A few weeks ago we hosted a fireside chat with some talented bloggers and gave you an inside scoop on the conversation. We promised to tackle the challenges small businesses face in going social, so here’s the second of three in the series: Going Social.

If you’re not using social media to promote your business you are missing the easiest trick in the book. I know what it’s like to run a business. Your ‘To Do’ list is probably about three pages long on a good day. But social media will make your job easier in the long term, so it’s worth prioritising now. Social media, when done properly can add multiples to your business.

I can attribute a lot of successes in my own business to social media, ranging from major media appearances, to signing new key clients, to meeting my business partner. Social media has taken my business places that it simply wouldn’t have gone otherwise. No matter what business or industry you are in, social media can and will help your business.

I attribute the majority of my social media success to two main methods: Twitter and blogging. I blog about a variety of topics loosely relating to my business, and then I tweet about my blogs. In tandem, these two methods are a great way to promote your business, completely free, online. There are a multitude of other social media platforms that you can also use to promote your business, but these two methods alone are a very easy way to get started and have quick success with social media.

Here are a few of the benefits that you can achieve from Twitter and blogging alone:

  • Social media helps to establish you as a thought leader and expert in your industry. Twitter allows you to present yourself as someone who is knowledgeable, and an expert at whatever it is that you do. The content in your blog backs this up.
  • Social media makes it easier for clients to find you (and you to find them). Writing a blog and being on Twitter will elevate your status in search engine results, making your business immediately more visible to potential customers searching online. Don’t ignore the fact that a lot of your clients and potential clients are probably on social media too. Twitter is a great way to interact with potential clients without being too sales focused.
  • Social media is an efficient way to network. Networking doesn’t have to mean going to awkward events and making small talk with people who you would rather not be talking to. I meet a lot of people on Twitter, ranging from clients, to mentors, to business partners. Twitter is a great way to network from the comfort of your lounge room, and the interactions are short and sweet.
  • Social media is a catalyst to free PR. It’s a poorly kept secret that journalists trawl Twitter to find experts to seek quotes and opinions from. If you’re not on Twitter you are missing a great opportunity to get free press for your business.
  • Social media gives a human face to your business. People want to buy from people – they trust businesses far more if they can see who the people are behind a brand.
  • Social media helps you to expand across international borders. Social media doesn’t have international boundaries – it has made expanding overseas easier than ever before.
  • Social media allows other people promote your business for you. When you write useful content on your blog, or on Twitter, other people will share it with their own followers. If you have content worth sharing, other people will help to promote your business for you for free.  This one point alone will make your job a whole lot easier.

Read the other posts in our Going Social series:

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