Social media isn’t just for fun and staying abreast of the latest gossip, it can be used to grow your business, connect better with your audience, and network with like others. I’m sharing my favorite social media tools that help run my business while being able to draw new connections and get in front of new audiences.
In using these 5 tools lately, I have seen an exponential growth in my social media following, and in my presence on social media in general. I used to struggle with putting myself out there and using social media as an effective method to promote my business. More importantly, using these tools have made it possible for me to make connections and network with like others in ways that are fresh, new, and fun. I’ve become a part of new communities by using these tools, as well as expanding my own.
Periscope – Live-Stream Mobile Broadcasting
I’ll go ahead and say it, if you’re not on Periscope you totally should be. I shared all about how much I love Periscope in this post, so if you want to learn more about it give it a read.
Why You Should Be Using It:
1. Periscope is a true game changer when it comes to being able to connect with your following in real-time.
Think if Twitter and UStream had a baby, that’s pretty much Periscope. It’s instant, fast, and because of the fact that it’s owned by Twitter, you have a built-in network to reach out to when you “scope” (that’s what the cool kids call the live broadcasting that you do on it).
2. The ease of use of Periscope is one of the things that makes it so attractive and appealing.
All you need to do is download the app, hit the broadcast button, once you do that the app automatically sends out a status update to your Twitter following letting them know you’re live, and from there its all you and your followers interacting in real time. Periscope features a chat function, so people can talk directly to you as you’re broadcasting. It’s an excellent way to spread the world about a new product or launch, let your followers know what’s on the blog that day, or share a behind the scenes look at your business and life. The possibilities are literally endless on Periscope for what you can share, and there is no time limit, so you can broadcast for as long as you want.
3. One of my favorite things about Periscope is that not only can you connect with those in your niche instantaneously, but you can learn so much because they can jump on and share business insight and even give tutorials.
The atmosphere is laid back, community-driven, and positive. That’s something you don’t get with many of the popular social media platforms these days. The block feature allows broadcasters and viewers to easily block trolls so that the conversation stays on track and everyone continues to have a good time.
You may not feel confident enough to broadcast on Periscope yet, but I urge to get over that fear and just do it! I’m still a little bashful on the platform, but I usually jump a minimum twice a week to broadcast. A great way to build your confidence to broadcast is to watch and interact on other people’s scopes. Once you realize how fun and valuable it is, you will begin to see how beneficial it can be for growing your following, creating community, and getting the world out there about what you do and your business.
Let’s connect on Periscope! My handle is @blissandfaith (just like on Twitter).
Slack – Team Chat Communication
Slack is one of my new favorite social media tools. It’s basically the ultimate team chat communication platform, that lets you connect with others on a super clean and easily organized forum.
Why You Should Be Using It:
1. It’s free! Whether you set up your own Slack team or participate in, it won’t cost you a dime.
When I was first invited to a Slack team, after signing up for Mariah Coz’s Your First 1K course, I had no idea what it was and thought it was yet another platform I’d need to pay for to be able to fully use. I was certain that the only reason it was free was because I had joined the course and that it was paid for through that. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it cost nothing to download the app and use it, and that I could also create my own team on it and that it was still free.
2. The interface alone makes it a breeze to use, not to mention that its available on desktop and mobile.
If you’re on iOS, you can not only download the app to your mobile device, but to your desktop device as well. No need to keep having to sign in and out of Slack via your browser.
3. Slack is easily navigable, not cluttered, and makes something so old school like a chat fun.
You can create and participate in chats in different channels that are specific to whichever topics you choose. This keeps conversations on point and easy to jump into. There is no limit on the amount of channels you can create as far as I know, and creating and joining them is done in pretty much one click.
4. 24-hour communication.
This may not sound like a totally exclusive feature, but it’s nice to know that any time I jump on there is either someone to communicate with, a question to respond to, or conversations to read through. The great thing is that everything is organized by time so the chats are easy to keep up with. Slack also allows you to @reply someone by just typing their name in (which it autofills) and it allows you to direct message them, so if there’s something you only want to say to them you can take the conversation offline, so to say, from the group chats.
5. Share files, images, links, etc.
Although Slack is at its core a chat platform, its extremely robust in features for sharing. You can upload files, images, and include links in your posts. This way is you’re mentioning something you can include supporting information or documentation to drive home your point or share. No need to gather emails to send these things to fellow team members, because you can include everything right there in the chat.
Twitter Chats – Instant Topic Driven Conversation
Twitter chats have been around for forever, but more recently they’ve become more niche-based. I remember when I first started to hear about Twitter chats, they were mostly used for promoting products via social media campaigns. Now, you can join in various Twitter chats throughout the week, that are run by some of your favorite bloggers.
Why You Should Be Using It:
1. The beauty of Twitter is that it’s in real-time and moves fast.
It’s been around for a while, so it has millions of users, all around the world that are able to chime into these chats at any time.
2. Twitter chats are just plain fun!
It’s so awesome to be able to connect with others on a given topic and receive the different takes on it. You learn so much by participating in Twitter chats because so many people are chiming in that it’s hard not to walk away with so many new ideas.
3. You can always revisit a Twitter chat by searching the hashtag, so the information shared in the chat is always accessible.
Although the chats move fast, you don’t have to worry about missing something, because a quick search of the hashtag brings all of the tweets from the Twitter chat up and any new tweets that may have used the hashtag.
4. Twitter chats allow for immediate gratification.
If you have a question or concern, you can put it out there and get an immediate response from loads of people that may have expertise on whatever given topic that your question or concern is about. During a Twitter chat, everyone participating in it is present, so their responses are instantaneous on you put your question or response out there.
5. Another great thing about Twitter chats are that they are consistent.
From the time they are scheduled, to the content that being relayed in them, they are consistent. You can count on most chat occurring at the same time, with the same host, and many of the same participants on whatever scheduled day and time its been set. In addition, you don’t have to worry about random or irrelevant information being shared, because 9 times out of 10, everyone participating in the chat is on the same page. You can trust much more what’s being shared because people who are actually interested in the topic are taking the time to engage each other and share valuable knowledge.
Facebook Groups – Constant Niche-Driven Communication & Networking
Facebook groups are probably the OG of all the tools listed, but not including them would have been a huge disservice to us all. Given that Facebook is still the number one social media platform, going over 10 years strong, and with over 900 million daily active users as of June 2015, it is a hub for all things business and personal in the social media world. Facebook is one of those platforms that everyone has or has had access to in some way over the past decade. This means the ability to connect with like others is vast and fairly straightforward.
Why You Should Be Using It:
1. Given the fact that Facebook is such a large platform, that means that there is literally room for everyone.
If you’ve been looking for a group to join, rest assure, it exists on Facebook.
2. Many groups are closed or private.
This is probably one of my favorite features of Facebook groups, because unlike much of the platform, you can actually have a sense of privacy while interacting with others. These features also cut down of spammers and creepsters being in groups because members have to request to be added to them or manually added by admins. You can discuss things in the groups and not have to worry about your entire friends list seeing your post and knowing things about you that you prefer them not to.
Webinars & Online Workshops – Real-time Education & Connecting With Like Others
Webinars and online workshops are nothing new, but lately, they’ve really burst on the scene as ways to teach, connect, and even sell to audiences. Live webinars and workshops are especially the ones that are most popular lately because people love to see and talk to people in real-time.
Why You Should Be Using It:
1. Webinars and online workshops promote teaching and learning in a way that is unique from any other platform out there.
They can be guided by one person or many people, and with the aid of other multi-media, such as presentations.
2. They are a great way to introduce a new product or service to your audience and give them a hands-on walk-thru of how to use it or how it can best serve someone.
This gives you the opportunity to gauge your audience’s interest and even pre-sell your product or service.
3. Adding features like a chat or poll can make webinars that much more fun and interactive.
Viewers can not only talk to the hosts, but they can communicate with others attending the webinar or online workshop. This way, questions get answered and feedback is given in real-time.
4. Webinars and online workshops allow for a large number of people to attend.
If you’re thinking about launching a new product or service, a webinar or online workshop is one of the best ways to do it, because you can get in front of hundreds or thousands of faces.
5. You can always repurpose a webinar or online workshop to become a product in the future.
People value solutions, and the main purpose of a webinar is to give people that. When people miss the opportunity for something free, they don’t mind paying for it as long as its value outweighs the price.
As a business owner, we have to use the tools available to us to promote our businesses. Even better, when we can cut costs and use free methods of doing so, it frees up our budget to invest in other areas to grow our businesses. Social media for the most part of free, it just a matter of using it effectively that will make the difference between you being successful on it or not and it benefitting your business. Once you implement using at least one of these tools in your business, I have no doubt that you will see some of the same results I’ve seen in growing my following and creating new connections within my niche.
In addition to sharing my five favorite social media tools that I use in my business, I’ve also shared why you should be using them in your business. If you notice one trend in all of them is that they all give the ability to communicate in real-time. We live in a world where instant gratification and contact is essential. When you give your audience or customers what they want; immediate access to you, your products or services, you’re serving them in the such a big way. They don’t have to wait and wonder, because being able to communicate instantly gives reassurance, confidence, and builds their trust in you and your business.
Listen to the accompanying Branded Bliss Podcast episode for this post below:
What are some of your favorite social media tools that you use in your business? – How has the implementation and use of them benefitted your business?
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