Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn and many others have a new kid in town vying for the Social Media Crown and leading marketing trends. Google launched it’s social media site Google+ in June 2011 and it is out to conquer the Internet. In one month, it reached 20+ million users and very well could outpace Facebook who has had a drop in its’ 750 million users. There are those who believe it may be the first to cap one BILLION in users.
Social Networks have changed our world in huge ways. There are those who live on FB playing Farmville and posting on everyone’s walls like crazy. Sometimes it can be rather irritating when people attempt to use your wall to advertise their latest marketing idea without asking permission. So the ‘remove friend’ button is pushed and they disappear in cyberspace.
The more serious users of social media do so to enhance their internet presence or ‘brand.’ They create fan pages and invite people to ‘Like’ them. On those pages its fine to create one big marketing page because those who view it have given their permission to be marketing by hitting the ‘like’ button. If they don’t want to get information in their email from the postings they can always opt out. That’s called ‘permission based marketing.’
Facebook – It’s More Than A Place to Play Games
There are very serious businesses that use social media to market their company, services and products. This has come as a big shock to the many Facebook and Twitter users who view the service as a way to connect and message friends, family and business associates. Many people have been put off by all the advertising going on, especially by Facebook where you can now find ads on the side of your page about anything and everything.
Businesses view social networking as a way to engage with existing customers and engage with others in a way that entices them to become full-fledged clients or buyers. This is what makes these networks so valuable.
While others are adding vegetables or animals to their ‘Farmville’ pretend farms, serious marketers are studying and using Social Networks to enhance and grow their customer bases.
Whether your business is large or small, Facebook can be a great place to network and find customers, clients or associates for your business. Their Instant Messaging system is terrific for starting up conversations, getting to know them and feeding them just enough information to whet their appetite for more.
Don’t use the IM as a “Hey, I have this great business opportunity I’d like to show you.” Never do that. You may be instantly “un-friended” and lose any chance at all to first of all show you are interested in them as a friend first and a ‘prospect’ later. Allow them to come to you because it gives you all the power in the situation. You never want to present yourself as someone who is desperate or that begs them to look at what you have to sell or offer.
Get as many people as possible to “Like” your Facebook page and ask for their opinion on the content.
Have you ever heard the expression, “Content is King?” The more comments you get the better because it gets broadcast on their newsfeed and that gives you free advertising! Also put the link to your fan page on your personal FB page as a link under the ‘info’ section of your page.
You May Get Whiners
With any business online or off, you’re going to get that occasional complainer who doesn’t want to be bothered with your ads or approach. Simply send them a “Sorry I bothered you” message and immediately delete them. They’re too busy playing Words with Friends or using other fun apps to think about something as simple as making money and becoming successful.
Don’t allow others to upset you by a few complaints or verbal attacks. Just ‘make nice’ and eventually they’ll move on to the next person they feel has offended them. If someone begins to complain about your aggressive marketing techniques on your page or on their own page, you have to contact them and ask them what you can do to fix whatever problem they have with you. Fix it now or regret it later.
You don’t want them spreading it all over the Internet and by making nice with them and offering to do something for them in return for removing their negative remarks you can make a friend and stop any damage to you, your business and your brand.
The most important thing you have is your reputation and doing your best to avoid problems now is better than having to fix something later.
Cultivate Those With Influence
Influencers are men and women who have created a huge profile and presence for themselves online and off. People “drink their Kool-Aid” and every time they run their lists of customers or clients with a new product, they make tons of money. If you can create some good relationships with a few of them, they may even run one of your offers to their lists and that is a potential goldmine. They blog, tweet and write articles that are very much sought after by those interested in whatever their particular topic seems to be.
Most of them have extremely loyal followers because of their high profile and the fact that when they offer a new product or service it usually comes with lots of ‘freebies’ from other authors or specialists in various fields that flows well with whatever the ‘influencer’ is offering.
To find the influencers simply find a way to approach them through conversations on Twitter, Facebook, blog posts, forums or even message boards.
You can also become a contributor by answering questions on specific topics. You may of course identify yourself but don’t use those postings to promote yourself or your business. Engage them in conversation and offer them links to related articles or posts. A link from your site to that of the influencer makes you connected to them by being a follower and others will see your posts and if they are well written you will get attention and your brand will begin to build.
To Tweet or Not to Tweet
Absolutely you need to get a Twitter account and begin to build a list of followers. Simple do a Google search for apps that will help you market on Twitter.
You can use their audience builder app to find followers. It will find Twitter users who are relevant to you and your particular business or interests. You can create Twitter campaigns with specified goals and track your progress and activity. The most important thing is to be consistent, make a plan and follow it.
Twitter can help build great customer or client relations. A company can ‘tweet’ information about their company, products and even the latest offer, and that leads to more sales or for a home business, more prospects.
Keep in mind there is no limit to what you can do through social networks. Create a marketing plan and put it action as soon as possible. With focus and determination you may well be the next “big thing” online.