In years past, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter were used primarily as outlets for sharing family photos or talking about their daily lives. While people use these sites for those purposes, they have also become very effective marketing tools. The following article will help you learn how social media can be used to market your business.

Take your time to decide what your overall strategy will incorporate. If you don’t have a clear strategy and bounce from one social site to another, you can end up wasting time and money. Use techniques that make the most of all your resources and proceed with patience.

Relax, it’s just an online conversation. Email used to scare off companies who didn’t understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of the whole thing. It is now the reference communication channel. Social media is the new channel, and all you need to do is sit down and talk to your customers. It’s what they want and what you need.

To help you attract more visitors, you should promote your site through specialized social networking sites. The good thing about niche social networking sites is that they can send you a lot of targeted traffic. Even if the niche site is small, you can still send it quality visitors who are more likely to buy something from your site because they already have an interest in your product.

Allow customers to rate, comment, and rate your items. Adding these features to your site allows users to decide the most popular content, gives them a voice, and also makes them active participants.

If you are using social media to promote your product and have written a blog post, post it on your Facebook page as well. This way, everyone on your friends list has access to your blog post. The same is true for other social networking sites.

To really grow your fan base, you need to go beyond just selling products. Post links or stories from third-party vendors that are related to your niche or industry. Get your followers into the conversation by asking them questions, posting contests or including pictures and encouraging their comments. Find ways to engage and involve your followers. Instead of focusing on strategic product placement, emphasize using your products to interact with others. Try to create an association between your brand and your customers’ lifestyles and identities, rather than their wallets.

Don’t neglect LinkedIn. LinkedIn is less popular than Facebook or Twitter, but you can find extremely influential users on this site. Add a LinkedIn “share” button to your articles, and someone sharing your content on LinkedIn is likely to get dozens of other people to share it on other websites.

It might be time to look at social media marketing in a different light. It’s not just about Farmville and hashtags anymore. This is the opportunity for you to find new customers. You should have some good ideas on how to harness the potential of social media for your own use after reading the tips in this article. Sign up to some of these popular websites and get to work!

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