Why Facebook is Important to Your Business

  • Time: Friday, 06 February 2015 00:00

I could sit and preach to you about the value of social media to your business all day long, but I won 't. I can quote statistics to you, like it took radio 37 years to get 50 million listeners but it took Facebook only 9 months to reach 100,000,000 users, but I won 't bore you. A prospect just asked me What does all that mean to me? . Well, I 'll tell you

People say that Facebook is a phenomenon that has never been seen before. But that is not completely true. Granted the technology of the product is new and unique, but the concept isn 't. At the end of the day, Facebook is a gossip tool, efficient, electronic, and widespread. But it actually performs a social service. People bemoan the loss of personal interaction of our modern day society, but we still interact. It may not be over the clothes lines in the backyards or at the local watering hole after a 12 hour shift like our grandparents did. It may not be at the club or over the water cooler as our parents did. We do it electronically these days. People talk to each other on Facebook, not in contiguous, serial conversations, but in parallel, asynchronous stages. Messages are left, threads are joined, and information is passed back and forth without setting eyes on the other participants. What 's more, these conversations  hang out in cyberspace for some time and get reused and revisited very often by people that were not part of the original conversation. That 's the value of the channel, ideas and comments are no longer fleeting moments that are so quickly lost. Let 's take a look at a real world example and put yourself in the shoes of the business owner. Let 's say you sell jewelry to the newly engaged. A bride comes in with her entourage and they make a purchase. Great, you make some money and the bride is happy. Where does your next sale come from? Probably, it is the result of some marketing effort. Now what happens if you use social media marketing? That bride goes home and writes on her Facebook wall that she just bought your jewelry. Wouldn 't it be great if she became a fan of yours? With the wedding a year after the purchase, wouldn 't it be great if someone at the wedding saw the jewelry, looked at her wall and found your Facebook page? If she went home after the purchase and told all of her friends about it, how many friends would she tell, 5, 10, 15? How many would go out and buy the next day and how many would remember next year? The average Facebook user has 130 friends! When she touts your product, 130 people, on average, hear about it. Those 130 people, in turn, talk with 130 people each (we now have 16,900 people in that second degree network). That means there are 16,900 people who are a heartbeat away from being connected to you when someone hears about their friends are shopping for jewelry. Not only will that, of the original 130 people, most be in a similar demographic group as the original customer. They in turn will also have a similar demographic group.

Now, do you understand why Facebook is so important to your business?

For some more ideas, take a look around my website and give me a call to discuss how I might help you with your business.

Making Business Connections with LinkedIn Part 2

  • Time: Saturday, 07 March 2015 00:00

In my last blog, I talked about setting yourself up with LinkedIn to make business connections. Now let's talk about getting those connections!

While getting out and talking with new people (AKA networking) is a great way to expand the group of people you know, how do you find he right people? There are two ways that LinkedIn can help. First is through the normal networking dynamic of someone you meet online refers business to you. The second is more proactive. You will use your connections to seek out leads and get introduced. Using the LinkedIn search engine, you can search through your contact's contacts for people that you want to meet. For example, start with a list of companies that you would like to sell into. LinkedIn can use that list to identify people that are connected to you that are connected to those companies. You might find that one of your contacts knows someone who knows the Chief Marketing Officer at one of your targets. Using LinkedIn, you can ask your contact to introduce you to the person that can introduce you to the Marketing Officer. What could be more valuable? Using LinkedIn to get to personal introductions to targets is one of the most powerful features of the tool, and one that many people overlook. Another tactic to use is to find out what groups these people and join them. This gives you the chance to meet people to talk about common interests. Once they get to know you, you can finesse yourself into getting an appointment to talk business.

Think about this, you can get a personal introduction and get to know your target before pitching your business. What is that worth to you? Often, it means the difference between a hang up and the acceptance of a meeting. This is the power of social media. With a little work and thought, you can meet almost anyone.

Making Business Connections with LinkedIn Part 1

  • Time: Friday, 06 March 2015 00:00

I'm sure that everyone reading this has heard of LinkedIn. But do you know why as a small or mid sized business it's important to have a professional presence on LinkedIn? Do you know how to make business connections with LinkedIn? Even if you think you know, read on and I'll discuss these subjects and pass on a few secrets on making business connections with LinkedIn. As with any marketing activity, there are a few basic setup activities that you need to get right before you go out into cyberspace.

There are three areas to concentrate on, starting with your profile. Of course you want to put your best foot forward, so start with a flattering photo. When someone sees you for the first time, you want to make a good impression, Hawaiian shirts, lamp shades on your head, crazy hats or cute cartoons have no place here. You need to look professional. Next, tell people who you are professionally. You don't want to put your resume up but details on your ant farm may be too personal. Use key phrases that are relevant to your background. People searching for someone like you will use terms specific to your industry and will use these keywords. The same rules that apply to Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) apply here. Use catchy headlines to describe what you do and follow that up with sound bites in the text. Keep in mind that most people won't remember everything that they read, but they will remember the short relevant phrases.

The next area to focus on is to complete your profile. You have you the space to fill out as much as you can about your past work experience. Put in all of your experience and positions. Categorize them to show your broad experience. These categories can be used as a framework to obtain recommendations, which is our next point. Use everything that the account gives you. Use this opportunity to get recommendations. Link to your other websites, accounts and places you publish articles and blogs. LinkedIn offers premium accounts for when you are ready to the step up. One thing to keep in mind here is that all of this is personal. It is not your business website. This is the place to put your special interests and special talents. On your business website, the About Us page has a short bio about you (or it should!). Point that bio to your LinkedIn page. Anyone that follows that link is looking to know you as a person, don't disappoint them with a superficial picture of yourself.

The last are to focus on is the social aspect of the media. Seek out groups (look in the Groups tab) that you have some connection with such as your college alumni groups or special interest groups. Often times you can find some of your old colleagues that you can connect with. At the very least, you will connect with new people here. If you can, start your own group on a subject that you have interest and expertise with. The idea is to make as many quality connections as you can. It's to talk to the world, but remember, you are looking for business connections.

In my next blog, I'll talk about extending what you have to get to prospects.