You may or may not be aware of the Visa Business Network. This is a site the company recently launched as a way to connect small business owners with one another, providing resources like goal toolkits, mentors, content-ranked information and more.
We think some of our readers may find this valuable, so we spoke with Michael Lee of the Visa Business Network Outreach Team. He talked about how it helps businesses get started with building their Facebook and Twitter presences.
Lee says, "There are two Facebook goals on the Visa Business Network; one is a basic step to help small business owners set up a Facebook page. The other goal is to help these business owners take the next step and actively promote their businesses through their newly-created Facebook page."
"There is a Twitter goal, which is called 'Learn to Use Twitter'. The Twitter goal goes through setting up a Twitter account and provides tips on best practices for promoting one's business through Twitter. Besides the Facebook and Twitter goals, the site also features a goal on setting up email newsletters and another one on getting found online via services such as review sites and local directory listings."
We asked Lee what tips he has for businesses using social media. "Regarding tips in using social media to grow one's business, we encourage smart use of networks such as Facebook and Twitter," he says. "Developing and fostering conversations with customers is by far the best way to effectively utilize social networks, as they are great platforms through which a business can publicly address any issues that arise. Of course, social media is simply one way to reach a wider audience, and the Visa Business Network features a variety of goals (with more planned for the future) that not only alert small business owners to different approaches they can take in marketing their businesses, but to the various best practices within each approach."
Those still in the early stages of navigating the online marketing waters may find the Visa Business Network incredibly helpful. If nothing else, it's a good example of how a business can promote itself by offering valuable resources.