Tweet your way to the top: grow your business with social media

The introduction of ‘hashtag’ into the Oxford dictionary is evidence that social media has taken over, and that it is flying higher than ever before. No matter what you use it for, there’s no escaping the tweets, the statuses or the #selfies.

However, the everyday use of social media is a little bit different if you’re setting up your online profile with the sole purpose of growing your business, and there is some method to it.

Firstly, you want to big yourself up, although not too much. You’re trying to sell a product or a service, so sell it. Highlight your strengths and rid your profile of any weaknesses. You want to make sure people view your company as a reputable brand, and one that they can trust. There is a limit of how much ‘bigging-up’ you can do, however. If you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, then you shouldn’t need to promote. Aim for the perfect mix of humility and confidence.

Continuing with humility, make sure you stay that way. Be thankful for every single follower you have and gain. Each follower tells you that your business is growing. Thats what you wanted, wasn’t it? Acknowledge and appreciate their support. Give stuff away, create deals and reward their loyalty. Word of mouth spreads like wild fire and it’s hard to put it out.

One thing that will become immediately clear is that mistakes do happen. Your phone and twitter account might not be human, but the people behind them are. According to inc.com and their interview with Chairman of Likeable Media Dave Kerpen, the worst thing you can do is cover up a mistake. You can use mistakes to your advantage. They show personality and vulnerability, and that you’re not some corporate big-wig taking yourself too seriously. Don’t delete it and forget all about it, there’ll just be an elephant in the room with you and your followers. Acknowledge your mistake, apologise and learn to proofread your tweets.

This works for when the shoe is on the other foot, also. Reply to complaints. Pretending that you haven’t seen the moaning and grumbling from a couple of followers isn’t going to make whatever problem there is disappear. The old retail adage applies, “The customer always knows best.” Reply and let them know that you’re trying to solve the problem. Dave Kerpen believes that if you hide behind your keyboard, then it’ll create the impression that you don’t care about your customers, and that impression is hard to change.

It’s all about creating an image, and what you want people to think of when they see your companies name pop up on their screen. Make sure your name is one they want to click on, and not one they want to scroll past.

Networking is also a critical part of growing your businesses profile and status. When you begin to use social media for entrepreneurship, you will soon become extremely thankful that the hashtag exists. A simple little symbol has the potential to connect you with people from all over the world, instantly broadening your networking range. Even if you miss them out of your tweet, it doesn’t matter. Latest Twitter updates have made it so people can see your tweet when you simply type a word in your post that they have searched for.

A few simple tips which can polish up and exercise your online platform correctly is all it takes to maximise your businesses potential.

Social media is the perfect tool for promotion and advertising. Use it correctly and it can be the catalyst which makes your business blossom and succeed, and hopefully, more and more people will be clicking that ‘like’ button on your Facebook page.

Charlie Atkinson

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