Social media is not just for college students or finding long-lost classmates. While it probably won’t totally replace traditional marketing, it’s free and the audience (everyone on the planet with an internet connection) is too big to ignore.
Expand your audience, and hopefully your practice, by adopting these social media sites in your marketing plan.
First start by creating a simple blog using this link: https://www.blogger.com/start. It is pretty self explanatory and easy to follow. Position yourself as an expert in your field and offer advice related to it that would interest your customer. Try to post a blog weekly to keep customers coming back for information. Make sure you have a nice profile of yourself and your company on the blog, including links to any other websites or social media networks. Each time you do post a new blog entry you then need to link it on each social network site. For example: Make sure you make a Twitter entry about your new entry and direct readers to your blog with a link. In Facebook, use your status to announce that you have created a new blog entry. Try to post the topic of your blog on the social media sites to engage people. End with a question: “Do you agree with what I have said? Any other thoughts?
Most people use Facebook as a way of meeting people and keeping in contact with old acquaintances. As a small business owner you have two options. You can use your “personal” account to also promote who you are and let your friends and family know about your area of expertise. Use your status every other day to promote something about your services or a blog entry. This way you are not spamming your closest friends and still creating awareness in their eyes about your company.
Another option on Facebook is to create a Page for your company. Go to the Facebook home page and underneath the login information you will see the words “Create a business page.” Click on that link and you will sign in to Facebook with your personal ID. This way your page is linked to you and it is self explanatory about how to set up a Page for your business. You then are able to invite people to become “fans.” When they accept, your business page will have access to communicate directly with your customers via its very own Status. You can use this Status update to mention promotions and services or provide information.
First establish an account on Twitter and make sure you include a professional photograph. Then start following people who fit your target market. There are many search tools available to make this easier. Here is a great link to start with to build followers: http://www.listropolis.com/2009/04/6-coolest-sites-to-find-new-tweeters/. Post at least twice a day. Posting at different times of the day will lead you to additional followers (people are creatures of habit), and different times will expose you to different people through retweets or new followers. Try to post funny, relevant, interesting, thought-provoking items. Don’t be afraid to engage followers or people who you follow. The whole point is networking and meeting people for your industry.
This website allows you to enter every social media profile that you have and then provides a way of updating them all at the same time. You can also access a mobile ping.fm site, which will then allow you to update all of the sites via your cell phone. This is a great tool for businesses because it allows you to update your status on Facebook, provide a Tweet on Twitter, update LinkedIn, etc., all with one entry and press of a button. Think of the possibilities. You can announce a promotion to everyone who follows you or is your friend on every network at once, allowing for quickly and cheaply communicating with your target market.
You should also be registered on LinkedIn. One great positive about LinkedIn is it does have forums of information that you can join based on your industry. Another great use for LinkedIn is it allows your current and previous patients to leave recommendations or reviews of your work. This is a great way to establish a name for your company.
Now that you’re connected and evangelizing to the world, send us a shout!