Market Your Way to Success with Social Media

by on June 14th, 2011 0 comments

The surge of the social media sites users have presented small, medium, and large business owners with new opportunities, which allow them to promote their products and services and reach a larger audience easily. Web sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and MySpace are as popular as ever and connect millions of users Worldwide. While in the past these sites were often blocked by the business LAN administrators, deemed as an unnecessary distraction that resulted in thousands of unproductive hours, today independent freelancers and large companies alike are using the same social media sites to grow their business and reach new customers.

If you work as a web designer and you are looking for new ways to market your services, then the social sites are well worth considering. There is a big difference between building your own site and having a page on the social media websites. The social media is all about interaction and you should aim at responding to all posts and requests quickly, staying active at all times, and updating your webpage often with excellent information that will help you build followers quickly. Most experts agree that you should start building your own, solid fan base before you begin marketing blindly your products since the social media sites are also all about trust and people are far more likely to purchase products or services from someone that they know and respect.

The social media websites are ideal for building email lists too and again, this should be done in a non-aggressive way, and you would want to win your followers rather than coerce them into giving you their email addresses. You should keep in mind the demographics as well – these sites attract predominantly younger users, who are computer literate and up-to-date on most of the technological innovations. This allows you to market your services intelligently by discussing computer and design-related topics in-depth, and enables you to reach a wide circle of potential new clients.

Using the Q & A features of some of the social media websites, such as the LinkedIn Answers gives you excellent opportunity to answer questions that other users post, be helpful, prove that you are an expert in your field, and directly or indirectly market your services. Some of the Q & A features allow direct link posting, however, you should refrain from dropping your link aggressively and do so only if you think that you are offering information that is helping others.

Blogging as a way of expanding your business – if you have been designing websites for a number of years, then you have the experience and the expertise to start a blog on some of the social media sites, which would help other designers or regular users. Start a blog and update it regularly with posts on topics that you are familiar with and you are likely to see your blog grow and traffic increase. While daily updates are the fastest way to burning out and watering down your blog, try to add updates at least once per week and add relevant and well-written posts in order to give your visitors good reason for coming back. Start a Dreamweaver or Photoshop tutorial series, write posts on Drupal or the latest WordPress release, or open a discussion on the top HTML5 and CSS3 features and you have a formula for success.

Use the niche social media sites – while the largest social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have millions of users and could help you drive massive traffic to your websites, you should make use of the smaller niche sites such as Design Float as well.

Showcase your portfolio – almost all social media sites allow you to start a blog, add posts, or write text, where you can either embed videos or upload images and you should make good use of these features to show off your work. In addition, most Web 2.0 sites also allow you to build your own profile page, where you can say a bit about yourself, post details about your business, your projects, and add a link to your website. Cross promoting is yet another feature that you should make use of – post Facebook and Twitter buttons on your blogs, allowing your readers to tweet or bookmark your posts and share them with their friends.

While staying active, being helpful, and approachable is essential if you want to “make it” in the social media World, you should also check out the latest tools and programs that could help you work the social media sites smartly. Make use of TweetDeck to stay in touch with all your friends across a number of the popular social media sites or download and install Flipboard on your iPad and get all updates from Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr in an instant.