2 Tips on Using Social Media to Get Found Online

by Sherryl Perry

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Have you ever launched a website, new product or a service and not known how to start driving traffic to your website? It’s virtually impossible to establish a meaningful presence on all of the major social networking sites. The old adage, “You can’t be all things to all men” is true. It’s important to have a social media strategy that works for you. What we need to do is focus on where our target customers are and establish our presence there.

Where Are Your Potential Clients and Customers?

First, ask yourself if your primary business is B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to consumer). There are certain social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Google+ that are more geared to businesses than individuals. A good place to start is searching the LinkedIn group directory (from the top menu, click on Groups, “Group Directory”). You can search on keywords, categories and countries. My personal preference is to join members only groups where you need to request permission. (This is signified by the security lock before the group name.)  These groups are moderated and tend to do a better job of keeping out spammers.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have more of a mix of both consumers and businesses. You may be able to reach your existing and potential clients and customers on these sites as well. An interesting fact about Facebook is that their definition of “its ‘monthly active users’ at a whopping 845 million people” may be an exaggeration. According to their prospectus (for the sale of their stock), Facebook considers someone who clicks on the “like” button on a third-party website to be an “active” Facebook user. (Source: Those Millions on Facebook? Some May Not Actually Visit.)

Where Are the “Experts” in Your Niche?

Every niche has “gurus” – the “go-to” person(s) who are the perceived experts. They either have the answer you’re looking for or they can direct you to the resources that you need. Who are they in your niche? What sites are they on? Do they have a YouTube or Vimeo channel? If so, how many subscribers and views are they getting? Video can be an excellent source of search engine traffic. Do they answer questions on LinkedIn or Quora? Do they run groups or are active on forums where customers and clients are seeking information or support? Any of these could be excellent platforms for building awareness of your website and driving traffic to it.

Since many people base buying decisions on trust, becoming recognized as an authority in your niche can be beneficial to you. If you’re knowledgeable about your niche, join in the conversation. Start answering questions and contribute to the discussion.

What do you think? Which social networking sites are you active on? Are you involved in any groups or forums that are specific to your niche? What are the pros and cons that you can think of for joining or not joining some of these sites? I know privacy issues are a huge concern for all of us. Is there one of the sites that I’ve mentioned that you feel disregards your concerns for privacy more than the others. (This could be an entire post of its own.) Also, for those of you who don’t already know, several of us belong to the “Bloggers Helping Bloggers” group on LinkedIn. If you’re interested, please join us there. You should recognize many friendly faces there if you do.

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{ 119 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
November 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Hi Kabenlah,
Thanks for taking the time to let me know that you enjoyed my article. I visited your blog and read your article. It was really good!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..4 Basic Steps to Better Blogging, Better Branding and More BusinessMy Profile

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Abhishek June 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Thanks for such an interesting post Sherryl . I agree that it is very difficult for any business to target everyone . There has to be a defined client and customer category that one needs to target . However this does not stop any business from catering to the services of client outside his defined area. Social media is an inexpensive and effective medium to promote business so should never be overlooked . Nice post

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
June 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Thanks Abhishek. I’m glad you enjoyed my article. I agree with you that we should not necessarily confine ourselves to the niche that we’re carving out for ourselves. On the other hand, it is wise to not invest a large amount of time in a new niche without conducting research first to determine if it’s a good fit. As a small business owner with limited resources, it sometimes behooves us to grow our business slowly.

Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation here!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do you Brand Yourself, Your Company, or Your Product on Social Media Sites?My Profile

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Purnima June 13, 2012 at 5:04 am

Hi Sherryl .Thanks for such a gripping share.I completely agree that identifying the potential clients , customers and one’s niche is an integral part of fostering business. Having a separate page on social sites for the blog can indeed help build good relations with fellow bloggers. Social media is like a business networking reception without any time and space constraints . It is an inexpensive way too so the tips shared by you will help me use it to the optimum. Liked the post . Thanks.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
June 17, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Hi Purnima,
I love the way you describe social media as a business networking reception. It really is. I have formed some deep connections with many of the bloggers who I’ve met online and interacted with. There is a core group of bloggers that I’m connected with. We have varying skill sets that compliment each others. I’ve been networking with most of these bloggers for about two years now and we’ve grown to trust each other. If I ever need help, they’re each an email away (as I am for them). Thanks so much for joining us here!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Your Small Business Compete with the Big-Box Stores?My Profile

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Dipa June 11, 2012 at 8:01 am

Bloggers helping bloggers does sound like a good one to join. I use Facebook only for personal needs and am extremely wary for using it for my professional ones, though I know it can do wonders to one’s business. Thanks for this info!

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
June 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm

You’re welcome Dipa. Thanks for letting me know that you liked my post. I certainly understand wanting to keep your Facebook page for your personal life. An option that you may want to consider would be to create a separate page for your blog and then using the Networked Blogs app to automatically update it when you post new articles.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Add Follow Buttons to WordPress without a PluginMy Profile

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Robin April 20, 2012 at 8:13 am

i am thinking to avoid facebook completely as i have so many non business intend people in my list, which really risk the way to make people buy the products i suggest. Looking forward for more suggestions for the effective usage of social media in business to consumer way. :)

Cheers.

Rob

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Hi Robin,
Sorry it’s taken so long for me to reply to you. As for Facebook, Kimberly Castleberry recently wrote an excellent post on controlling who sees posts to your wall. You can use her tips to separate who sees what using lists. Her article is here if you want to check it out: http://just-ask-kim.com/hot-facebook-tip-post-privacy-control-who-sees-your-facebook-post/.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

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john
Twitter:
April 18, 2012 at 1:45 am

Really a nice post sherry.if you are going to sell a product online,then you should have some knowledge about social media.these two tips is very important to get a success in a online marketing.find your target audience and customers,and then promote your product there.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Exactly John. Doing business online is very similar to networking face to face. It comes down to understanding who our current and potential customers and clients are, what their needs are and where to find them. Thanks for letting me know that you enjoyed my article.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Marketer vs Marketing: What Difference Does a Keyword Make?My Profile

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john
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 1:03 am

It’s all right sherry.you are writing a great article about social media and i am a regular reader of your post.niche sites and networkin is also useful to promote a product.can u explain some tips about niche networking.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm

John,
I always think it’s a good idea to check out your competition as well as people who offer products and services to your potential clients. (For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you would want to be where there are florists and caterers.) Where are they networking? Are they posting to forums? Are they positioning themselves as authorities in their niche by answering questions and fostering discussions?
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Ways to Build Awareness and Get Ideas for Your Website BlogMy Profile

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