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Social Media Options

Creating social media accounts is necessary for businesses to stay current with a continually growing tech savvy population. Once we’re all setup and ready to post, a few daunting questions arise:

    • How do I effectively market my products/service?
    • Why is no one interacting with me?

    • Is this even really worth my time?

These questions all plague the minds of business owners. Rest assured, with a little time investment, we can start seeing results from our social media campaigns. The following is a list of some top (and free) social media sites with actionable advice and strategies.


What is Reddit?

Reddit is basically a never-ending list of links, ordered by timely popularity which is determined by users’ simply voting links up or down. Every link has a respective comment section where valuable information can be harvested, such as opinions/preferences and clever ideas. Subreddits are basically categories. Users subscribe to their favorite subreddits, ie; ‘technology’, ‘pics’, and things as specific as ‘ford mustangs’.

Is this right for my business?

Reddit is a unique place. Every piece of content submitted gets judged based on a few factors. The first is subreddit rules. Each subreddit has unique posting rules all must abide by. The second is uniqueness. Any re-posts are instantly down-voted. Finally, the link you submit must be well planned.

Here’s an example of a successful post for a company that sells beef jerky of all things! Notice how the user included discount codes, demonstrated honest communication, and followed up with commenters more than once!

Take Action:

Search for the subreddit your business relates to most and start recording the most successful posts and writing appropriate comments in the discussion section. Determine why the top posts were so successful and decide if this is something your business can replicate. If you can, set a goal. You can learn a lot about your business by simply interacting with commenters and asking them questions or providing helpful answers. If the post is successful and the comment section is positive, toss in a friendly link to your product page via and track your conversions.


What is Twitter?

For those who haven’t been online in years, Twitter has become one of the largest social networks. Users simply post “tweets”; 140 character text messages. Tweets may carry links, hashtags, and user identifications with “@[username].” Twitter makes it easy to follow the brands and people you like and update your followers with news and other information.

Is this right for my business?

As a small business one of your primary social marketing goals is to create real relationships. Twitter can be a highly effective way to have real conversations with your community. Don’t be afraid of the public – interact with them as you would with friends.

Take Action:

The great thing about Twitter is you can tailor accounts to specific campaigns and locations. As you see above, The Seattle Starbucks has their own Twitter just for deals, offers, and promotions, allowing them to reach a community of frugal users.

One of the most popular twitter strategies is to create an event (either online or offline) and make a unique hashtag for that event. By creating a unique hashtag you can target and monitor your loyal fans and directly engage them. One example is when RadioShack turned a unique hashtag “#kindofabigdeal” into a game. They setup phones on a table and whenever someone tweeted using that hashtag they would vibrate. The goal was to make the phones vibrate enough they would fall off the table – resulting in over 80,000 tweets.


What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free blog-creator with dozens of free layouts and themes to choose from. If your website is lacking a blog or you’re simply looking for another way to push out content, WordPress is the perfect choice.

Is this right for my business?

Blogging is great for every business; however, if you do not have a dedicated blogger or time investment, you’re better off without it. That being said, if you can regularly publish quality content and effectively promote it, blogging is right up your alley. Look at 12 Palms Recovery Centers blog and how they made drug rehab interesting with unique content like infographics and videos. Even if your business is accounting or paper shredding, there are always blogging opportunities if your content is shareable.

Take Action:

Plan, plan, plan. Brainstorm and fine-tune a weekly or bi-weekly content plan with headlines and sub-headers. Try putting a twist on your business and testing out which pieces of media work best: pictures, infographics, videos, lists, how-to-guides? Reach out to fellow industry bloggers and see if they would be interested in contributing content. Be creative, relevant, and unique.


What is Instagram?

Instagram is an online photo and video sharing social network, most commonly used on smartphones. Similar to twitter, it allows users to follow each other and tag their content with hashtags. One of the reasons for its popularity is the incredible ability to make amateur photos look professional with a few taps.

Is this right for my business?

If your business contains anything visually pleasing, Instagram is an excellent choice. There are many ways to tap into its power.

Take Action:

A common strategy is to create a unique hashtag and make that a photo theme. So if #wackypaperwednesday is your hashtag, every Wednesday you post a fun photo of wacky paper. Your followers will follow suite, fostering a creative community.

Starbucks created a hashtag “#coffeeperfectionph” and told their fans to share the photo on their Facebook page. The photos with the most likes would win a special gift. While it’s difficult to hold a contest like this when you aren’t Starbucks, you can still receive a ton of engagement by offering a fun prize and effectively promoting the contest.

Keep in mind, business pages should be created for every company on these networks, along with Google Places registration for accessible location searches. Hopefully your business can begin taking action on these popular social media networks.

Good luck with all your social marketing. If you have any questions or extra advice, post a comment below!


Jesse Aaron is a professional blogger with a passion for homebrewing. He writes on a variety of topics on his blog, Mashbout. Follow Jesse on Google Plus.