Marketing with Social Media

      Thoughts about how your Facebook and Twitter presence can elevate your business profile. February 27, 2013

How many of you use social media to promote your business (e.g., Facebook and Twitter)? Personally, I only see them as a way of networking among like-minded people sharing news and ideas; am I missing something?

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor P:
If this is the watering hole that your customers frequent, then it would probably make sense to communicate with them on their turf.

From contributor K:
I am in the marketing department at Roger Shaw & Associates and we have been using social media to communicate information to our followers, photos of finished projects and post events. If you have a website Google is now indexing Facebook and you can bet that Google + will be index as well. By posting messages containing keywords you will increase your natural rankings on Google search pages. Everything I have been reading is stressing the importance of this marketing avenue in the future.

From contributor J:
Yes. We are using it as part of our SEO and as part of a referral program. It is still early in that endeavor, so I can't yet tell if it is worth it. One thing to make some things easier has been to syndicate our blog(s) to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. And Youtube to some of the same. Twitter is the one that has been a dead zero except for search engine link ratings.

From contributor M:
One thing you can do with Facebook is just post pictures of all your work, drawings of stuff you're quoting, etc. This makes sure all your friends know what you do for a living and keeps it fresh in their mind. I do fairly well with this every year. It helps to collect friends as well. The wider the scope of your audience, the better.

From contributor R:
The suggestions here are great re: SEO and posting pictures of your work. Like any other marketing avenue, you should try to keep track of results. You might find that focusing on Facebook, or Google+ is better than trying to do all of them. It's an easy way to get your work out there, and provide links back to your site as well.

From contributor M:
Don't think of social networking as a marketing tool. Think of it the same way as you do the cell phone, email or the telegraph. Many people communicate more on Facebook than with any other technology.

I probably send 20 text messages, place 10 phone calls, and send 3 emails a day. That probably represents only five or ten people a day. But my Facebook posts are seen by hundreds. I get messages from friends of friends who saw their friend's comments on my work. I do not even know them, but they will ask me to look at their project or inquire about my company. This is especially true with other industry professionals. When a designer or architect sees a picture of my work on their friend's page they will follow up on it. I think I have 200 friends on Facebook, but that's not very many really. But most of those people in my friends list have several hundred friends! All it takes is for one of them to comment or "like" one of my posts and suddenly thousands of new people will possibly see my work.

So keep your privacy settings so that "friends of friends" can view and post on your page.

People do not go to Facebook to buy things. They go there to catch up on their friends' lives. Do not treat your FB page like a lame brochure. Keep it personal and intimate. Post updates that have real meaning to your work or life. This will attract people more than a lame page that looks more like a GQ magazine advertisement.

So yes, you should definitely use social networking to promote your business. Try to imagine you are having a beer with some friends and talking about your work. Do not sound like a talking head spokesman for a cabinet shop.

From contributor N:
I have a link on my website to go directly to my Facebook site for my business. One customer from Costa Rica was on my website last night, and they went to my Facebook site, clicked on 5 photos and is more than likely ( from our emails today) to buy a furniture item I make when they come to our state to buy a home. Facebook business sites are free and they help with the search engine results. Can't beat free. In time it may be worth it to advertise, as that's what Facebook is counting on. It's free - everyone should sit down tonight and create one for their business, then using the Facebook tools, add a link on your website. Start loading pictures and ongoing projects as you make and deliver them. You will make a sale or generate one sooner or later.

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