This is a guest post by Sara Carter from Mac-Reviews.

There is no getting away from the fact that social media and its marketing uses are essential for any business seeking to establish an online presence. With Facebook and Twitter having more than 1 billion different users combined, it is clear that failure to take advantage of this market is tantamount to closing a bricks and mortar store six and a half days a week.

You will be missing out on an incredible number of potential customers. Fortunately, it is easier than ever to use social media to establish your online presence and if you continue reading, you will discover 7 ways to establish a strong online presence with social media.

1 -Stick To A Handful Of Sites

It’s obvious that Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social media networks and frankly, you don’t really need to waste time on others though LinkedIn and Pinterest are also useful. Don’t spend time updating on lesser networks and pour your heart and soul into the big two. The click-through rates on the big two are immense. Existing fans already spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook in particular: For example, the average American spends 8 hours a month on that one site. What you need to do is communicate with your fans regularly so you stay on their newsfeed.

2 – Photography

Photos stand out far more than status updates or links. They are clear, concise and easily taken in by social media users. If you are in an industry such as music or fashion for example, pictures really are essential. However, you can make use of pictures in any industry by simply showing professional photos of your products and services being used. It is a known fact that profiles with photos generate more engagement that those that only have written updates.

3 – Giveaways

Want to get noticed? Start handing out some freebies! Before you begin to protest about giving goods away for free, please remember that there is method to this madness. In the world of social media, money is not the only currency. Attention and acknowledgement are valuable forms of currency as well. Again, the key word is engagement. You need to get your fans involved in some form of competition or prize draw. Really savvy marketers use this as a means of getting email addresses from Facebook and Twitter users. Giving away a small amount of stock means extra publicity as fans will start discussing you with other social media users.

4 – Create An Awesome Website

What has my website got to go with social media you ask? Everything is the answer! All successful online businesses have a central platform that links all social media accounts, videos on YouTube, blog posts etc. Social media is fantastic but it doesn’t quite get the job done when it comes to centralising your company’s material for fans. Your website needs to look official, professional and established. There are a host of free website builders to get you started though you may need to open your wallet to get a professionally designed one. You need to add links to your website on social media posts, photos and videos. Hopefully, this will lure people to your site where the process of selling can be concluded.

5 – Be An Active Blogger

Whenever your company releases a new product, you should be out there blogging about it. Set up your own special blog and look to guest post on other popular blogs too. Don’t be afraid to submit your products to be reviewed on industry websites. Above all, never be afraid to contact the people that could make your company a success. Make it easy for others to promote you by sending them all the files, text, images etc. they need. Don’t have time to continually write blogs? Hire a professional writer to do it for you, the expense is well worth it.

6 – Brand Loyalty

Arguably the greatest key to success in any industry is gaining hardcore fans and social media is no different. Facebook in particular has seen the rise of the ‘superfan’, individuals that go to great lengths to promote your company. You need to get some loyal fans and keep them. Think about it, if you only had 1,000 loyal fans and they purchased $150 worth of goods from your company a year with you receiving a 40% profit on the goods, that would be $60,000 profit a year from your loyal fans only. Not a bad start. Simply reward your most loyal fans with the occasional gift, discount or special offer. Just do something to show that they’re appreciated.

7 – Make It Easy To Pay

Surely this is common sense right? After all, you want it to be as easy as possible for people to give you their money. Amazingly, some online companies make it insanely hard for their customers by asking them to jump through various hoops on the e-commerce page. Customers should be able to pay for goods within three clicks from your social media site. Begin with a link from the social media page to the website and work from there. Additionally, offer as many payment methods as you can. PayPal is always convenient along with a host of different debit and credit cards.

If you want to succeed online and establish a real presence, you need to step outside your comfort zone and really interact with your customers. Get active, share useful content, reward loyalty and create a great website to link to. Follow the tips above and watch your online reputation soar.

About Sara Carter
Sara Carter is the founder of Mac-Reviews, where she reviews the latest on software, hardware and iOS Apps. She is also interested in social networks, Google Android, psychology, IT services, computer upgrades, computer repair, and computer apps. When she’s not busy working, she’s usually traveling or skiing.

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