Facebook, Twitter? LinkedIn? Youtube? So many social media tools--it can make your head spin! This social media overview can help.
You don't have to be overwhelmed. Each of these social media tools can be a wonderful addition to your business!
Facebook is a free social network. You can register for a personal account, make your profile, and make connections with people you know or would like to be connected with. A Facebook account allows you to post brief status updates (basically what you're doing or thinking at that moment) as well as pictures, videos, links and blog posts. As you grow accustomed to the site, you can send your Facebook updates to LinkedIn or Twitter.
You can create a business page (called a fan page) to share all kinds of information about your business.
A fan page is a great platform for sharing free information to inspire people and offer direct actionable information. Sharing a great oil recipe or book can inspire someone to make a purchase and create a great blend. while sharing a blog post on the oils you love can educate them and keep them feeling connected with you. You can establish yourself on your business's fan page, allowing people to get to know you, what you have to offer and potentially connect with your business. Think of it as free advertising. People follow your fan page by clicking a simple button that means they "like" it.
Facebook is also a great way to introduce people to your blog. You can automatically publish your blog posts on your Facebook profile. People see the beginning of your post and can click on it if they want to read more. To do this, visit the Facebook Apps area and install an app called Networked Blogs.
You can also pay for ads on Facebook. I've done this a few times with ads for classes at Aromahead Institute and felt it was beneficial.
Click to visit and "like" Aromahead on Facebook.
Twitter invites users to share what they're doing and thinking in small updates of 140 characters or less. As the platform has grown, it's often become a breaking news source as individuals post real-time updates on current events. You can update Twitter from your computer or from any text-enabled mobile phone.
Twitter's population is very diverse, and includes individual and business accounts. Updates often include links to videos, pictures or websites. Many accounts use lists to organize followers. Twitter lists are a great way to find people interested in health, essential oils or just about anything you can think of. If you're new to Twitter, think of it as a "status update only" version of Facebook.
LinkedIn is also a free social network--and it's a great site for career and job networking. You can only view a LinkedIn member's profile if you're connected to them. You connect via invitation.
To create a complete LinkedIn profile, include your businesses or work history, education, website and blogs. Most users include a brief biography and work experience. LinkedIn can be thought of as an interactive digital resume. I use it as a great way to meet other people in our profession. I have met many distillers and other essential oils educators and web store owners from LinkedIn. I have found it incredibly useful.
You can also join groups. I belong to 15 different groups, most of them essential oil related. I comment on some discussions, read lots of them as a silent observer, and sometimes create discussions. I really enjoy this style of connecting with people!
YouTube is a free video hosting platform currently owned by Google. It is a wonderful place to view videos and upload your own video content. You can create your own channel to broadcast your videos to people who choose to subscribe to you. I created one for Aromahead Institute called "Trust Your Source."
I was surprised at how easy it was to make videos and upload them. You can use a variety of cameras to record videos. Many laptops have a built-in camera that can record video. I use a small hand-held camera called The Flip.
YouTube describes themselves as, "The world's most popular online video community, allowing millions of people to discover, watch and share originally created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small."
I've had such fun with all these tools, I hope you do as well! If you have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account, please feel free to list them in a comment below--we would love to visit! if you have a YouTube channel, please share the link so we can watch your videos!