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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 3rd Edition by Joel Elad, Shannon Belew

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Gaining a Following with Social Media

Someone once said, “Go where your customers are.” When people started using social media Web sites such as Facebook to keep in touch with each other and share updates, businesses quickly followed, building their own presences and business pages where fans of that business could stay in touch with that business, hear about contests, promotions, and sales that the company was offering, and have direct communication when there was something they liked (or disliked) about the business.

Today, Web sites use social media for various purposes. Some Web sites maintain Facebook and Twitter accounts simply to broadcast upcoming sales, specials, and Facebook-only or Twitter-only discounts or deals. Other Web sites have an expanded presence where they host unique contests, gather feedback on new products, and handle customer service inquiries from customers who reach out to them. Some businesses go one step further and create original content for their social media presence or partner with other companies via social media to promote nonprofit causes or create a media event.

Using social media properly

A common mistake many businesses make with social media is to sign up for an account with these Web sites, set up some basic information initially, and then ignore or forget to use or update these accounts on a regular basis. Social media requires a long-term commitment, not a short-term promotion window. The most successful social media presences for businesses ...

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