Any business, whether online, offline, or both, needs advertising. Even if you have the greatest product or service in the world, no one’s going to buy it if they don’t know it’s there. The problem for a lot of smaller businesses is that they can’t afford to advertise much because it’s simply too costly for the return that they get. That’s especially true if they’re just starting out, but it can plague more established businesses, too. Rather than struggle with advertising and spend all your time worrying about it, consider using social networking to get your name in front of people. It’s free, and you can reach millions.
In order to do well at social networking, you can’t just shove information about your business at people. You have to show them why what you have is valuable, and how you can improve their lives with your product or service. In short, you have to be social. Talk to them, post status updates that aren’t sales pitches, and be a real person. That doesn’t mean you have to share your private life, but it does mean that you can talk about your industry, breaking news, or other significant events as well as your product or service. If you always make it about selling, people aren’t going to respond to that as freely.
When you do more than try to sell over social networking, you show people that you care about the things they’re going through, and the industry you work in, and helping others who are having problems. You develop connections to people, and you build on those to get even more connections. By so doing, you’ll be better able to keep your business moving forward and keep people interested in what you have to offer, which is a great thing to be able to do for free.