Three Ways to Increase Your Business Through Social Networking

Social media can drive hundreds of new customers to your business, when properly used. There are several things that business owners need to be doing with social media platforms that are largely overlooked. Social media outreach isn't just for connecting to the global market. By harnessing the power of social media, you can reach a vastly untapped market of potential customers in your local area.

First, it is important to understand what types of content your visitors want to see. One proven strategy is to have a blog with relevant, fresh content that is updated frequently. You can then link to this blog via your company's Twitter and Facebook account. You can also use these accounts to post updates about current events at your business. Customers love to hear about specials and discounts. You may also wish to include customer reviews and testimonials. Once you've determined what to post and where to post it, there are three strategies you must employ to draw customers in and keep them coming back.

Be Available

Answer questions and concerns promptly. Interact with those who visit your Facebook, Twitter and blog. Reach out to your visitors and get them involved. You can increase visitor involvement by asking questions, hosting contests or even requesting fan submissions for your page. If your page is stale and there is no activity from a representative of your company, visitors will feel unappreciated and click away to another business that is more engaged.

Spend the Time

Interact with your visitors. Post new and fresh content on a regular basis. Three to five blog posts or Facebook status updates is typically a good number. Keep content creative and think outside the box. Visitors want regular updates, but they don't want to be overwhelmed by nonstop posts from your business on their news feed.

There's an App for That

Use apps on Facebook to maximize your efforts. These apps can help you host a contest, reach out to customers and get contact information for new leads. There are also apps that allow you to offer coupons to your visitors. Facebook has a large number of convenient apps that are targeted to help businesses grow their client bases; use these to help you draw in new customers and keep current customers coming back for more.

Many customers like to check out a business before they stop by in person. Make it easy for your visitors to find out about who you are and what you offer, so they will be enticed to come see you. Post information such as your location, directions and business hours so your customers can find you. Pictures of your facility and even your staff members can help draw customers in, as can inventory lists, pricing or descriptions of the services you offer. Customers are more likely to visit a business that they feel comfortable with; by making your customers feel like they are valued before they step through your door, you'll draw them away from your competition.