How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Business

Pockets feeling a little light? Many businesses use social media to market their businesses. How can you cash in on the benefits of social media marketing?

Free advertising, paid advertising, social media marketing

So you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, but now what? Having a plan will ensure time spent on social media is effective and useful to your bottom line.

The key is to map out a social media marketing plan with short-term goals (evaluating at least every 90 days). Why short-term? Social media is a long-term strategy, but you’ll need to consistently evaluate your results to determine if your campaign is working.

Once you have a plan and some preliminary goals, you’ll need to determine how to execute your social media strategy. There are really two types of advertising to consider regarding social media: free advertising and paid advertising. Both of these have distinct advantages and disadvantages, so don’t be so quick to go with the free option. Read on to hear the nitty-gritty of the two.

Free Social Media Advertising

Free advertising allows for a lot of creativity and interaction with your audience, is free, and can seem much more “sincere.” However, it will take more effort, will probably not reach as large an audience, and will be very effort consuming.

Advertising for free is primarily done by interacting with your audience. You will make posts supporting special offers, products or concepts related to your product or service. This is especially salient in the use of Twitter, where hashtags and a short, quick message demand strong relation between topics.

On Facebook, larger posts can attract people looking to research your industry, and can allow a great place for other users to post reviews and discuss your product or service. The key with free advertising is to get your customer base engaged.

Paid Social Media Advertising

Paid advertising, on the other hand, will reach a huge audience, will require minimal effort once released, and will not stop working for you, but it will possibly seem less genuine, will cost you more money, and will not necessarily allow as much interaction.

Advertising for a cost is much less time and effort consuming, and is extremely targeted. Essentially, you will narrow down the target audience to an almost complete level. For example, Facebook allows you to choose your “ideal” audience.

For example, you could create a targeted ad campaign for users living near Pittsburgh, Pa > single > male > age 16-35 > interested in shaving, haircuts, etc. With this kind of advertising, you will hit the exact audience you are trying to target, and doing so in a very quick and efficient way.

What’s the word: The best advertising campaign will use both of these methods; primarily focusing on attracting customers with paid advertising and keeping them with a more personalized touch as they become more and more connected to your social media network.

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