Every Business Needs Social Media

It may seem daunting, and scary at first, but social media can help build your brand, and your client-base. Best of all, it’s free!

I’m a nerd and love numbers so I had to share this with you guys. Experian just came out with their 2011 Social Media Consumer Trend and Benchmark Report. This is a must read for anyone who runs their own business.

At one point the report states that “129 million online Americans use social media.” Why not tap into this free market?

Percentage of people using social media by age group. This is fascinating:

18-24=  98%

24-34= 97%

35-44= 95%

45-54= 90%

55-64= 82%

65+ = 73%

I was shocked by these numbers…and by the fact that so many 50+ people are online too. To me, these numbers prove that there is no excuse! If you are offering a service or have a business, you NEED to be online.

Facebook

Create a Facebook page and provide news updates to your “fans” who like your page. Share photos and stories with them and ask them their opinion. I like to follow businesses in my target audience to see what they are up to, and interact with them. See what I did with my business page and who I follow: Facebook

Twitter

With Twitter you can provide status updates to your followers in 140 characters or less. I follow lots of translators and ad agencies. See how I manage Twitter

LinkedIn

Is like your online resume. Use it to connect with people from your industry or your target industry. Make sure that you have a professional photo up on LinkedIn but also on all of your professional websites. Here’s my LinkedIn

Google+

With Google plus, you can have several “circles” so you get to choose who you are sending your updates to. Here’s what my Google + looks like.

Blog

Every business needs a blog! (Say that 10 times in a row). Use this platform to show off what you know about your industry! Show off your writing skills!

FAQ’s:

I’m afraid of getting hacked.

Change your password every few months and make sure it’s made up of several words. That should help!

What about my privacy?

If you have a personal page, then simply make sure that you have your privacy settings set up so that only your friends and family can see your personal information. I have two facebook accounts: one professional, open to the world, and one personal, which only my friends and family can see. My twitter account is entirely professional and with G+ I can choose who I’d like to share my updates with.

I really don’t think I need social media?

Well then you’re missing out on connecting with an entire market of people and you are handing this market over to those who are using social media. You are missing out free exposure for your business! You are also missing out on many networking opportunities, events, lectures, education, research…

I’m too old for social media.

Over 73% of people 65+ use social media. Why would you want to be in the minority?

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