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How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Small Business

Don’t know the difference between a “like” and a “tweet”? Here’s a crash course.

Credit: Patch.com
Credit: Patch.com

Written by Kaeley Doyle

It’s how some people get breaking news. And how others keep in touch with far-flung family and friends. Heck, some people are so hooked on social media, that they can’t even eat a sandwich without sharing the news on their social channels. 

Even if you don’t personally want to maintain your own social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr or Foursquare (to name just a few), it’s important that your business has a presence on these platforms in order to raise awareness and increase word of mouth. After all, people turn to social media for recommendations for everything from the best local dry cleaner to which items they should order off a menu.

But if you are new to social media, the whole thing can be baffling. If you're looking for tips on starting a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account for your small business, follow this advice and you should be fine:

  • Facebook: The largest social network is also the most valuable because it allows you to set up your own page for your small business. For tips on how to set up your page and get started the right way on Facebook, check out this post from our friends at MarketingSherpa.
  • Twitter: This article outlines all of the basics for getting started on Twitter. Learn how to use hashtags, master replies, retweets, and how to include pictures and links in your posts.
  • Instagram: One of the fastest growing social media platforms is another important tool to utilize. This article from the Social Media Examiner shows you how to optimize your profile, take advantage of video and cultivate a following on Instagram.   
  • LinkedIn: About 20 percent of this social networking site is made up of small businesses. This article from the official LinkedIn blog outlines 10 ways the site can help you find leads, grow your business, and find the right vendors. 
  • Pinterest: It’s not just helpful for keeping track of recipes you want to try or DIY home decorating ideas. This article from Forbes shows you how to engage your online audience on this very visual social media platform. 
  • Tumblr: Certain types of businesses (fashion, large websites, media) are better suited to the microblogging site Tumblr. This article outlines 26 ways to market your business on the social media site.
  • Foursquare: Users look to this location-based social media app for deals and discounts on local businesses. This article reveals 10 ways to use the app to market your own endeavor. 

TELL US: How do you use social media to help grow your small business? What’s worked for you, and what hasn’t? 

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