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Selectivity key when using social media to market a business

Oct 10, 2013 - From staff reports

Question -- "How do I use social media to promote my business?"

-- Damon, Cheyenne

Answer -- Social media can be a great marketing tool for your business. With so many social media outlets to choose from, it can be challenging to determine how to use them effectively. Depending on your industry, different networks will be better for your business.

First, let's discuss some general points about some of the main social networks. Google Plus+ is an important outlet for any business because it increases your rankings on Google. YouTube videos also are helpful; personalized videos allow you to tell your story and can be shared on other social networks. LinkedIn is great if you are a professional business that serves other businesses. Twitter and Facebook are both great for sharing with customers what you are up to and encouraging interaction with customers.

Now, let's talk about specific ideas for using social networks.

There are certain types of videos that can benefit any business. One is a trailer video that tells your story and why you do what you do. Another strategy is to share facts and figures about your industry. You also can share stories about customer success. Creating a question-and-answer video and product tutorials also engage customers.

On other social networks, such as Google Plus+, Facebook and Twitter, it is helpful to post a variety of content. Alternate posting text, links, images and videos to keep people interested and excited about your postings. You could run a giveaway campaign, share promotions, show behind-the-scenes activities, tell company news, etc., to draw people to your business.

Each social network will allow you to provide a description of your business. Take advantage of this to showcase what you can do for customers. Remember that you do not need to be active with all social media outlets, but actively use the outlets you do select. It is better to stay off Facebook than to have a page that has not been updated in a few months or longer because this may lead people to believe you are not in business.

In addition to the networks discussed in this article, there are other sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and blogging sites. If you want detailed assistance or information about social media sites and how to use them, contact the Market Research Center at mrc@uwyo.edu or 766-5389.

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Editor's note: Kalie Spurgas is a market researcher at the Market Research Center, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, e-mail wsbdc@uwyo.edu or call 1-800-348-5194.

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