The Client Getter
Social Media & Internet Marketing Consultants
I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz…social media is THE big thing. So what is Social Media and how can your business benefit from jumping on the bandwagon?
Social media are the various forms of user generated content and the collection of websites and applications that enable people to interact and share information online.
Here is a list of social media strategies:
- online forums (e.g., DigitalPoint)
- blogs (e.g., WordPress)
- social networking sites (e.g., Facebook)
- social bookmarking sites (e.g., Digg)
- video sharing sites (e.g., YouTube)
- photo sharing sites (e.g. Flickr)
- streaming sites (e.g., Ustream)
- user reviews (e.g., Amazon)
- crowdsourcing (e.g., Wikipedia)
- content aggregators (e.g., FriendFeed)
Social media is very much like in-person networking. In business, Social Media can be used to:
- Build lasting relationships with people in your online community
- Become an education and resource hub for your target audience or community
- Create a know-like-trust factor so that your community can invest in your services/products and/or refer others to you
- Provide testimonials via video or posts
- Notify members of your community of special offers, events, updates, and contest
- Provide live online customers service
- Manage your reputation
- Get in front of your target audience
- Mass message your community of friends and followers regarding updates and events
- Brand yourself as the leading expert and resource for information in your niche and geographical location
- Educate your community by offering tips and free advice
As you can see, social media is much wider than what some people think. However, instead of providing a little information about each of the social media sources, we decided to discuss in further detail one of the most popular forms of social media, Facebook, and how you can use it for your business.
How Can I Use Facebook For Business?
A large and growing portion of some of the most valuable demographics are spending more of their time and attention on Facebook and less on other channels and media. Not only are US college students and teenagers fully engaged in Facebook, but adults, professionals, and people from around the world now make up a large portion of the Facebook user base as well. In 2010, Facebook reached 500 million users, with about 500,000 new people joining each day.
However, most business owners lack a complete understanding of the many ways Facebook can help them grow their business. Facebook offers businesses a variety of ways to get the word out and enable engagement with them and their brand in more ways than were ever before possible on the web.
Based on this information alone, I’m sure you can see what a valuable stategy Facebook alone can be for your business.
If you don’t already have a Facebook account, or if you do but not sure exactly how to use it or set it up, then read on…
First, I’m going to discuss the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Fan Page.
According to Facebook:
Facebook Profiles are primarily used for personal communications. Facebook does not allow entities/businesses to maintain personal profiles. Profiles represent individuals and must be held under an individual’s name.
Facebook Fan Pages are specifically used for promoting purposes. Pages allow an organization, business, celebrity, or band to maintain a professional presence on Facebook. You may only create Facebook Pages to represent real organizations of which you are an authorized representative. In addition, Pages are managed by admins who have personal Facebook profiles. Pages are not separate Facebook accounts and do not have separate login information from your profile. They are merely different entities on our site. Once you have set up a Page within your profile, you may add other admins to help you manage this Page. People who choose to connect to your Page won't be able to see that you are the Page admin or have any access to your personal account.
With that being said, here are the 7 Steps to Setting Yourself Up for Facebook Success:
- Set up your personal profile and connect with people you already know
- Send “friend requests” to people you’d like to get to know. Don’t worry, they won’t think you are crazy if you invite them to be your friend, that’s what social media is all about.
- Be yourself and let people know what’s going on with you. Be careful not to give too much personal information, keep conversations light and fun.
- Set up your Fan Page.
- Make your Fan Page more like a mini-website by utilizing the FMBL program available through Facebook.
- Invite your personal profile friends to join your Fan Page
- Post to your Fan Page 2-3 times per week.
7 Steps to Use Facebook The Right Way:
- Offer advice and comment on conversations that peak your interest
- Notify your community of local events that would make a great family outing
- Start conversations and get to know people as if they walked in your office to inquire about your services
- Provide education around your business and teach them how to do business with you
- Be transparent, authentic, and… Human! – Invite people into conversations that revolve around what’s going on in your life
- Be mindful of what information you share with your community, you don’t want to get too personal
- Make time to nurture your community
What NOT to do on Facebook:
- Don’t Spam: Sending people offers that don’t interest them to the point it becomes harassment is called Spam. You want to focus on serving your community rather than spamming them with marketing messages about yourself.
- Don’t talk about “what you do” all the time: The same etiquette that applies to networking at a chamber event applies online – you don’t info dump on people when you first meet. The purpose of social media is to engage in real conversations by asking questions and commenting, educating your followers, and ultimately become “The Source” for information in your industry.
- Don’t build a community of non-targeted audience: The strategy may start off as a good idea for some but the problem is that the majority of their community is not their target audience. Be sure to know who your target audience is and what your purpose for starting your social media campaign is.
Social media is a very powerful and easy way to generate more clients for your business. But it takes time, energy and commitment.
- Have Fun
- Be yourself
- Be open to the learning curve
- Look for ways to serve others