When was the last time you used the Yellow Pages to find a local business?
Nowadays, people are using the Internet to find what they’re looking for; making the phone book almost obsolete.
If you’re a local business owner and you’re trying to figure out how to utilize Social Media, I’ve created this short list of Social Networking accounts you should include in your overall marketing strategy to help potential customers find you.
1. GOOGLE MAPS. With the majority of the people using Google to find what they’re looking for, it would only make sense to list your business on GOOGLE MAPS. Sign up for an account and get your business listed within 24 hours. Take the time to upload a few pictures and, if you have them, a couple of your videos. Spend a few moments to fill out your profile in its entirety.
GET STARTED HERE: http://bit.ly/j7lc7
Here’s a picture of my own listing on Google Maps:
2. YELP. This is the first place I go when looking for highly rated businesses in my area. Yelp is a User Reviews and Recommendations directory. In other words, customers become reviewers.
Their comments and testimonials can become one of the most effective types of marketing your business can generate: word of mouth.
Create an account, list your business, and review your favorite local picks.
Sign up page: http://bit.ly/sGFZy.
3. FACEBOOK PAGE. Your business Page on Facebook gets indexed on Google. This means that, in many cases, your Page will rise up farther on Google than your own website. My Page on Facebook drives almost all of my business.
Go to http://google.com and type in “Virtual Assistant Facebook”.
My Facebook Page—not my website—generates the majority of my inquiries.
Assuming you have a Facebook profile, you can create a Page by clicking through this link while you are logged into your Facebook account: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.
If you don’t have a Facebook account, you’ll need to create one before you can create a Page. If you need help setting up your profile, check out my QUICK SET UP GUIDE for Facebook Profiles: http://acumenva.com/e-products/. If you already have a Facebook account but need help setting up your Page, check out this link for details: Creating and Optimizing Your Facebook Page.
Pick optimum keywords when naming your Page. You can name it after yourself: First and Last Name. You can name your Page after your product. You can have multiple Pages, if you wish. (I recommend one and focusing all of your attention on it.)
Think about what people will type into a search engine when they attempt to find you. I recommend running a search within Facebook AND on Google to see if any of your competitors show up and what keywords they’re using in their Page titles.
Don’t be surprised if you don’t find any Pages in your search. Business owners are JUST starting to realize the significance of Pages for search engine purposes.
4. TWITTER. If you’re currently using Twitter, than you already know the power of micro-blogging and its ability to connect people from around the world. If you’re not on Twitter and you want to find out what the fuss is about, I recommend jumping on board. Here’s a link to help you do so: http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/.
Once you’re set up and ready to go, if you want to use Twitter to help promote your local business, here are some applications that will help you find potential customers in your area: http://twitter.pbworks.com/Apps.
Scroll down to Directories to find these links below. Take a moment to create a few accounts on the applications you like the most.
Once you’ve had a chance to connect with locals on Twitter, eventually, you’ll have an opportunity to meet up with them in person. We call those “TweetUps”. This is a great way to establish a growing connection with other like-minded business owners in your area.
While not everyone will become a customer, they can become, what I lovingly call, “referral machines,” referring you onto people who might need your services.
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Social Networking success comes from consistent maintenance. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for my newsletter at the top of my homepage and you’ll receive my once-a-month newsletter filled with tips and suggestions on how to maintain your online energy.
Stick with it and you’ll see business opportunities increase by engaging others through the use of Social Media. It’s not a fad. It’s here to stay and with more and more people using the Internet to find what they’re looking for, it’s the perfect time to jump on board.
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