Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Social Media Class (11/10/2010)

Getting your business on the bandwidth-wagon.
(Workshop 11/10/2010)



Social Media: Facebook
Facebook is not only for just for keeping tabs on friends, filling out quizzes or playing games - it also can be used as a highly effective business tool. It’s great for marketing your products, landing gigs and connecting with your customer.

22 ways to use Facebook for your business.

Manage your profile
1. Fill out your profile completely to earn trust.
2. Establish a business account.
3. Stay out of trouble. Read the Facebook rules regarding business accounts.
4. Install applications to integrate feed from your blog and tie in other Social Media platforms.
5. Keep personal parts of your profile private through settings.
6. Limit business access to personal photos with some exception.

Connect with others
7. Obtain a Facebook vanity URL so people can easily find you.
8. Add your Facebook URL to your email signature and any marketing collateral (business cards etc.) so prospects can learn more about you.
9. Post business updates on your wall. Show your work, clients etc.
10. Share useful articles, links to presentations.
11. Combine Facebook with other tools such as Twitter. For example when someone asks a question on twitter you can respond in detail in a blog post and link it to Social Media.
12. Research prospects before meeting them.
13. Market your products speckled with content becoming a resource.
14. Obtain useful feedback and research.
15. Buy targeted facebook ads to exact audience.
16. Suggest friends to clients and colleagues. Gain trust and helping each other .

Use Network, Group or Fan Pages
17. Start a group or fan page for product, brand or business.
18. Link page to website, blog and other social media platforms.
19. Post upcoming events including webinars and conferences.
20. Update your page on a regular basis with helpful information and answers to questions.
21. Join networks, industry and alumni groups related to your business.
22. Use search to find groups and fan pages related to your industry, location and career.

In the Spokane area alone over 160,000 Adults 18+ are registered on Facebook. Currently the growth rate is approximately 10% in 45-60 days.

No, Social Media not a fad but rather a powerful tool for your business.
160,000 Adults in the Spokane area are on facebook.
That’s more than as many people who ran the last 3 Bloomsday races. That’s more than 13 sold out Spokane Chief hockey games. That’s a sizable audience worth talking to and “inviting” to your business.

Social Media tools such as Facebook and Twitter can be a highly effective business tools, which provide a powerful platform for marketing products, increasing top-of-mind awareness and connecting with customers and potential customers.

Social Media is more than a BUZZ. It’s a fundamental shift in the way friends, families and YES businesses communicate. Social Media is communication and an incredible opportunity for your business.

Case Study: Boutique.
Unusually slow and they have an abundance of inventory, let‘s say in this case fashion accessories - earrings, sunglasses, belts, hats...
The owner went to market and bought too much and the bills are arriving. The owner decides she needs to do something and makes the decision to “invite customers” (advertise). It used to be she would call her agency or traditional media (radio, print, TV) and place a schedule. Then produce the spot or ad, have it run and hopefully get results. She may or may not be able to get on that week. With social media, such as facebook she can get on her page and promote the great merchandise she has in stock. She can show pictures (print) video with audio (radio and TV) and even offer an incentive (coupon book).
She can change her business immediately (that day) by talking to an opted in audience that not only know her business, they “like” it. “Facebook appreciation sale (today and tomorrow only)
Sample post - 25% off all fashion accessories including hot new items from Spring New York buying trip.

There are well over 25 types of Social Media platforms.
But lets look at social media in broader terms.

4 KEY CATAGORIES:
1.) Social Networks (Facebook, MySpace)
2.) Blogs (Wordpress, Blogger, private blogs)
3.) Micro Blogging Text Tools (Twitter and Tumblr)
4.) Sharing communities which are usually centered around common interests. (youtube and flickr)

FOR BUSINESS
Social Networking helps individuals to interact online with people with common interests in their personal and professional life. It is not very different from traditional social networking where interaction was the best way to promote and spread information on any topic - online social networking just gets you to reach a broader audience and network with like minded people and is not limited by geographical boundaries.

Online social networking is used for job search, business promotion, advertising, sharing personal views and discussions.

A number of common online social networking sites used widely by all age groups are:
Facebook
Twitter
youtube
MySpace
LinkedIn
Digg
Flickr
Foursquare
Whirl
YELP

The most widely used social media sites are Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook is a social media site where friends, colleagues and family get together to share news, views, information etc. Facebook has hundreds of million members and is used actively by a number of groups to spread and share information on topics, business, products etc.

How does facebook work to promote a business?
First you create an account on http://www.facebook.com/
It is quite easy and you have to just follow the instructions carefully.

A personal profile is good for your personal online social networking.
On the other hand, to promote a business you need to create a page that describes your company.
To create a page first you must be logged in and then go to www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
Follow the instructions and create a page and publish it.
Pages can be maintained by others in the company. Pages have different categories to make things easier. Pages start ranking on public search results and also face book.
Anyone can become a f or "like" your page and does not have to take permission.
When you publish or post any information on the page it would not reflect your personal information. It would reflect the information of the company.

How does facebook work to get fans on your page ?
- Post interesting topics to engage fans. Keep posting information about your business as news feeds.
- Make your page publicly visible so that others can also view it and become fans. Draw out addresses from emails and blog comments and inform them about the page to become a fan.
- You could put up advertisements (by paying) for your business.
- Podcasts on facebook also help to promote your business.

Other than Facebook, Twitter offers a number of tools that are can be used to network

Twitter is a micro blogging platform which allows you to publish short messages of less than 140 characters through different mediums like IM, cellphones and the web.

It has a social element as well, as it allows users to befriend and monitor each other’s messages or updates. So what you have here is a publishing tool that can be either public and private.
Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read other users updates known as tweets. It is a great way to keep in touch with your friends and quickly broadcast information about where you are and what you are up to?

How to use twitter to promote your business?
If you are not a member with twitter create an account on http://www.twitter.com/
After becoming a member find people with common interest, people useful in your business, and friends too and follow them.
Post regular tweets of your business updates and blogs and articles.
Interact with your customers.
You can join groups related to your business and exchange views and information.
Make your tweets very interesting.
Reply to the tweets of the followers and the ones you are following.
Be very interactive and share as much information you can.
Do not post your tweets in one go, spread them over the day.
Some interesting companies using twitter for their business are Dell, Starbucks, Kodak, Ford, Samsung etc. Check their profiles and case studies on Twitter within the business section.

Lastly, have fun! Create an online personality for your business. Keep engaged with existing customers and reach out to knew ones. After all we all like to do business with people we know and like.
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