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How to set up your small B2C business on social media with no money and not much time!

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So you have a great business which involves selling to the public but you don’t know where to start with your social media activity. Sounds like you? Well read on…

Social media is free!

The great thing about social media is that it’s free. It doesn’t cost anything to set up a personal Facebook account or a business page, it’s free to set up a Twitter account, a LinkedIn account, a Google+ page, a YouTube channel, a Flickr account and a blog. It’s almost too good to be true that a method of reaching thousands of fans and potential fans could be free, but it is! Once you start thinking about Facebook Landing pages, competitions, Twitter background designs, advertising on social media or outsourcing your social media you need to pay, but essentially you get a lot for free.

Prioritise

If it’s just you running your business, or just a small team you need to prioritise which social media platforms are best for your business.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social networking site right now and the chances are that a lot of your friends and contacts (people who may well buy your goods) are already on it and using it on a daily basis. With the increased use of smartphones, Facebook usage is increasing and will continue to increase as people end up checking and posting to their Facebook account on the go. You’re missing out massively if your business doesn’t have a presence.

You could create a Facebook business page without first setting up a personal account. However, since your first 20-50 Facebook fans will probably be friends or family it would be advisable to get cracking building up friends who will then ‘like’ your Facebook page. If you don’t have a personal account get one here  and you can set up your Facebook page here. If you’re wondering why you should bother to set up your business as a page rather than just keeping a personal profile read my earlier blog post here.

Before setting up your Facebook page make sure you have a logo and 5 photos/graphics to go along the top of the page. Add some info in the ‘info’ section, add a few status updates to you page to make it look active and then tell all your Facebook friends (which is why it’s useful to have some!).

Twitter

Twitter is a way of sending short updates (up to 140 characters) which will be seen in the Timeline of your followers (as well as by anyone who heads over to your Twitter profile to check you out). You can set up your Twitter account here. All you need is a photo/logo and a profile description which can be up to 160 characters.

Setting up your Twitter account can go hand in hand with Facebook since you can set up your Facebook account to link straight through to Twitter, thus killing two birds with one stone. You can link your Facebook updates through to Twitter by going to ‘edit page’ (top right of your Facebook page), ‘resources’ (tab in left column) then click ‘link your page to Twitter’.  I would advise linking up this way and not linking Twitter to Facebook since I think it’s a way to kill fans stone dead if you are clearly never visiting your Facebook page and are also probably bombarding them with too many posts containing hashtags, @mentions and replies.

Publicise

These are the two main platforms I would advise getting a presence on to start with if  you are a B2C business, especially if you are a sociable/lifestyle type business. Don’t forget, now you have a Facebook and Twitter account, you must let people know about them through the net (add to your e-mail signature, blog/website and any other online presence you may have) as well as on  business cards, adverts, signs and any other publicity. Make sure you also e-mail all your friends/contacts to tell them that you have a presence on Facebook and Twitter and encourage them with all the charm you can muster, to be fans/followers.

You also need to post updates to your accounts to keep them active, interesting and engaging. The next blog article will be on ‘What to post and when to post on Facebook and Twitter’ so subscribe to our blog to recieve an e-mail notification when it is published.

Also, check out my ‘5 Social media Timesaving Tips for businesses’ for more social media timesaving tips.

Image by jscreationzs

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