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By now you have looked at your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile at least once today. You and millions upon millions of other people across the planet are glued to your computer screens or smartphones and social networks are accessed millions of times per day. It seems like you know what you’re doing. You upload a status, tag a few things like your business or product and maybe post a pic. No biggie, right? Well, there is a little more to it than that. Are you getting a big enough bang for your buck? Did you know if Facebook believes you are using your profile for business and aren’t paying their advertising feeds, they can cut into how many people see your updates? Believe me, they are going to get their point across one way or another and their point is usually $$money$$. So I think it’s time I brought your small business into the game so you can post like a pro. And believe me, it seems stressful but just like everything else in life it seems there are apps for that!

First, it doesn’t mean every interface you use on a daily basis has to be different and complicated. Even changing things like expanding what social networks you post to (try Pinterest, it is great for blogs and projects or services and has a mostly female base that is growing every day) or something new to catch a prospective client’s eye like video or graphs (who doesn’t love a pie graph?), doing something different and innovative can really help boost your site’s visitors and isn’t that really one of the big points of your small business being online in the first place? Try not to think of social media as one or two websites that might generate some talk about your small business, but the arena in which most businesses now battle for consumers, clients and general website traffic.

Second, check out various applications like HootSuite, SproutSocial and now the user-friendly Buffer to post on several different social networks simultaneously. You can even schedule updates for when you are busy or unavailable to post. I cannot tell you how important this is for your small business. How many businesses do you follow on one or all of these sites? I’m by no means saying “be a follower!” but I am asking you to take a look around and ask yourself, are you doing your small business justice by not getting in the game?

Third, it’s now time for the secret ingredient to our Gumbo of Networking; applications that give you’re your small business an actual competitive advantage. Try out tracking tools like Mention, Quintly and (free!) PerchApp that give you an idea of your own company’s “online presence” and give you something you can actually react to. These apps can also give you keywords that are being thrown around specific sites, to help your status updates catch as many eyes as possible. They will also help you keep an eye on your competition and what works for them. Nothing like employing a secret spy for virtually free! I know, you never thought your small business would have to get into the spy game. Well, these are trying times and every dollar counts these days. Now get out there and post, you crazy social networking animal!

Lastly, here is a big HINT: If you’re posting on Facebook, post on Fridays more often. Since production tends to slow down at the end of the work week, you will have less business-related traffic to compete with and more people on FB. Schedule posts for Fridays and Saturdays but not Sundays (where you will get the least amount of traffic). BONUS HINT: Also, that video thing above was real. Since Facebook added auto play videos their use has skyrocketed! Take advantage and even if you aren’t comfortable in front of the camera, there are tons of ways to get good visuals out there like using graphs, clay, kids or your pretty neighbor. Be inventive and have fun! Because the best way for others to like and relate to your business is for it to represent the one thing that keeps it going and that’s you! Good luck!!



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