What Are Social Media Tools and How Can My Business Use Them?

You may have been asking yourself, “What are social media tools?” Think of social media as a way to meet new acquaintances, share interests and learn about new topics.

While this may sound a little light and chatty, businesses actually use social media to make people aware of their businesses.

Getting Started with Social Media Tools

Start by joining one or two social media sites. Don’t jump in and start typing comments or sharing pictures. Each social media tool has its own personality and purpose, and it will take you a while to figure out how your business can benefit.

For example, you could open a free Twitter account. Here you will find short comments of no more than 140 characters. Eventually start sharing, or tweeting, comments about your business. Tip: Let people know who you are and include a link to your web page.

You might also choose to join Facebook. This social media tool allows much longer posts, and it is easy to post pictures. You can make a personal page on Facebook, as well as a company page. Tip: Pay for boosted posts to increase your audience and engagement.

LinkedIn is a place where professionals share their interests and ambitions. Strive to be recognized as a professional. Tip: Join professional groups on LinkedIn to expand your business network.

Write short articles, and if people like them, they may make you a contact. Add them to your contact list as well. Put out news about developments and events regarding your company. Don’t make is sound like a press release.

RELATED: Top Tips for Managing Social Media Accounts

Expanding Your Reach

After you understand how a few social media tools work, you can sign up for other social media tools. Some are very specialized, and may fit in nicely with your business.

For example, Pinterest allows users to post pictures to tell their story. If you company has a visual aspect to it, such as an art gallery or photography business, you could join Pinterest and start posting pictures having to do with your work.

Focusing on Business

After you feel like you understand the basics of using social media tools, you can make some decisions about the ones that will help your business the most. It isn’t feasible to join all of what are called social media tools, so select ones that seem like they will help you spread the word about your company.

Many social media tools will give you metrics. You can see numbers regarding who is interacting with you, and you can gather feedback about the effectiveness of your social media campaign.


The Bottom Line

Social media is fun, but don’t let the fun blind you to your real purpose: growing your business.

When you start out asking, “What are social media tools?” you should have fun exploring. But in the end, you should change the question to, “What are social media tools that can help my business grow?”  The only way you will answer that question is by getting started, poking around, and making some decisions about what works best for you.

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