As businesswomen, we all know we should be using social media, right? After all, it's the new big thing. Everyone else is doing it. And it's useful for, um, well... promoting yourself. And getting clients. Isn't it?
Most people I speak to have quite a limited view of the benefits of platforms like Twitter and Facebook. As a result, they aren't particularly motivated to develop their skills or overcome their fears in order to really make the most of these incredibly useful (and free!) tools.
But just take a look at all the things social media can help you do....
1) Create a personal face for your business - people are more likely to buy from people they like and feel a connection with.
2) Raise brand awareness and create that "drip" effect.
3) Engage personally with existing customers and reach new ones through ˜friend-of-friends" recommendations.
4) Increase customer loyalty - get people coming back to you again and again by offering them exclusive content, coupons and discounts, such as Facebook-only pre-sales or competitions.
5) Become recognised as an expert in your field, the go-to person for expert knowledge and comment.
6) Make links with the traditional media to gain coverage for your business - did you know that a whopping 75% of UK journalists get stories from Twitter?
7) Collect data - gather email address and other customer information through competitions and promotions.
8) Get instant customer feedback - businesses pay a lot for good market research, but with Twitter it costs nothing to pop up a picture of a new design and say ˜what do you think?"
9) Get industry insights and find out what the current trends are.
10) Spy on the competition - see what they are doing well and not so well.
11) Drive traffic to your website and increase sales - create offers or content that is so good that people will want to share!
So you see, there are endless possibilities. And the best thing about it is you can achieve all of this without spending a penny. Now that's got to make business sense, right?