The Use of Social Media to Head Start Your Business

, Start-Up

In the 19th century, Sherlock Holmes admitted the fact that the press is an infallible tool, but only if one knows how to use it. However, these are the times of the information technology century. Gone are the days when people would spend their morning hours, sipping coffee, savouring delicious toasts and reading the morning dailies.

Today’s rat-race is characterised by rushing hours, hectic schedules and of course, social media. Some might say – “hey, social media…?” to which, I say “Yes sir. Social Media.”

It cannot be denied that Social Media in today’s world is an unquestionably efficient tool if you wish to give your business a head start. Let’s see what you can do with it:

Get Viral Attention through Virtual Gifts

The concept of virtual hugs, virtual flowers and such tokens of love & appreciation is sizzling these days. I say… “Why not take this to the next level?” It worked for Cold Stone Creamery. The ice cream franchise was one of the first to roll out the virtual eGift Social Marketplace program by First Data.

The app allowed Facebook users to buy gift certificates directly from the Cold Stone Creamery fan page and essentially buy one of their friends ice cream by sending them the virtual gift through social media. The friend could then redeem the gift by visiting an offline Cold Stone Creamery and presenting a printout of the provided code or flashing it from a mobile device. The viral part happens when an announcement of the eGift appears in the recipients Facebook feed for other friends to see.

          All you need to do is stretch your creativity beyond the clouds and “Whoosh!” you’re off!

Use Videos

For Facebook you can create an alternative landing tab with an embedded video by you that explains what potential fans can expect when they “Like” your page. Vpype.com adds a tab to your Facebook page called “Shows” that will let you broadcast as your fan page. The video landing page will offer everyone a look at your broadcast before they decide to “Like” you. Broadcast regular live shows from your fan page and have it stream to Twitter and other such places.
You can also embed a useful or interesting video on your page, something others will be inclined to re-post on their own pages. When you embed a video, Facebook will include a white watermark hotlink to the top of your video that links back to your page, so when others re-post your video, everyone will know where it originated. It’s a great way to help your videos go viral.

Or, you can use it with your personal page to send out invites to selected users. When you are vying for attention against email spam, a video invite stands out and gives a personal touch.

Use Skype to Create Useful Giveaway Content

Why Not? Skype has several built-in functions you all may have tried. And oh yeah! They do come in handy. Ever recorded a Skype call? Then record one when you interview an expert in your field. Then use it as a link bait to go fishing for visitors to your site!

          Hey, how about giving free consultations. Offer…Umm…ay 15 minute free consultations to magnetize traffic to your website. And do remind them of your full services if they sign up!

Start a Vertical Blog. And Why not Two?

Your website may already have a blog but one step further always comes in useful. Do it and start a vertical blog.

A vertical Blog is one which is related to your website but a bit more specific. For example, if you are a website designer and you run a blog about web design, consider starting a blog on blog design. It’s a similar field, but you’ll get visitors who are looking for blog design and not necessarily website design. In essence, you are bringing in potential customers through the back door.

When considering what type of niche to address with your vertical blog, think about what other customers may need your services. It comes down to opening your mind and marketing in a different way.

Engage a Community through A Forum

There may be thousands of customers looking for services you provide. In fact there are forums where they are asking questions you can easily answer. Don’t overlook this opportunity. Get Engaged!

          Set up a google alert to see when people ask questions or search queries related to your business. Or you can set up Back Tweets and Twitter searches to find out topics of your interest are discussed.

With so many social media networks out there, don’t just take them at face value. Think outside the box and use them creatively to help you and your company stand out in the social media crowd.

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