To me it's become very clear that using social networks to market your services is a vital part of marketing in today's world. Two of the most effective social networks to use for this purpose are of course Twitter and Facebook.
This article aims to discuss how to get started on these two networks and how best to use them to market the services you offer.
Let's look at Twitter first.
1. If you do not have a Twitter account, go to http://www.twitter.com/ and create one. I'm TypewriteSA on there, and you can follow me to see how I use my Twitter account to market my business.
2. Choose a username that describes what your business is about. TypewriteSA is my username and it describes the service I provide and where I am located.
3. Twitter allows you to write a short bio on your profile to describe what you are doing. Choose words carefully to tell people what you are about. These words are very important as they can guide potential followers who will look for people providing services similar to what they provide or services that they need.
4. Now you're ready to start tweeting! Twitter is a microblogging system that allows you to write short updates to distribute to your followers. So if your Twitter account is to be mainly about business, ensure that all of your tweets relate directly to what you are doing or pass on some useful information like a useful blog post you have written or new service you are providing. Potential followers will look for this. Tweet on a regular but not too regular basis and ensure that your tweets remain informative to your followers.
5. Look for some followers - in business it's best to follow people who provide a similar service or who you feel could be informative to you or may need your services. I follow transcriptionists, VAs, proofreaders, publishers, and industry leaders in other fields.
6. Promote your account. You can put a Twitter followers button on your blog, on your website, and insert something into your email signature to tell people to follow you on Twitter.
Let's now take a glance at Facebook.
1. Most people already have a personal Facebook account. If you don't, go to http://www.facebook.com/ and create one for yourself.
2. Then, go to my fan page, Typewrite Transcription. Like this page by clicking the Like button on the top of the page.
3. Then scroll down and look at the bottom left of the page. You will find a link that says "create a page like this". Click this link.
4. This takes you to a walk through section whereby you will find instructions to create your own page. Be careful to choose the right category and pick a descriptive name for your fan page. Typewrite Transcription is an abbreviation of my business' name and describes exactly what I do.
5. Fill out the information section carefully. You want to be able to give as much information about your business as possible, but not bore people. It's as well to have at least two administrators of your page, for the simple reason that if something happens to your account, the page will still exist because it's tied to another moderator. But choose carefully who you want to make a moderator of your page as they will have the same rights as you on the page.
6. Publish your page, and you're ready to start finding Facebook likers!! One of the fastest ways of doing this is to suggest to your friends that they become Likers of your page, and ask them to suggest it to their friends. But an often overlooked method of finding Likers is to publish a "Facebook Like Box" on your website or blog.
Once you have accounts set up at both, look in your Facebook account to see how to link the two so that when you update your Facebook fan page status, your Twitter account automatically generates a tweet.
These are just the basics, but I hope they go some way towards clearing up the minefield that can be social networking.