Of all the developments we’ve seen in the online world over the last few years, none have had a bigger impact than social media. Facebook now rules the social world, and Twitter isn’t all that far behind. Business owners can no longer afford to ignore social media. In fact, used the right way, social media can work wonders for your business.

In this article I’ll introduce you to how social media can be used alongside search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques and quality business software in order to market your business to the masses.

Facebook

If you’re not already using Facebook in a social capacity, it’s possible you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years. I’m going to go ahead and assume that you haven’t been living under a rock and that you do, in fact, have a Facebook profile. You’ll be glad to learn then that you don’t need to create a new profile in order to promote your business.

What you do need to be aware of, however, is the concept of Facebook Pages. Pages (with a capital P) can be found at www.facebook.com/pages. To create a Page for your business, fill out the details in the ‘Official Page’ section, using the name of your business as your Page name. Once that’s done, begin populating your page with content. Upload images such as a logo or anything you feel represents your business, and provide some basic information such as name, address, website and so forth.

Once your Page is set up, begin adding some status updates — it could be as simple as announcing that your business has finally joined Facebook, or something about recent developments in your business. Then it’s time to get some Fans. A Fan is basically another person who clicks the ‘Like’ button on your Page. Start by asking for support from some of your personal Facebook friends.

Once you’re up and running, use your Page to provide links to interesting websites, articles, videos and other media relating to your business niche. The more active you are, the more your updates will be shown on the News Feeds of your Fans, allowing other potential Fans to see what your Page (and your business) has to offer.

Twitter

Twitter is a ‘microblogging’ service allowing you to give brief, real-time updates on whatever is on your mind at the time. Many businesses have found Twitter to be an indispensable tool in getting messages to the world.

Just like Facebook, once you’ve been through the process of signing up to Twitter, the focus should then be on producing quality content. Make sure your updates and posted links are interesting and relevant to your business niche; if this is the case, people will pay attention to what you have to say and your number of ‘Followers’ (the Twitter equivalent of a Facebook fan) will grow.

Of course, you will need to make sure people know that you’re there in the first place. Perform searches for other Twitter profiles using keywords relating to your business. When you find a Twitter profile that seems interesting and relevant to your niche, start Following it. As you begin Following other Tweeters, they’ll begin to notice your page too, and if your content is interesting and has something to offer them, you’ll start getting followers of your own.

Combined with the employment of SEO techniques and investment in quality Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, a mastery of social media will set you well on your way to online business success.

Guest Post By: Paul Wallis is an award winning professional freelance writer, working in the US, Canada, Australia and Belgium. He’s published 13 books on lulu.com and some of some of his other work can be found at Digital Journal.