July 21, 2014
Know How

Social media can pump up the hype for your business

Marketing a product or service on the web through social media is equally important as advertising and helps business exposure on a scale that traditional advertising cannot do. Managing social media sites in addition to running a business might be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Utilizing a simple marketing tool such as a press release can serve as the perfect source of information to update a social media status. Yet, with so many networks to choose from, a business owner should select accounts that are utilized by its target audience.

Although it helps to have accounts with all social media sites, it's best — especially for small businesses — to start with two or three.

Some of the popular sites are: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, Vine, and YouTube, to name a few. It's up to you to determine how much time you can afford to invest in making sure your social media pages are current, because when you leave them inactive, your business is as good as nonexistent.

Here are tips on how to post a social media status using a press release with three of the most well-known sites:

Facebook: Facebook is one of the most casual social media sites, and the most popular. You can create a personal account and a Fan Page. Build your business Facebook account with a Fan Page, which the general public can access. Copy and paste the headline and the first two or three sentences from your press release. If necessary, add the date, place and time of the release, followed with a link to your website.

Twitter: Twitter limits each post to 140 characters, so messages must be concise. Broken grammar is forgiven here, so shortening the press release's headline might be necessary. If there's no room to plug in the date, time or place, add a link to your website. It's a good idea to upload an image — the traffic is so highly volatile that you must do whatever you can to hold the viewer's attention.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is designed for professional use and can be helpful when you're networking with other businesses for outsourcing or cross-marketing. Here, try to post something more descriptive and maybe even contact information. Posting on LinkedIn works the same way as Facebook, except that when you post links to a website, a photo may not always appear. So, upload an image that complements your headline. The general public can view your profile but will need to register to see your newsfeed.

In a press release, you or your marketing department have already established the who, what, when and where of the news that you're trying to convey to the public. Most businesses will send a press release out, cross their fingers, and hope for the best. But extracting information from your press release and plugging it into your social media takes only minutes.

Zorina Frey is owner of I.W.A. Publishing Services, based in Westborough. Contact her through her website, www.zorinafrey.com.

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