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Social Media for Entrepreneurs

Who has time for social media when you are trying to get your idea out to the masses?
 
The good news is that you don't have to be on all the social sites to have success.
 
The hard part is determining where to spend your time to build an audience that will positively engage and share your messages.
 
A few crash course items that apply to all social networks:
 
 - You must interact with your audience if you want to get any results. Unless you are a celebrity, you need to talk with your fans.
 
 - You can't just post content and forget about it. 
 
 - Timing - until you know when your audience most actively looks at your content, you need to post the same message at different times thru the day. 
 
 - Disclosure - If trying to sell something, don't try to hide it as some witty saying. Instead, describe the benefits they will get by using what you have to offer.
 
 - Patience - It's going to take a few months of posting and growing your community before you can post content and get a ton of activity immediately.
 
 - ROI - Social needs to be in the same channel as marketing. You will grow brand reach and empathy and if you do it right, the readers will experience your brand through your social interactions.
 
So how much time should you spend and what exactly should you be doing?
 
 
Facebook
 
No matter your opinion of it, they are the biggest traffic driving platform of social by a large amount followed by Twitter and Youtube.
At the very least, every company needs a page that represents the brand. Shares are more important from a search perspective, but building an audience here needs time to create the ability to broadcast your message to a receptive audience.
 
Most people on Facebook are not in "buy mode" so the sell here should be to get them interested in your offer.
 
Twitter
 
This is your audience that wants everything instantly. They expect you to reply to them within minutes if they tweet at you and failure to do so implies that you aren't on top of your social game. These are the same people who can also be your biggest brand champions when they feel that you are paying attention to them.
 
Twitter people traditionally don't convert very well - unless you have an offer that can give them instant gratification.
 
YouTube
 
Easily the most informed audience you will face. Not only are they watching your video, but they will then go watch your competitor's, and then watch reviews of the offer being presented. This audience will share and comment on your video and channel if they feel strongly about your offer, and this is both good and bad.
 
This audience converts very well no matter what offer you have.
 
Google Plus
 
Anyone who wants to comment on YouTube must have a gmail account, which also means they have a Google Plus account. The seo benefit is greatest in G+. Within seconds of posting content in Google Plus, Google will index it. This is how Google can explain the massive growth of this platform, despite how many people don't like it. There are some communities within G+ that are powerful, but the numbers are dwarfed by Facebook.
 
This audience also converts very well since Google makes it very easy to embed video and any other rich media into your posts.
 
LinkedIn
 
Always considered the "professional" version of Facebook, LinkedIn can be a great driver of business. They make it very easy to create a business page that lists all the services you provide  - be sure to take advantage of that. The Groups that are found here are full of people extremely focused on particular topics. It's worth spending the time to join about 20 groups that you want to sell to in the future.
 
This audience does a great job of promoting offers once you have proven yourself not to to be a spammer.
 
Pinterest
 
The darling of social media currently, Pinterest is catered to those who want the visual experience and ease of use in keeping tabs on content they find interesting. The audience loves to collect tidbits from around the web and keep them here. This is a great way to expose your offerings in a creative manner that will get their attention. Pinterest recently added the ability to link directly to a selling page, and the price can even appear on the "pinned" image for all to see. 
 
This audience converts very well for offers that are visual in nature.
 
Instagram
 
It's just pictures, but for some audiences, that's the strongest selling point. I have friend who makes 40K per month using only Instagram to post her images of designer shoes. She does nothing else to her site and that's how powerful her images are to her followers. She spends her time catering to this one particular audience and it works for her business. The key here is that she engages her followers, asks them for what they want and in return, she delivers what they like to see. Bonus: She will typically post the designer shoe with a certain fashion style. So not only selling the shoes but also how it can impact other parts of your wardrobe.
 
This audience knows what they want and know where to go in order to find it. Make it easy for them.
 
Tumblr
 
I have some hesitation to add them on this list, but a great tumblr account can drive a great amount of traffic. Another visually focused audience, they are typically more concerned about being entertained instead of being sold to. That's why they are listed near the end of this list.
 
Reddit
 
I know that technically reddit isn't a social networking site, but if you get their interest, they will hug your site and crush it with traffic. The key with this audience is that you need to fully disclose your intentions or else they will sniff it out and bury your content in minutes. But, if you win them over, you will have one of the most influential sites and fans on your side. It's worth the risk.
 
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