Tips On Using Social Networking Sites To Promote Your Home Business

by WorkFromHome on December 20, 2011

One of the vastly underused avenues of advertising for home based businesses is establishing a presence on social networking sites. Part of the reason for this is that wading through and staying relevant on these fast-paced sites can seem like a daunting task for small business owners with very little time to spare. But building a profile on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking blogs has been proven by numerous surveys as an effective, low cost way to generate both buzz and customers for a business. With hundreds of millions of people using these sites per day, the time taken to build a business profile has the potential for resulting in large returns. Here are some tips on how to effectively use social networking sites to promote your home business.

Understand The Playing Field

While most people are familiar with the giant social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, there are now also many other social business sites dedicated to very targeted topics and users. Most of the larger sites will allow you to create a business page for free, plus offer the opportunity to place paid advertisements. The more tightly focused professional sites, like LinkedIn, offer avenues for building and maintaining your business profile. Which sites would work best for you will depend on your particular business and how broadly you wish to advertise. Start narrowing down your choices by visiting social networking sites and researching how they are structured. You can also further narrow your choices by entering phrases into a search engine that are specific to your business such as “social networking pet care” or “social networking accounting”. Within a very short time you will have a clear understanding on the social network playing field within your type of business.

Understand Your Best Target Social Networking Channels

Not all social networking sites attract the same types of people. By knowing who is using particular sites, you can more effectively promote your business to the people that are most likely to need your product or service. For example, Facebook users represent an overall more mature group than those who use MySpace. It only makes sense that promoting a product or service targeted to senior citizens will not be received well by the users of MySpace. Since you probably already have enough to do to keep your home business running, find the social networking sites that best match your target customers and concentrate your efforts there.

Be Consistent And Keep It Simple

The key to effectively promoting your home based business on social networking sites is through being consistent with your postings and keeping the messages simple. While it is not necessary to “tweet” something about your product or service every thirty minutes, it is important to consistently keep your business name in front of people. A few simple posts per week related to your product or service is all that is needed for users to know that you are relevant and on top of your game. The world of social networking moves very quickly, so not posting on a consistent basis is the best way to assure that your business will be viewed as irrelevant.

Be Candid

The world of social networking is very transparent. Being candid on these sites is the only way for attracting and retaining customers. Trying to over-promote your business or expertise with less than candid information will not only drive customers away, but also place you at risk for negative feedback. Users on social networking sites tend to be very quick at exposing false information, so always respect their intelligence.

Encourage Feedback

People are drawn to social networking sites for the opportunity to interact with others. Just creating a Facebook page for your business without encouraging feedback won’t do much good because the flow of information is only going one way. Ask people to provide comments on your posts or what they think about your particular product or service. The more feedback you encourage, the more people will feel engaged. This, in the long run, will lead to more respect for both you and your business.

Be Wary Of Outsourcing

There are many companies now offering services that manage business social networking pages and posts. On the surface, this may seem like a good idea when you are already overworked and short on time. But placing your social networking image in the hands of others can easily backfire. If a company posts too often through automated messages, your business postings could very quickly be labeled as spam. Because social networking sites are so public, it is always best to personally protect your business image as much as possible.

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