When you sit down and think about the purpose of social media it boils down to being a mixture of sites that allow you to find information on practically any topic. Social media is used as a major research site by a growing number of users. After all social media influences the good and the bad, so it makes sense that when information is being shared regularly that the content is good.

One of the top niches that is often researched via social media sites is information about being healthy. This includes losing weight, exercising and learning how to improve your diet and living a healthy lifestyle.

There are two angles to this and one is from a consumer’s point of view and the other from a business owner’s point of view. Consumers can easily stay on top of all the new developments in the health and fitness world by following or liking the top pages and sites on the various social media sites.

For a business using these sites allows you to track what your competitors are doing. They can potentially help you stay informed on new developments and new products which are in the pipeline.

It is so much easier for someone to log into their Facebook account and see the news feed from various health related pages. This is so much faster than doing an internet search to stay on top of everything.
For anyone trying to lose weight or stay motivated with their exercise program it can be motivating to read stories from other people. You can easily create yourself an online community where you can ask for advice and help from other people with the same interests as you.

Using social media sites to improve your health can allow you to share recipes, exercises and all the ups and downs of getting healthy while living your life. Everyone struggles with raising a family or going to school or work while attempting to make changes in their lives. Knowing you are not alone can really boost your moral.

On the other hand sometimes using social media sites can be an eye opener. When you do read stories and newsfeeds from others you can be grateful that you are not going through what they are. Instead you can use these stories for your own inspiration and motivation and really stay on track with your health goals.

Today online users spend approximately 27% of their time on social media sites. The number of people who have a Facebook account is set at 85% of all online users and 49% of people have an active Twitter account. Social Media is responsible for doubling the number of marketing leads when compared to traditional methods such as trade shows, direct mail and telemarketing.

How does this affect you as a marketer? Well people love to share and they enjoy sharing information about the things they have purchased and used. Who doesn’t go around telling their friends to go see a great movie? This concept now applies to anyone who is selling products or services both online and offline.
Amazon has a huge influence on what products people buy by allowing their customers to leave reviews and feedback on their purchases. The majority of people will read through these comments and allow it to influence their buying decision.

This same principle applies to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. When people are sharing, liking and tweeting about great products manufacturers will enjoy a jump in sales. The reverse is true if a product gets a bad review sales will slump. So which end of the spectrum do you want to be on?

It is important for anyone selling products or offering a service today to have social media accounts. This way you can allow customers to post and share feedback and comments about your products. By offering high quality products and providing great customer service via social media you can easily brand your products and your company online.

Take a look at Twitter and see how active it becomes when people start retweeting about events that are making news. While your products may not have such a huge impact, Twitter users can help spread the news about what you are selling and your customer’s experiences.

If you haven’t given much thought to using sites like Facebook and Twitter you really should start incorporating them into your marketing efforts. After all they are free to use and once set up you can hire an assistant to manage them for you if you don’t have the time yourself.

Remember that people today love to do research online for almost anything they plan on buying or using. If your company shows up in the search results you will see an increase in new customers.

As you know Klout is a site that allows you to measure your social media influence. This is a neat tool which many online users enjoy using. Klout uses the major social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ to measure and then publish your influence score for others to see.

Your Klout score is determined on a score from 1 to 100 and the site uses an average on your running score over a 90 day period. So how can you improve your Klout score?

Your first step is to always post quality content to your social media sites. This content must make people want to share. The simple act of people sharing your content will increase your Klout score.

Next you want to create a community on your social media sites and this can be easily done on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. You can create fan pages, community pages and even groups. You should post to these communities every day and encourage sharing and comments from your followers. This increases your activity which again increases your score.

When you are running a special offer or announcing a new product then make sure you announce it on your social media sites. This allows you to create a buzz about a new launch and helps to get people excited. Excited people will be only too happy to share your content.

While Klout tracks all the main social network sites it helps if you link them to your Klout account. Even if there are a couple of social accounts that you don’t use very often it is still a good idea to link them. Then whenever you do add new content this will be seen as increased activity.

Build interaction across your social media sites by asking questions and running polls and surveys. People love to offer their opinions on all kinds of topics and finding an engaging topic can produce a buzz of activity.

Polls are great for allowing people to talk about themselves and this is a great way to start conversational threads on your pages. Social media is all about sharing and it doesn’t always have to be your content that is shared. Let your followers talk about themselves to get some good threads going with lots of comments.

By following the above points you can easily increase your Klout score and your power of social media influence for your business.

If you haven’t heard of Klout it is a website that ranks a person’s social media influence by using a scale of 1 to 100. The higher your number the higher you rank with influence when it comes to using social sites.

Klout takes information from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare and Instagram and assigns you a number. All Twitter users are automatically assigned a score and you can improve this score by creating a specific Klout account.

The goal or mission of Klout is to help people maximize their social media influence. Once you have created your account you can also link your YouTube, Blogger and other social media accounts to it. Currently these accounts do not have as much of an influence as the first ones that we mentioned.

When you post to your social sites the more interactivity that you have in your posts the more your Klout score will increase. Even getting your name mentioned or tagged helps increase your Klout score.

While you may be great at attracting hundreds of fans and followers what really counts is when these friends comment, like, share and retweet your content. This is often an aspect that people overlook and concentrate instead on building a huge fan base. While all the fans in the world are great to have it really doesn’t mean a thing if no-one takes the time to even comment on what you have to say.

If you want to have an influence on the main social media sites you need to take the time to actually use these sites. Don’t create an account and then leave it sitting high and dry. When someone does come across your page and sees that you haven’t posted in months they will automatically think that your company is out of business.

In fact by adding new information to your social sites your Klout score will improve. Social media is all about how people react to you as a person and as a business. So it makes plain business sense to use social media actively. While it is great to talk about upcoming promotions and sales, don’t forget to share information from others that is related to what your business offers.

With the increase in popularity of sites such as Klout it seems that who you are online is more important than who you are as a person or company. Your online presence is critical to your business success so don’t take using social sites too lightly.