Using Social Media to Launch Businesses

Social Media Scoop

Many talented Saudis are using social media such as Instagram, a smartphone social media app that uses images, to market their individual products and services, including art. Dalya Mousa, a Saudi artist, uses the social media app to sell her paintings. She presently works as an arts program manager at the Art Jameel Initiative and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the …

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5 Ways to Grow Your Social Network, Right Now!

Jeff Ramson

Social-Network-Business

One of my favorite lines from the movie Tombstone is when a sick Doc Holliday is asked why he is willing to back an unpopular Wyatt Earp. His answer, “Wyatt’s my friend!” The man makes it a point to tell him he has lots of friends. Holliday then simply says, “I don’t!”

Like it or not, you are judged by the friends you keep. Your social network is no different. Quality is always more important than quantity. In fact, as the quality of your social network marketing grows the quantity should take care of itself. Here a just a few important things to keep in mind.

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What is Social Media and how can it help my start-up?

Nowadays, Social Media is not just a hobby for geeky web enthusiasts, but a way of life. From children to the elderly, 98% of British people have daily access to the internet; of these 66% have a social media account and 62% have smartphones. Gone are the days of just promoting your product in the local newspaper. Now, to have any chance of surviving in market or to get your product out there, Social Media has become the norm to ensure that the people out there discover YOU.

What is Social Media? For a regular consumer, it is a location to hang out and converse with your own networks of contacts, friends and peers about things that interest you. For a business, it is a location to write about your products and get people interested in what you offer. What do we get when we collide these ideas together? We have a platform which allows consumers to read about your business, to interact with you, and share your messages to their networks. How does one achieve this? It is an acquired skill based on not just experience but adapting your approach and not being afraid to be creative.

What are the main Social Media options available?

facebook_logo96% of social media users have a Facebook account

A webpage to share your products through words, photos and video and communicate with your customers

Twitter_logo_blue30% of social media users have a Twitter account

A news-feed to share your product through words (under 140 characters), photos and videos and communicate with your customers

instagram-logo30% of social media users have a Instagram account

A newsfeed to share your product through photos, videos, and words and communicate with your customers, with an emphasis on visual

LinkedIn_logo_initials27% of social media users have a Linkedin account

2 options: a business profile to share your experience and achievements, and a webpage (group) to share your product through words and start discussions

YouTube-logo-full_color22% of social media users have a Youtube account

A webpage to share your product through videos and words, and to communicate with your customers
What are the benefits of Social Media for start-up businesses? Whether you are a hairdresser working from home or an entrepreneur looking to create an international brand, the biggest goal is to source potential customers and clients. Consider it as value for money, in the sense of your precious time being put into creating and managing Social Media accounts to the amount of revenue you can create from online enquiries. By being able to connect directly with your potential customers, you can get your products and business to them in the click of a button. Social Media accounts are free to create and are pre-downloaded on all smartphones and tablets. However, as the saying goes: nothing is life is free. It is laborious, but more and more people are doing it and it is a tried and tested way to promote brand awareness and your business to potential customers.

And there are other benefits to reap from your Social Media output. First and foremost, you have the opportunity to research into your competition. What are they doing? Can I emulate their work? Everything about nearly everyone is traceable online; don’t crawl under a rock, give the chance for people to find you. Ask them questions, meet up with them, get advice. Social Media has the keyword SOCIAL. Monopolies in business tend not to be successful, so unless your product is super secretive and the next Facebook, get your name out there. Secondly, considering the word SOCIAL again, you have a way to directly talk with your customers. Not only to get feedback on your product, which for any start-up business is paramount, but to ensue great customer service and brand loyalty (repeated orders). 67% of followers are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on Twitter: make sure you are one of them.

NB. Statistics researched are relative to the UK as of March 2015