These days social media marketing is expected to play a part in the way you promote your blog or your business. Many small businesses resist having to knuckle down and do what seems to be a tedious chore and it’s true that this form of marketing is not the way to get fast results, if that’s what you’re looking for — it is a long-term project that is more about securing your reputation and building a relationship with your followers.

If you write a blog, you will know that the importance of communication and that being pushy about selling is just not acceptable. It is the same with the social media and this platform seems to be a natural extension of blogging. In fact Twitter is often referred to as a method of micro-blogging and it really can be a good way to connect with others who have similar interests.

See how it’s done

One way to get a feel for social media marketing is to look at how other businesses or blogs promote themselves through social media. Look for their Facebook fan pages and look at how they post comments and look at the sort of photos and videos they put up on their wall. Pay particular attention to how and when they get likes and comments from their fans as this will give you an idea of the type of thing that draws attention.

Look at Twitter and see what sort of tweets are posted and note which tweets are retweeted the most by followers. Have a look at the sort of businesses and blogs that have the biggest following and try to emulate what they are doing to promote their business.

One thing to be careful of is to ensure that your posts are generally for information and sharing rather than selling because a constant stream of pushy sales pitches is just not well-received. However, blogging alongside social media can be very time consuming but generally considered worth doing.

What to post

Social media marketing can be seen as an extension of your blog, so it’s a good idea to post little snippets of information from your current or previous blogs — teasers that will get people to come and look at your blog site. For example, you could ask a question on Twitter that will be answered in your blog. You don’t need to write reams — just a few sentences that will compel people to want to read more next time you pose a question.

One of the most important things is to interact with your friends and followers. If someone comments, then get back to them as soon as you possibly can with another comment — even if it’s just to say thank you for their post. When people can see that you are keen to interact it will encourage them to comment and this, after all is what social media marketing is all about. It is all about that interaction with people and helping them see you as a real person.

Posting on social media sites is a good way to showcase your expertise and develop your credibility in your industry or area of interest. Whether or not people comment or like what you say, they are still being exposed to your ideas and this helps to make a connection.  Hopefully they will come to you if they are ever looking for your services in the future – make sure you include a signup form on your Facebook fan page so you can tell people directly when you have a new blog post or are running an offer they might be interested in.

Try to share your knowledge via social media and don’t be afraid to discuss important issues. Share any useful tools online along with links to other people’s blogs and forums as well as your own. The great thing about social media is that it is a very quick way to get information out to a lot of people, so it is useful for telling your followers about something new and exciting before your competitors do.

Being able to interact with your fans and followers is a great way to dispel anxiety or doubt about your business. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out what people need and what they want to know and use it as an opportunity to address any issues that might be a barrier to signing up or buying from you. You can also use it as a method of providing support for your customers, readers and followers — and because your posts are open for all to see, it is reassuring for potential customers to know that you are there offering real support and service.

So which social media should you use?

There are literally dozens of social media sites with new ones being created all the time. At the very least you should be on the top two: Facebook and Twitter are general social media sites that millions of people use every day. However, keep an eye on some of the upcoming sites such as Google+ as these are increasing in popularity by the day. Here’s a short rundown of some of the better sites:

Facebook: this is undoubtedly the top site with over 850 million users. Facebook is a great way to showcase your business as it allows you to add photographs, videos, links to your website or blog and you can also advertise with PPC. Recently, you can even add a store where people can buy straight from your Facebook page. Facebook is pretty versatile and is a must for any business wanting to use social media marketing.

Twitter: another site that is growing by the day in, Twitter has over 200 million users and is great for micro-blogging or just posting little snippets of information and links, known as tweets. Tweet every time you add a post to your blog.

Google+: this is one of the newer social media sites but it is growing rapidly and already has an estimated 65 million users. It promises to be big and is another great way to showcase your business with pictures and plenty of space to add information and interact with your followers.

LinkedIn: this also allows you to interact with groups and discussions but is more geared towards businesses, so it is great for business to business interactions. LinkedIn has over 150 million users.

YouTube: a great platform for sharing your videos and with an estimated 300 million users it can bring in a lot of traffic for your blog or website. You Tube is great for showing instructional and informational videos that can increase your credibility and show your expertise. You can also put You Tube videos directly onto your blog and link to them via the other social media sites.

Others include Pinterest, for visual items such as photos and videos with over 10 million users, Ecademy with over 17 million users and aimed at business owners and StumbleUpon, with over 20 million users is great for sharing interesting websites.

Social media really is an effective way to expand your blog and to promote your business. The added bonus is the links to and from these high ranking sites, which can only help to increase your traffic over time.

This post was written by David Anderson, who has over 30 years’ experience and has forged a successful history of building wealth and success in business. David views life realistically, and approaches it with high motivation, extraordinary focus and vision. Although he is very busy, he also admits to knowing when to spend quality time with his family and striking the perfect balance. Learn more about his proprietary system for building wealth – Wealthopedia – at davidandersonwealth.com.