In this era of greater and better mobile penetration, almost everyone is resorting to social media platforms for all kind of communications. Be it connecting with friends and family or promoting your business, social media sites can be very effective. Most importantly most of these sites are free and can provide you with material publicity at a minimum expense.

Social media mind map with networking concept words

1) Sign Up On Different Sites: Currently there are many sites which can help you provide publicity for free. Be it Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or even Pintrest or Instagram, you do not need any money to register on these sites and surprisingly almost all of these sites can be very effective platforms to further your business and promote it to a wider audience. Create a page with the name of your business, go through the various rules of the site and start churning out content at a regular basis. You will be able to then engage with users at a much higher frequency.

2) Make A Plan: However your marketing initiatives on the social media sites cannot be haphazard. Chalk out a distinctive plan and how you want to go about achieving it and according create a strategy. For example make a list of your target audience, the kind of professionals you want to market your product to and the type of reach you are aiming at. This will help strategise your plan of action far more effectively and create a scope for long-term gains.

3) Post Regular Update: This alone cannot drive traffic and market your product. For people to know about your product better or avail the service you are providing more frequently. It is important to keep your followers or those on your friend list engaged. For that you need to post regular updates. Some could be about the product, any new innovation, information and utility of the product and all such related updates could be included in the post. The result is it would keep popping up on the news feed of members who are associated with the page regularly thereby maintaining the connect with them.

4) Create Association: This is a unique marketing tool to create a band of loyal customers. For example if you have an apparel business, you can ask your many followers to send you pics of them wearing your brand. You can then post them on your site and write a few lines about how they decided to buy your stuff. This serves a dual purpose. And one other example is you give free recharge of on every purchace from website like couponmachine did. They tried this trick with Askmebaazar store, it worked well the sales graph went up in a very quick time. Not only does it ensure that the person who wore the product feels encouraged to buy more from you but seeing them, their friends and family also might start considering buying from you.

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5) Online Contest: This is another interesting way of engaging prospective customers on social media sites. You can post a trivia question or any quiz contest or an sms competition with information related to your product and ask your fans to simply login to your Facebook/Twitter account and respond. You could also promise a small memento at the end of it as token of appreciation for the time they spent. This creates awareness about your product, makes a lasting impression is user’s mind and most importantly results in a decided expansion of your subscriber base overnight.

6) Build Relationships: This brings me to the next point that I was going to discuss. Whether you are organising contest or inviting images, you are essentially connecting with your audience. This helps you in building relationships with prospective customers or loyal users. These relationships do not just yield one time gain but normally have far reaching consequences and result in long-term gains in most instances. It creates instant recognition amongst the followers and also encourage them to either buy your offerings or spread a good word about your business. You never know how handy these relationships might turn out to be in the long run.

7) Opt For Paid Promotion: If you feel that the publicity of your website is not proceeding as per planned, sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook also have the option of paid promotion. By this it means for a decided sum, the site will go ahead and post the updates from the page on news feed of relevant users as per their algorithms. In this way news about your business will spread to a bigger audience base and for a minimum cost you will be able to spread information about your business to a much wider audience.

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8) Join Online Conversations: On any given day, there are many different issues trending on many social networking sites be it Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. As a proactive business person, it makes sense to join these online conversations on issues relating to your line of trade and voice your opinion about them in public forum. This serves dual purpose. Firstly it creates a platform where you can meet prospective customers. Also it makes it possible for people to know about your beyond just the name of your organisation and even establish personal contact with you on these forums.

9) Track Competitors: Marketing strategy via social media sites is not just limited to what you can do to further your brand. It also enables you to get a ringside view of what your competitors are doing and ways they are attracting customers. This gives you a fair idea of how you can tweak your strategies and at the same time what value addition can enhance the response to your site.

10) Appoint A Social Media Manager: If you think you will not be able to devote so much time in posting new elements, following up with response to previous posts and engaging in fresh conversations, one easy option is to hire a social media manager. This person becomes solely responsible for all the online action and tracks the progress or perhaps even the absence of it. In this way there can be a constant vigil on the marketing initiatives on the social media as well as potential changes that can be incorporated.