It is very easy for businesses to assume that social media is an entirely online activity. But by assuming that the use of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter is exclusively for online use many businesses are losing out in a whole range of different ways.

If you are looking to boost your profile, increase the scope and potential of your marketing campaigns, benefit from real feedback from real customers, and reach more of your customers more easily in the future then it is important for you to take on board the ways in which social media can, and should be taken advantage of in the real world as well as the online one.

But how do you do go about incorporating social media sites such as your Twitter page and your Facebook profile in everyday ways? In fact there are many different ways which you can go about doing this, and of course the opportunities will vary depending on the nature of your business. But to give you a few ideas to get you started, the following are ways in which it might be perfectly possible to significantly boost your online presence, your marketing potential and your ability to reach more potential and actual customers in the future.

Essentially these methods all employ one simple basic tactic: making people aware of your online presence on sites such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as providing a real reason why people would want to visit your social media profile sites.

If you have a point of sale location within your business, or reception area where people are likely to wait then take advantage of the fact that you have a temporarily captive audience, and place advertising messages encouraging people to visit your Twitter page or your Facebook profile. But don’t think that simply by including the web addresses of your social media presences that people will immediately rush to find out more.

The chances are that if you only include a web address only a small proportion of people will bother to read it, and the majority of those will have forgotten about it before they’ve even walked out of the door. Perhaps you could provide an incentive such as discount codes, money off vouchers, special offers or exclusive deals. Make this incentive the central part of your message, with a simple web address provided for people to find out more or to benefit from these offers.

If you provide computer access, such as within Internet cafes, libraries, bookshops, hotels and suchlike, then are a couple of good ways in which you can help to boost interest in your social presences. Having a clear sign next to the computer with your web address printed on it is a start. Forcing the desktop wallpaper to include critical information is also effective. Forcing the homepage to be a custom-built one which encourages people to find out more on by visiting your Facebook or Twitter page is an excellent idea.

Many businesses now use custom franking, printing stamps and franks onto envelopes internally. Why not include additional information about your Twitter or Facebook page as your business frank from time to time?

When you are sending out products in the mail to customers why not include a compliments slip which has information on it which encourages people to visit your online pages? Remember, providing a web address, whether your website, your Twitter page, your Facebook page or any other online presence you might have, is simply not enough. Walking up to someone in the street and instructing them to turn around and take 20 steps in the opposite direction is hardly going to achieve a great deal. But telling someone in the street that if they turn round and walk a few paces in the other direction they will benefit from a significant discount on a future purchase, an exclusive offer or money off vouchers you are more likely to see results.

Of course, it is important to make sure that your online presence on such sites as Twitter and Facebook does not disappoint those people who do make the effort to find out more. Having given people an incentive, letting them down can cause more harm than good. But by using a little ingenuity it is perfectly possible to make social media work offline as well as online.