This is a guest post by Sam at Fair Marquit Value.
In the past, advertising took a big chunk out of my bottom line. Although I’m good at what I do, word of mouth can only take me so far. I work as a contractor for several Long Island Real Estate companies and am always looking to expand my business and client base. I’ve found social media to be a free and successful advertising tool.
Social media has helped my business to grow by leaps and bounds in the past five years. It is an excellent way to bring in new business and keep myself in the spotlight. Former customers are much more likely to hire me again when I remain at the front of their mind.
I use several social media mediums. For me, a blog has been the most successful; however, major social networking sites have also brought me considerable new business. Twitter and Facebook provide me with constant exposure and are incredibly useful during my busy season when I just don’t have time to post to my blog as often as I’d like.
Clients who subscribe to my pages on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are privy to insider information on specials, promotions and seasonal offerings. I can tweet a message to my followers offering a 10% discount on all services in May or post a status update on Facebook alerting friends to my upcoming Summer Savings Spectacular coming next month. The larger social media sites also allow current subscribers to share my updates; this leads to new business without any effort on my part.
Despite all the benefits social media sites offer, I still prefer my blog. There, I can communicate directly with my readers in an open forum. Blogs like WordPress and Blogger are absolute essentials for me. They appear in search engines and include comments sections and options for readers to be alerted whenever a new entry is posted. My keywords determine when and where my blog pops up in search results. As a contractor, I tend to write a lot about construction in Long Island. As a result, when potential customers search for Long Island construction, my blog appears.
I enjoy writing, so blogging was a natural choice for me. I love hearing what my readers have to say in the comments section. I read every entry and respond to those who seek clarification or present me with a question or problem to solve. This constant interaction with potential or existing clients helps to establish me as a leading authority in the business while presenting me as a human being rather than an Internet robot.
I started out using a free sub-domain to provide blog hosting. However, once I realized how well blogging worked for me, I installed WordPress on my own domain. Potential customers scanning my homepage see a direct link to my blog with a preview of the current entry. A blog is the best free advertising available.
In order to be successful with social media it is important to be consistent. Do not neglect any social media site for long. An idle site does not attract new customers. It is also crucial not to overwhelm readers with posts as this can lead people to unsubscribe out of frustration. Marketing gurus have discovered that those who use social media successfully upload two healthy blog entries per day in addition to a post or two on Facebook and Twitter.
As lucrative as social media can be, all that blogging, tweeting and status updating can take a big chunk out of your day. Integrating a content automation system into your blog can be a great timesaving measure. With WordPress, you can write several blog posts at once and schedule them to appear throughout the day or the week. Although not all social media sites have content automation integrated, there are plugins available that can schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
For companies who use social media successfully, productivity can increase as much as 25%. Creating a healthy presence online can lead to an influx of business both old and new. In the past five years, reliance on social media as a form of advertising has skyrocketed.
Social media is an amazing way to garner free publicity and advertising with a minimum amount of effort on your part. Whatever your business, a successfully run social media advertising campaign can help bring in new customers and ensure your company remains in the minds of existing clients.
Blogging and social media works for me and after the initial effort, it can work for you too!