I would say YES, only if you are willing to invest the time into using it. A lot of businesses will open social network accounts and not use them appropriately or not use them at all. Not using them appropriately won’t get you results, and not using them at all will show a potential client that you are not up to date and they may actually think you aren’t reliable.
Using social networks can help you tap into an audience that you would not have been able to reach otherwise.
There are a ton of social networks out there and each one is not for everyone. Personally I would say that a Facebook business page and a Twitter account would be must haves because they are the most popular.
From there you can choose a few other networks to add to your social media arsenal.
For the purpose of this blog post I’ll list the ones that I’ve adopted for my small businesses and how they are used.
“First and foremost Social Media is ALL about being social NOT selling”
Keep your ‘buy from me!!!’ posts to yourself. No one is going to buy from you if you are constantly in their face with those type of status updates. The point of social media is for people to get to know you on a semi-personal level and building your brand which will ultimately become your reputation. Then come the sales.
Create a Business Page. Do not use your personal page for business. You want to keep the two separate. Even if you are a public figure, create a page for that. You will thank yourself later. Some things need to be kept private and only for close friends and family so keep that personal account :)
– Post things that are helpful to your customers and fans, they will come back for more.
– Share posts from the competition and similar pages, you will get traffic.
– Like other pages in your industry as your Business Page
– Interact and comment AS your Business Page, get involved and start discussions.
– Keep self promotion at a minimum.
– Ask questions and engage your audience
I love Twitter because I feel I can reach just about anyone with their #hashtag micro blogging service. Very genius actually, so much so that other social outlets are adopting it too. Adding hastags onto the end of your tweets will allow you to be searchable among the whole of twitter users. But you have to use the right hashtags to reach that spectrum, so choose your words carefully.
-Keep your tweets simple and sweet.
-Don’t max out your characters, leave room in case someone wants to re-tweet your tweet and add on their own thoughts
I don’t use this for my web design business but I do for my other businesses as they are more visual and inspirational based. Pinterest is more widely used by women, so if your target market is women then this is a great tool.
-Pin beautiful pictures, if they are your own pictures make sure they are visually appealing. Pretty pictures get pinned the most.
-Repin from all kinds of sources, make sure you pin from the permalink page and not the home page. You want to be able to find that picture later.
-Describe the pin, use keywords.
-Create boards to organize your pins.
A lot of people are a little bit reluctant to use this one, including me. Recently though I’ve see that it can be great for business use and it’s tied in to all of Google’s services and a better search engine. For other great reasons read this article: 20 great reasons why Google Plus is a must.
A great way to network with other professionals and groups. Sort of like a resume, list your experience, your strengths. Others can recommend you and endorse you. It’s quite nice. You can also link up your twitter account
Others that may be useful are YouTube, Instagram, and Stumble Upon. Keep in mind to post things that will be useful to your followers. Humour of course is nice but you need keep it at a minimal unless ofcourse you are a comedian :) Test the social waters and have fun. You will meet some great people and make some great connections that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
If this is all TOO overwhelming, choose at least 2 major social networks to start and work ’em :)