Social media is a great, FREE resource that you should use to gain traction with your online directory website.  As valuable as it is for growing your members, it also has the potential to waste valuable time and resources if not used properly. We put together these 7 helpful tips to use social media to your advantage.

  1. Identify which platforms will work best for your business as not all are relevant.
  1. If you’re not familiar with each platform and its strengths, do some homework on how they work. Most have recorded demos you can watch to get familiar with them quickly. They are designed to be very user-friendly, so don't worry about not having a tech background.

  1. Use an automated content publishing tool like
  1. This will save you a lot of time and would provide one dashboard for all your social media profiles. You will also be able to focus more on listening, sharing, and some great analytics for learning.

  1. Keep it simple when you get started.
  1. Make sure you don't overload yourself.  It is important to set aside a window of time each week to plan out your social media publishing schedule and stick to it.  It's very easy to lose valuable time here.

  1. Look at what others are doing.
  1. Often times you don't have to recreate the wheel.
  2. Follow your competitors.
  3. Become a fan of trade/industry publications.
  4. Get some inspiration from ideas that are already out there and have been proven to work

  1. Understand that social media is more than just marketing.
  1. Social Media is part marketing because you have access to analytical data like demographics, competitors, research information, trends, etc.
  2. It's also part customer service as people will often reach out on social networks if they feel they are being ignored via phone or email.  They will also share feedback about your business and where it needs improvement
  3. And finally, part sales because it is a great tool for sharing promotional opportunities. Be sure to limit these posts to about 15% of your activity, so you don't push people away with constant offers.

  1. International applications
  1. You can see if your product or service has a solid application in foreign territories and use it to grow your business.  Keep this in mind while listening and reviewing your analytical data.

  1. Powerful advertising opportunities
  1. Social Media platforms also offer paid advertising, but be sure to start with a small budget first to test it out since a great deal of money can be wasted just learning the ropes.  You can find graphic designers to create inexepensive art on or familairize yourself with some basic graphic design tools that are free to use with royalty-free images on sites like