Social media can help you expand your reach and solidify your business relationships without putting a dent in your marketing budget. Here are some of the ways we, at the LIFE Foundation, leverage social media — ways that just might work for you, too.

Twitter

When creating a Twitter identity, it’s all about showcasing your company’s personality while enhancing your credibility, says SpeakWell Communications. Use a variation of your business name — LIFE’s Twitter handle is @LIFE_Foundation — and, in the bio section, include information about your services, your identity and of course, your company website. (For more Twitter tips, visit this site.)

Then, tweet regularly, at least a few times a week, giving visitors useful bits of information. Keep in mind the 140-character tweet limit and use sites such as TinyURL to cut unwieldy site addresses down to size.

Facebook

Create a business fan page where you can share information about your services and create a dialogue with people. LIFE’s Facebook page includes a range of topics, from fun items such as the Romance-O-Meter Quiz to more serious content such as posts about the death of a loved one.

Post status updates on a regular basis, so your fans see them in the newsfeed and can engage with you. Ask questions, post insurance-related reminders and announce upcoming events or significant news about the industry and your company. (For more Facebook tips, visit Carr Communications Inc.)

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is all about business — connecting with peers, clients and prospects, as well as gaining media exposure. Start with an informative company profile (if you need an example, see LIFE’s profile page.) You can also solicit recommendations from your friends and business associates to include on your LinkedIn page.

Get connected by joining appropriate groups and participating in discussions that match your area of expertise. For more information, check out this article.

YouTube

With YouTube, you can post videos that communicate your message and provide information to your market. As with the other forms of social media, it’s important to customize your channel so it supports your company’s brand and identity. LIFE’s YouTube channel features a profile of the organization, as well as links to its website and other social media platforms. It also shares entertaining and informative videos.

If you’re just getting started with YouTube, you’ll find plenty of useful tips at Mashable’s Top 10 YouTube Tips for Small Businesses.

iPhone Apps

The advent of smartphones has spawned a wide range of apps, and companies are fast adopting them as another way to promote their services and improve their ability to serve clients. For example, LIFE Foundation’s Life Insurance Needs Calculator (available for download through iTunes) is a great tool for insurance professionals to rely on during meetings with clients or prospects.

This article by AT&T offers links to online app tools as well as questions to determine if it’s time for a smartphone app for your business.

Final tips

When it comes to social media sites, interactivity is the key. Solicit comments and ask for feedback to engage your visitors. And be sure to cross-promote all your sites by including the navigational buttons that connect back to your website and blog, as well as your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn identities.

Make sure that all digital roads lead to back to you!

Marvin H. Feldman is the president and chief executive officer of the LIFE Foundation. He can be reached at mfeldman@lifehappens.org.

For more exclusive life insurance coverage, visit ASJ’s Life Insurance Resource Page.

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