Using Social Networking to Your Advantage and Avoiding Taboos

Utilizing social networking websites can be the best thing that a small beading business owner can do. However, it can be easy to get carried away with the multitude of options available to you. For instance, there are a number of different websites that you can use to your advantage: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, just to name a few. It's important to create a strategy before taking the Internet by storm to make sure you're making the most of your time and the opportunity.

There are many ways to use social networking websites, but not everything you post may be beneficial to your small beading business. It's important to recognize what's appropriate and not quite fit for a social networking profile, whether it be on Facebook or Twitter. Here are a few things to avoid and tricks to take into consideration when utilizing a social networking website for your small business:

1. Don't make everything a sales pitch. Even though it's your goal as an entrepreneur to get your goods off the shelves, it's inappropriate to constantly pitch your jewelry to customers over the Internet. When people follow your social networking profile, they are looking for insight and to make a connection with your company on a personal level - not an advertisement. Tweeting statuses with pitches or Facebook posts with a sales mentality may even turn off consumers to following your account. The goal of using social networking sites is to potentially expand your client base, not turn customers away.

2. Make your posts informative. One reason social networking website users choose to follow their favorite companies online is to get the inside scoop on the business. As an entrepreneur, you don't have to post any personal details that you aren't comfortable with. However, making every post unique with your own insider knowledge can help strengthen the bond between you and your consumers. Consider being rewarding as well: post some information on sales and discounts exclusively on your social networking profile. This may also encourage more people to follow your account.

3. Don't make posts for the sake of posting. Flooding your followers with information that they might not necessarily need may dissuade them from keeping up with your account. This counteracts the purpose of creating a social networking profile and word can spread quickly. Although it is important to regularly update your account, remember to value quality over quantity. Consumers are also quick to identify when they're being spammed with unnecessary pitches and information.

4. Use the tools available to you. If you're a Twitter user, this can be especially crucial to the success of your account. You might not be able to have Internet access wherever you go, which can occasionally make it difficult to post updates to your page. However, there are a number of ways that you can make sure your content is still remaining fresh. Applications and programs, such as HootSuite, can help you queue and stagger posts for your account throughout the day. This can be especially helpful if you don't have a Smartphone or regular Internet access.

Using Social Networking to Your Advantage and Avoiding Taboos 5. Make sure you're connecting the dots. If you're looking to social networking to market your small beading business, chances are you're going to be using more than one website. While this is a practical measure that can benefit you in a number of ways, each account should not stand alone as its own "island."

"Some small business owners are under the impression that if they set up a page on Facebook, that's all they have to do. They think people will just naturally come and want to be a fan of their product or service," Taylor Pratt of Raven Internet Marketing Tools told Mashable. "But it takes much more of a commitment than that."

What you post on Twitter should be able to be linked back to what you write on Facebook and so forth. Doing so can help create a cohesive agenda for your small beading business and translate this to your consumers.

6. Use multimedia to your advantage. It can get boring to post text updates on your social networking accounts, and it can be a drag for your followers as well. Even though you want to maintain a professional reputation, there's nothing wrong with exploring various types of multimedia. Instead of posting a standard text post, consider updating with a link to a video or an article instead. Photos can be engaging to followers as well. Thinking outside of the box can not only help keep your current followers interested, but attract other social networking users as well. In the end, you can potentially gain an edge on your competition.