Social Media is emerging as a remarkably useful platform for marketing, and an increasing number of companies are using it as part of their marketing strategy.

And why not, there are huge numbers of people who make use of social networking sites in one way or another…

For example if you are looking for classifieds for major metropolitan areas (such as Delhi Classifieds), sale or swap groups on social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook are becoming very common. They have the impact of gradually removing the need for independent classified ads sites for different cities.

If you’re still not convinced then just take a look at this stat:-

41% per cent of business-to-business companies have confirmed they have acquired at least one client via Facebook.

That’s a huge number! Similarly, websites that use Twitter have confirmed that they get twice the number of leads that they used to get using conventional online (and offline) advertising methods.

Here’s how you can can have a slice of the pie and extend the reach of your website using social media:

1. Optimize your Social Media presence

The very first step to getting more out of social media is to create/improve the visibility of your brand. This will make it easier for you to be noticed by a larger number of users.

If you are using multiple social media platforms you should ensure your brand is consistent across all of them, and you should aim to have at least your company name, URL, logo and a brief description of your products or services prominent in your online profiles. Certain social media platforms also provide additional tools to improve brand visibility, such as dedicated page URLs on Facebook.

2. Add Social Media Buttons

Another great way to connect to more prospective clients or customers is to add social media buttons to your site. It may sound obvious, but some people either ‘hide’ their social network links somewhere in their footer, or fail to have any at all. Prominent display is essential to help your visitors see your online profiles (if they have to search your site to find them, they more than likely won’t bother at all). In the case of sharing buttons (as opposed to ‘Like’ buttons), your users will also expose – and effectively recommend – your company to their social groups.

3. Integrate Social Media and Email Marketing

Despite the rise of social media marketing strategies, traditional email marketing still has its place in an online marketing strategy. Adding socia media buttons or links within your emails provides another way to direct your customers to your online profiles. For higher engagement, incorporate relevant links to comments and images within the email itself, or use it to promote contests you’re running on social media for additional impact.

4. Embedded Social Media

Various social media platforms (particularly Facebook and Twitter) have provided easy to use plugins/functions that can be embedded in your site in order to make use of some of the social functionality of the platform in question. Examples of this include the ability for your user to connect their account on your site with their Facebook or Twitter account, the use of Facebook comment boxes in place of your own comment functions, and embedded Twitter feeds.

Using some of these options on your own site provides you additional ways to connect to your customer base and also to integrate your social media profiles with your actual site.

5. Leverage Old Customers to Generate New Leads

As has been mentioned before, the use of social media means that your customers can act as additional advertising channels for you, potentially reaching people you would otherwise not have reached. Encourage your users to share your profile, or articles/links you post, and provide an incentive for doing so (such as an affiliate program or a chance to win a prize). This will increase the amount of people you are able to reach.

6. Give Incentives to New Fans or Followers

You can extend your website’s reach by offering lucrative deals and great opportunities to your new followers. Creating a contest or promotion specifically targeted at social network followers will increase direct engagement in your brand as well as extending your reach to new potential customers.

Social media offers an incredible amount of opportunity, and with a good strategy you can make a great impact on your business for little or no cost.

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