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Yes, you’re on LinkedIn. You know you should have a “completed” profile and that you should be using the “People You May Know” feature to connect to, well, people you may know. But now that you’ve got your feet wet, how do you make LinkedIn an even more powerful relationship-building and sales-generating tool? First of all, learn to be a starter, not just a joiner. Joining a variety of different LinkedIn groups will help you expand your network. But starting an industry-specific group is one of the most effective ways to get your network excited and engaged about a specific

topic, all while driving traffic to your site and increasing sales. Another good idea is to take part in LinkedIn’s Questions and Answers. This feature is a powerful way to establish yourself as an expert and expand your network. With Answers, you can respond to any question posted by other LinkedIn users. If you answer questions well, your responses may receive high ratings from others, which could result in LinkedIn recognising you as an expert and displaying your name and link to your profile on the Answers home page for all LinkedIn members to see. You can also start a company page. This is a centralised location where millions of LinkedIn members can go to stay in the loop about news, products, services, business opportunities and job openings.

The page provides a chance to highlight what you do, engage with followers, drive word-of-mouth and more. Using Targeted Status Updates is also effective. Once you have a company page, you can use the Targeted Status Updates feature to direct updates to specific audiences. This helps make sure that certain people see specific content. The Targeted Status Updates feature includes analytics for each post that show the number of impressions the specific update received, the amount of clicks received, and more. When it comes to Twitter, unless you’ve been under a large rock, you know that it’s an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read text-based messages (that can include links) of up to 140 characters.

To help maximise the business-bolstering effect Twitter can produce, it’s important to tweet with personality. People do business with people they like. So, consider what makes you and your company unique and likeable and convey that through your tweets. Being helpful, um, helps! People do business with people who are helpful. So why not tweet on topics that can lend your customers and target clientele a helping hand? Anything from general business advice to subjects relevant to the markets you serve could work; it’s just important that the content is meaningful to your audience. Twitter is great for market research and is a useful tool for better understanding your customers and what people think about your business. You

Facing up to Facebook

A Facebook page has many potential benefits for your business. While some of these benefits are similar to those of having a website, a number are unique to Facebook. Combined, the benefits listed below can lead to increased sales and profits for your business. Here’s how to Improve Your Social Life:

Facebook is a low-cost marketing strategy

Marketing activities that would cost thousands of rands through other channels can be used on Facebook for a fraction of the cost. This makes it ideal for small to medium businesses with a limited marketing budget. Larger businesses can also trial marketing concepts and themes through Facebook before committing to bigger campaigns.

Share basic information about your business

Your Facebook page is a place where you can publicise your business name, address and contact details, and briefly describe your products and services. You can also talk about your staff, history, or any other aspect of your business that is likely to attract other Facebook users and create interest in what you do.

Share pictures and videos from your business

As well as allowing you to post text, Facebook lets you upload pictures and videos from your business. This can be a powerful way to communicate with customers and potential customers, allowing them to see your product or service without having to visit your premises.

Talk to existing and potential customers

You can use Facebook to “talk” to existing and potential customers by posting and receiving messages. But don’t use Facebook to aggressively promote your products or services. You’ll have much greater success if you share information related to your business that is actually useful or interesting to other users. This increases your credibility and promotes your business by building long-term relationships with other users. You should also listen as much as you talk. Paying attention to what the market thinks about your business, your industry, a product or a marketing campaign can provide valuable insights.

Provide customer support

Customers can post after-sales questions on your Facebook wall, and your staff can answer them there. This is often more efficient than staff answering phone calls, and allows other customers to read common questions and answers without having to approach you individually.

Raise brand awareness and promote positive word-of mouth

You can increase your business’s profile on Facebook by encouraging existing and potential customers to click the “Like” button on your Facebook page. Once they like your page, your customers will receive your updates on their wall, where their friends will also see them. This helps to build awareness of your business, and to associate your friends with your brand. Customers can also post positive messages about your products or services, shared on their walls for all their friends to see.

Facebook can steer traffic to your website

You can include a link to your website on your Facebook page. Indeed, many businesses report that the greatest benefit of Facebook is the extra traffic that it steers to their site. Visitors who come to the website can be exposed to stronger marketing messages and, often, the option of buying goods and services. Customers who come to your website from Facebook are likely to be more receptive than the average visitor, because they already know something about your business and were motivated to click the website link.

Targeted advertising

Facebook can analyse all the information that millions of users enter into their profiles. As the owner of a business page, you can pay to use this information to deliver targeted advertising to a specific group.