Small online store owners are continually faced with the challenge of finding and developing new marketing tools for their products and services. Unfortunately, many fall into the trap of trying this idea or that idea, not having sufficient time to use these tools to full effect. One popular tool that falls into this category is social media. A lot of businesses try it, but fail to achieve the desired result.

While it’s great to have a Facebook fan page or a Twitter feed, or both; just having them is not enough. Like other inbound marketing tools, they require fresh content. The reason is simple. People who use social media do so to stay up to date on the lives and times of those they follow. That’s true whether they’re following friends and family, or some business’s fan page.

If you’ve gotten someone to “like” your Facebook fan page, or follow you on Twitter, that’s an important first step. But that alone won’t do you any good. Without frequent, fresh, and relevant content, you won’t show up on their Facebook News Feed or Twitter Timeline. And, if they don’t regularly see you, you be absent from their consciousness.

So a logical question is; how do you provide frequent, fresh, and relevant content when you already have more to do than there’s time for? The answer is leverage.

One of the nicest things about social media is you don’t have to provide original content, unlike blogs and theme-based content websites. To provide content on your social media pages, you can simply leverage content that already exists.

When you see an interesting article that relates in any way to your business, or the products and services you sell, you can post a link to that article on your social media pages. You can write a brief comment along with the link. Using mobile technology, this can easily be done in a matter of a minute or two.

Another way to leverage social media content is to simply “share” or “re-tweet” items that others have posted on your news feed or timeline, if it’s relevant to your business, products, or services.

Finally, if you do publish your own blog or theme-based website, you can leverage that content by copying a brief quote from your newest post or article and pasting it into your social media with a link to the entire article.

Posting content on your social media pages on a regular basis keeps you and your business in front of existing and prospective customers continually. The fact that you can do so with minimal time and effort by leveraging existing content should place social media at or near the top of your “must do” list.

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