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Using Social Media to your Advantage

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Digg, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr…all of these social networks can be a little overwhelming. However, they are great tools for increasing your business’ presence on the internet. In today’s world, to say that internet presence is essential for success is an understatement. How can you use social media in San Diego and beyond to better your business?

The first step in learning how to use social media is to understand it. At its most basic level, social media refers to internet-based tools used for sharing and discussing information. From a business point of view, social media is user-generated content, or consumer-generated media.

Essentially, social media is everything that involves social interaction on the web. Mark Hopkins of Mashable.com, the largest blog focused exclusively on Web 2.0 and Social Networking news, accurately defines social media as a “collection of platforms for interaction and networking.” All of the sites and networks out there are vehicles that can be used to spread your message. When someone posts on someone else’s “wall” on Facebook, that is considered social media. When a blogger publishes a new post and someone leaves a comment, that is considered social media. When you update your Twitter account to let your followers know about the latest news at your company, you are using social media to your advantage.

By sending messages and interacting with consumers through social media, you can reach a wider audience, boost search engine rankings, and improve your overall image. A great way to open the door to social media is to start a blog. Blog about the latest news at your company, a new product, or even about your (amusing) day in the office. If your company is travel related, you could talk about local events or give useful travel tips. The goal is to provide your readers with information they can use and information that is interesting. Most of all, remember to be real and be personable, people can spot a product push ten miles away.

Other social networks, such as Facebook, should be used in similar ways to a blog. Provide consumers with knowledge about your product, impart interesting and useful information in your field of expertise, let people know about special offers or events and be available through comments and posts if anyone has a question. Keep in mind that social networks can also be used to connect with other people and businesses in related fields.

It really is that simple, albeit time-consuming. Just get out into the web playing field, sign up for a few accounts, and start talking to people. The trick is to stay updated with all your blogs, Twitter updates, and Myspace bulletins. Don’t just post once and never return. Once you join, you are a member of a community that will only work if you participate on a consistent basis. As with everything in life, you will only get as much out of it as you put into it.

Most importantly, we believe that a strong social media plan will significantly increase your site’s search engine optimization which brings your site more visitors and more business.