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If you are looking for a way to keep communications open between you and your customers, then choosing to invest in social media may be the answer you are looking for. Social media has become a vital way for individuals and businesses to generate awareness and increase promotional opportunities. If you want to implement it into your online presence, there are several tips that you should keep in mind that will assist you with your efforts.

Start by creating profiles on the major social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Each of these will allow you to communicate with your target customers in different ways:

  • Twitter is more of an instantaneous way to reach your customers. It allows you to quickly connect and build your circle of influence.
  • Facebook has basically two ways you can connect with your customers: with your personal page upon approval and with fan pages that allow instantaneous connection.
  • LinkedIn is more of a corporate environment and connecting with your customers may take longer. It is worthwhile, especially if you want to connect to businesses that are more corporate-minded.

You can keep your social media communications open through the process of sharing information and creating a FAQ section on your website to answer questions regarding your industry. By doing this, you can create an information portal and it can help you become an expert in your industry. Encouraging your readers and followers to post comments, suggestions, and other relevant information is a way for you to add to your information portal. In doing so, your customers will be much more involved and dedicated if they feel they are an important part of the process.

Another component of social media is marketing, which is a great way to connect with your customers whether it is online or offline. Many business owners have chosen to hold contests to attract their target customers while others have used social media to find joint venture partners to combine marketing efforts. Some examples of marketing techniques are:

  • Twitter allows you to host on a weekly chat that is industry-specific where you can connect with others and encourage them to participate.
  • Facebook allows you to purchase ads or sponsor content that will appear on your target customer's sidebar. It will also allow you to point your ads to your fan page to grow your fans. Incorporate the “Like” button for your fan page into your website.
  • LinkedIn allows you to ask questions or answer questions. When you answer questions that are industry-specific, it gives you a way to get your name in front of your target customers.

If your followers see that you encourage and foster interaction, then they will most likely give greater value to the information and follow it more closely. Your readers will also take action to recommend you and your content to their friends and followers.

Finally, with all of your activity on social media, don't forget to measure your return on investment (ROI). By measuring your ROI, you will be able to determine what social media efforts work best to keep the lines of communication open between you and your target customers.