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Differentiating Your Business Using Social Media

By now you are (hopefully) well aware of the immense benefits social media integration can bring to your business. But since social media is free in most cases and information is readily available, chances are that your competition is attempting to implement the same marketing and networking tactics. The question then becomes how to differentiate yourself and your business. Here are a few tips for getting your voice heard on the social networks:

Focus on Your Target Market: Many small businesses make the mistake of trying to reach a global market from the onset. Not only is this an ineffectual marketing strategy, but many companies don’t even have the resources to cater to a large clientele immediately. Just because you have the capacity to reach people around the globe doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Instead, reduce the scope of your marketing tactics until you have garnered some clients and begun to establish yourself. Visit online forums and discussion groups related to your core product and reach out to the people who are active in your market.

One of the best ways to tap into your target market is by offering a newsletter via e-mail. If you decide to go this route, be sure to offer incentives or coupons in the communiqué, as well as an easy way for people to refer their friends. And don’t forget to include options for readers to share the content on their own social media profiles.

Less is More: Although social media can be used as an indispensable tool for updating your customers, remember to use some discretion. Writing and publishing unique content to a blog is one thing, but nobody likes to be hounded constantly, especially from companies promoting products. For example, sending a surfeit of superfluous Tweets can deter people from signing up for your feed. And be sure to set your settings on Facebook and other sites to online update when you post information that is relevant to your customers, such as discounts, new product lines and insightful blog posts. Social media should be an avenue for connecting with and informing your clients—not bombarding them with the mundane details of your business.

Offer Special Deals via Social Networks: In order to connect with your customers through social media, you have to give them a reason to subscribe to your networks. Think to yourself, “Why would a customer signup for my Facebook, Twitter, etc.?” If you have difficulty answering this question, you can bet your customers will too. Attract customers to your social networks by offering exclusive deals like coupon codes or limited time discounts.

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