Entrepreneur Spouses: Social Media
Most military spouses who work, work from home or online. Either way, you can use social media to help boost your sales and spread the word about your amazing services! Even if you are in the middle of a PCS, you can use your social media tools to keep your customers up to date and interested in your brand or service if your website is closed temporarily. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that they have many roles: production, accounting, web site manager, product photographer, marketing, sales and customer service… any one of these alone is daunting enough so let various social media site tools help you with your marketing efforts.
For my online business I love to use Co-Tweet for scheduling tweets on Twitter to leave me free and clear for other tasks throughout the day with a few manually entered tweets to connect with my piers and customers on a personal level. You can try other sites like HootSuite or TweetDeck. Be sure to include a full web link including the ‘http://’ for your readers to click on, or a hashtag (#) to categorize your tweet’s topic so that when someone is reading another tweet elsewhere that has the same hashtag, when they click on it they might find your tweet in the list of all the tweets using that same hashtag. Twitter is a powerful tool for getting your business out there and growing.
ie: New in the shop! Handmade Petite Clips (full web link here) #handmade
For Facebook updates, there are a few options for managing and scheduling: Postling, Social Oomph, and Sendible. These will let you schedule your updates fairly easily, though each has their perks and limitations. Facebook even has several Apps available for selling right from your Fan Page! The App that I like to use is Bixbe, it’s free and super simple to use on any social media site! People are shopping more and more on Facebook, making these e-Commerce Apps more valuable to have on your Fan Page. To make it easy to share your Fan Page’s web address, go to http://facebook.com/username to claim your vanity URL that will keep your web address short and easy to read. Finding which scheduling tool that fits you the best will help you stay motivated to update your pages often. Most will let you manage more than one social media site or accounts, making your efforts even more stream-lined.
How often should you tweet or update on Facebook? At least once a day if you are super busy. For my business, I schedule one tweet every two hours and 2-3 Facebook updates throughout the day. Afraid that your readers be bogged down? Not likely, since most users on these sites have 100′s or 1,000′s of people’s updates scrolling through their screen. Very few people who regularly use these sites will have less than 100-300 people that they follow. Make your update stand out but never the whole thing in all-caps as Google sees that as spam.
What should you write about? Think of it like a small announcement board or a mini newsletter for your shop: you want to offer promotional news, new items, behind the scenes work, testimonials about your work, and articles covering similar interests to your field—and why not a fun photo or two of your outtings using a site like Yfrog. You have to keep a good mix to avoid 100% shameless plugs that can turn off your buyers or, heaven forbid, cause you to be flagged as spam. Don’t forget to be friendly, be positive—no complaining about order complications, your kids climbing the walls, or your husband giving you a hard time—and be cleverly informative when tweeting as a business. And everything you write on these social media sites needs to have at least 1-2 keywords that your customer base might be searching under to find your kind of product or service. In fact, keeping SEO in mind is a great idea considering that Google now can search all tweets and Facebook updates (if it’s a fan page, it’s always public).
Designing these social media sites is just as important! For Twitter, having a clean and simple background image that reflects your business’ image is a great way to motivate them to click the web address they see on your profile and having a profile pic that is eye-catching at the small icon size. For Facebook, you can upload an image that is 200 wide by as long as you need it to be. Use this space as your own personal promo spot! See my Twitter Page and Facebook Page to take notes on how I created a unified look that gives the readers a great idea about what my business is all about.