly, many Facebook pages invite comments from customers.
Once you start to branch out onto multiple social sites – have a look at how you could use LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and Tumblr, just to name a few – it might be time to consider how you maintain them all.
Fortunately there are apps such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck available which enable users to keep up to date on multiple sites and even make automatic posts to each of them. It’s worth doing some research to see if any might suit you.
Ultimately, having a Twitter or Facebook account enhances rather than replaces the site or shop you already have. Use them smartly, if you have time and the inclination, and they can help you achieve better business.