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Social media - where to start?

Oct 23, 2009

There is so much out there on the Internet and the new "social media".  How do I know where to start?  Susan, Cheyenne

By Anya Petersen-Frey, Regional Director for


Tip-toeing into Social Media waters....


Social networking sites and services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are essentially online hangouts that have evolved into a branding, lead generation, and sales tool for business.  With the right approach, they can help you promote your business, at a very low cost and sometimes no cost at all.


I'll introduce just the three tools I mentioned above but stress that there are many choices. It can be helpful to re-visit your entire marketing strategy and then explore how social media will fit into your goals. A counselor can assist with that process.


Facebook offers several applications for promoting your website, products or services.  Creating a Facebook page for your company means that you can share information about your business with ~220 million Facebook members.  Gaining viewers ('fans or friends') to your pages takes time and maintaining new material and asking people you know to join your page is the first step. There is also the choice to pay for premium advertising for a more targeted approach.


Twitter is a case of instant messaging meets social networking.  Members share what is happening right now. Tweets, as the short 140 word posts are called, have a short shelf life so are best used to make company announcements, spotting trends, posting new products, or short lived specials.  The fun part is that you can begin to link your tools - such as Facebook and Twitter to reach a wider audience.


LinkedIn is a more traditional platform for business networking and is useful for business-to-business relationships. I like to think of it as a global Chamber of Commerce.  Create a profile that will help other LinkedIn users find you as an individual or company to do business with.


Begin by exploring these social networking site, perhaps 'follow' or become a 'fan' of businesses or people who interest you and you will get a sense of how the sites work and the benefit they can bring to you. Remember to maintain and build your brand online - keep a consistent message that ties back to your other marketing activities.


Tags: Social Media
Category: Web/Tech

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