Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking’-
This year’s Facebook changes are on—full throttle—and there’s been a wee bit of backlash, particularly about the news feed. Seems that some people preferred the more streamlined, Facebook-curated content chosen for you on the news feed wall. But now those pre-chosen posts (Top Posts) as well as “Recent Posts” are in your main news feed AND there’s a real-time ticker of the minutial activity of the friends and businesses you follow running constantly down the right side of your monitor, which can be a bit overwhelming for some.
Here’s the good news! You can create categories or “Lists” of specific people and pages you follow and when needed click on them and instantly clear out everything in your news feed that doesn’t pertain to the specific list you’ve created. Imagine the possibilities for lists like “Business Contacts,” “Favorite Stores,” “BFFs,” or “My Hobbies.”
Here’s your quick “how to”–
- Go to your Facebook home page where you see the news feed of everyone you follow.
- In the left-hand navigation area, click on LISTS. You’ll see some default categories that have been set up for you and you can create new ones for yourself like the ideas above by clicking “Create a List.”
- Click on “Add friends to list to see their updates” and you’ll be given a drop-down option box. Drop down to “pages” or “friends” as appropriate. Make sure you hit “Done” after you’ve added all the pages you want to the list so that it’s saved.
- Each time you log on to Facebook and are brought to the home page, just click on the list you created on the left-hand side and you’ll see only the news from those friends and pages you’ve added.
Change isn’t easy for everyone, but within a few weeks I guarantee you won’t remember how limited your news feed was before. Enjoy!
Have you heard yourself saying or thinking any of these statements?
1. Social media costs a lot of money. Let’s get this out of the way right now. It doesn’t cost any money to establish a presence and a marketable following on the social networks. There’s an investment of time, for sure. But as far as your marketing budget is concerned, there doesn’t have to be any impact.
2. Social media marketing doesn’t apply to my business. To understand the opportunities that exist with social media, you have to know that social media doesn’t mean just hanging out on Facebook. While Facebook may be the leader of the pack and most popular social network, there are other platforms and strategies to consider depending on your business, market, and goals. Let’s put it this way, if your company has a web site, there’s social network marketing to do.
3. Social networking is a fad, so I’m not going to invest the time. Denial about how social networking is effecting the Internet, and therefore effecting business, is not going to serve you well in the long term. The population of Facebook users makes it the 3rd-largest nation on the planet, and its reach is very quickly becoming integrated into all other social networks and Internet marketing applications. If you’re not represented in this nation, you can kiss your business growth goodbye. This is not a drill, social networking is here to stay.
4. My assistant/brother-in-law/teenager can do it for me; they’re always posting and tweeting. Herein lies the biggest mistakes companies make when they decide to set up shop on the social networks. The activities of playing on the social networks as an individual or consumer are not the activities necessary to incorporate social media into your company marketing plans. Think of your most-travelled highway as a sea of your target market (social network users), and your business’s social media efforts as the billboard you put up to capture the attention of the traffic. Does it make sense to ask one of the drivers on that highway to create your billboard for you? Does driving a car on the highway daily make him qualified to create and design an effective marketing message?
This age of social media is an amazing era for entrepreneurs and business owners. The advent of social networks has leveled the marketing playing field for you and handed your company the opportunity to compete locally, nationally, even internationally. I am VERY passionate about transforming local business owners from social media doubters to enthusiastic opportunists. Do you need a transformation? Talk to me about private coaching for you or on-site training for your team. Take a look and see if this is for you. You are always free to email me if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing managers, business owners, listen up! It’s been a long time since we talked about how important Twitter is for your business (see To Tweet or Not to Tweet), but if you haven’t accelerated onto this highway because every time you open Twitter it scares the kumquats out of you, fear no more! Scale the following down to business-card size and laminate it. You’ll thank me later…
As you know, Twitter posts are 140 characters or less, so use your text-messaging skills to abbreviate whenever possible (unless it’s a key word–you need to leave these intact so it is searchable).
Good ones to know: W = with, R = our or are, U = you, ur = your or you’re, $ = money, & = and (duh).
Common Twitter symbols (see uses below)
RT = Retweet
@ = denotes a Twitter account
D or DM= Direct message
# = denotes a hashtag
What to do:
1. Get in there. Fill that profile in accurately and immediately! Use your own profile image. A default Twitter avatar will not earn you any street cred, I guarantee it!
2. Search users and start following those that suit your target market or your own info needs.
3. Search posts for key words and see who’s saying what.
4. Add value daily by posting useful insights and links to good content, link back to your own brand urls regularly.
5. Develop relationships by “replying” or “mentioning” another user within your post by using “@accountname. “ You can also build your audience by “retweeting” others’ tweets regularly if you value the content provided by using “RT” in front of “@accountname”.
6. When needed, send a non-public message to another user using “D” or “DM” in front of their “@accountname”.
7. You’ll come across terms in posts preceded by a # symbol. These are called hashtags, and they represent a common theme that the poster intends to be discovered. You can ask your customers to use a particular hashtag in their tweets for a period of time for contests, conversations, and more! Add an actively used #hasthag to your posts; this is another great way to get exposure.
- Always follow followers back. This reciprocal gesture is the foundation of Twitter’s culture. No matter how great you think you are, you aren’t above following others.
- Always give credit with an RT identification if you are copying another person’s post and re-sharing the concepts they’ve presented. It’s better to edit what they’ve said than eliminate their credit to save on character count.
- Don’t power post! The name of the game is not to post 14 times in five minutes. There’s no faster way to get un-followed. Keep your posts at least an hour apart.
- Don’t dupe posts too fast. If you want to share out important content and make sure you hit different viewing times, keep them at least eight hours apart.
- Don’t @mention just to get the attention of their following with content that has nothing to do with that user. This is called SPAMMING, my friends!
- Auto direct messages are crap. Period. Some apps out there let you automatically send direct messages to new followers. At this point, “thanks for following” goes without saying. One DM out of every 100 or so in my message box is a sincere message meant for me specifically. It really burns my __ that I have to comb through the spammy auto-messages to get to the poor guy who has a legitimate question.
Have I confused the kumquats out of you? Just shoot me an email. I’m happy to answer your questions!
(or How to Monitor and Engage on Social Networks)
If you were at a cocktail party and overheard someone mention that they were looking for a product or service in your industry, wouldn’t you step over and introduce yourself? Ask some questions to get a feel for what that person was really in need of, and then explain that you can help? Now wouldn’t it be cool if you could eavesdrop on the millions of updates and posts on Facebook and Twitter to find conversations there that you could introduce yourself to?
Well hold on to your hat! You can do the same thing on Twitter and Facebook that you do at cocktail parties! Monitoring the world-wide conversation and poking your head into the room is perfectly legit, and a great way to gather future customers. Here’s how to do it:
Search—You have two methods to search on Twitter: 1. the search box that’s right on your home page or 2. the url: http://search.twitter.com/. The key here is to search for phrases. For instance, if you’re a career consultant, you could search for “need help with my resume” or “I need a new job.”
Engage—When you find the right status posts to reply to, you can get their attention with an “@reply” post with a response. An example would be “@Susie246 I can help you with your resume. Do you want to talk?” Be sure to also start following this Twitter account if you aren’t already. If they already follow you there’s the option of sending a direct message (DM). I actually prefer the public response because I find these get noticed more quickly than the DM. Now be sure to watch for an @reply back, or they may reach out to your business email .
Search—Search for key phrases in the Facebook search box. When the results come up, filter them by then clicking on “Posts by Everyone,” which can be found in the left-hand navigation area of the search results page. Here you will find all relevant status updates posted by anyone who doesn’t have privacy settings set on their wall.
Engage— Next step, click over to that Facebook user’s page. Even if you aren’t “friends,” you can click “Send a Message” which can be found right under the Facebook user’s profile picture. Now you have an opportunity to say anything you want via private message. But be careful not to come off as the eavesdropper you are and don’t come on to strong. Try this for a subject heading: “I may be able to help you with your resume.” As far as the message goes, be honest: “Hi, Jeffrey. I’m a career consultant and while doing a Facebook search I came upon your post about…” Be humble and helpful, not sales-y.
Tools for monitoring it all:
Of course, with every need to work better and smarter on social platforms comes an app that fits the bill. Kurrently (http://www.kurrently.com/) is a simple and straightforward website that lets you plug in the phrases you want to search and then it searches both Twitter and Facebook simultaneously to provide you with results for both! The best part is that each poster’s ID is a live link and takes you directly to their Facebook profile or Twitter page to begin the engagement process.
So, pretty neat, huh? Now you know why social networks are so cool for business, and how to really start to leverage them for building your empire. If you feel like you just found a little hole in the wall for eavesdropping, or like you developed super-hero powers for listening to every conversation going on in the Twitosphere, good for you! It was my pleasure to be the one to let you in on the secret. Let me know if you need help : )