One of the most difficult challenges online businesses face is attracting new clients. With no storefront for people to happen upon at the mall, and a generally small marketing budget that makes TV advertising a pipe dream, online businesses are limited in where and how they can get there name out to potential clients. One of the most common marketing formats, website banners and ad space, can be expensive, especially if you’re business is just starting out. So how can you get the word out about how great your brand is to a large, diverse population, without breaking the bank? Social media advertising!
Why You Should be Using Your Social Networks to Sell your Online Business
I know you’re already using social media for personal use—you post status updates on Facebook when you spot a double rainbow, and you tweet to your friends about the awesome meal you just had at your favorite restaurant. But as on online business owner or blogger, you should be using your social media outlets to promote your business as often as possible. Here’s why:
- It’s free! Posting status updates about your products, or tweeting about the great new product you just discovered (yours!) costs you nothing at all. It’s easy to do, and you can post a one or two sentence blurb asking friends to check out your business without being intrusive.
- You already have a built-in audience. Your friends and followers are (hopefully) your biggest supporters, and want you to succeed in your online business venture. When you make a recommendation to a friend, or ask that that they visit your site to check out your blog or products, they are more likely to do it than a stranger who glances at a banner ad when they’re browsing a website.
- The number of potential viewers is unlimited. You may have 100’s of followers on your various social media networks, and they in turn have 100’s more. This means that your single post or tweet can be carried forward to be seen by thousands of interested eyes, creating exponential growth in potential clients who would have never known about your business if not for that one update.
- It’s easy and risk free. Promoting your online business through Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Google+ posts, or through any other social media outlet takes very little time on your part, and carries absolutely no risk.
Types of Social Network Advertising
Now that you know why you should be advertising your WordPress site or online business through social media, you should know that there’s more than one way to do it. You don’t want to send out an onslaught of repeat posts that causes your follows to “unfollow” or block you. Here are a few ways that social media advertising can be effective for you:
- Direct advertising that is based on your network of friends—this is when you place a direct post talking about your business or product, or you place a status update notifying your friends that you have visited your online site or purchased a specific product. This can be highly effective, because people often make decisions based on the actions of their close circle of friends.
- Direct advertising placed on your social networking site—similar to the more traditional form of web advertising of placing banner ads or buying advertising space on a website, you place a block of advertising on a social networking site like Facebook or Google+, which appears on the side of a person’s page. This can be minimally effective when advertising on traditional webpages, but is more effective on social networking pages because they can be targeted to specific demographics (I can personally attest to the effectiveness of these ads, as I am constantly being drawn to the advertisements on the right side of my Facebook page, and have made numerous purchases as a result!).
- Indirect advertising by creating groups or pages—we’re all familiar with this. We’ve all subscribed to a business’s Facebook page, or become a fan of a certain cause or online group. You can do the same thing, and then send out daily posts to your subscribers, notifying them of updates to your site or new products you’re putting out.
Get Started Now
If you have an online business or blog, you need to start advertising on your social media outlets now! Start posting quick, attention-grabbing tweets on your Twitter page. Create a Facebook page for your online business, and ask all of your friends to subscribe to your newsfeeds. Then make sure to keep the updates fresh and interesting. Before you know it, your online business will reach thousands of new eyes, and your client base—and revenue—will grow!
Over the past few months, you may have heard about the hottest brand new social network, Pinterest. According to Compete.com, there are approximately 11 million unique visitors to Pinterest as of January 2012. This has made Pinterest the world No #5 Social Network beating out some other BIG names such as LinkedIn and Google+.