Earlier today I was at a small business workshop produced by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, which was all about social media marketing for small companies.
It was really a beginner’s introduction, and I kind of knew that, but I thought I’d go anyway to see what they were teaching small businesses about social media these days.
So I’m sitting at this workshop with about 30 other small business people, and we each had computers — I’m half-way listening to the instructor and half-way reading blog posts, checking email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
I update my Facebook & Twitter status saying,
[Chris] Is at a small-biz social media workshop in HoCo — should I be teaching this right now?
To which a friend of mine on Facebook replies,
i need to go to that! i’m creating facebook twitter etc for my company — teach me!
To which I replied,
It’s pretty easy – I’ll teach you. What’s your company?
Which prompted her to send me a direct message that said,
Hey Chris, I have the accounts up already…just created one for FB…but if you have any tips on how to get relevant traffic and fans…or know of any tutorials I’d appreciate it.. The company is XYZ Technologies…I know you do SEO– but this is a bit different? Thanks!
To which I replied with what became the topic of this post — what marketers, managers, and entrepreneurs need to know about Twitter & Facebook marketing.
Here’s what I told her..
Yes, social is certainly different from SEO, but closely related. Like sisters almost.
One of the easiest ways to get relevant users to sign-up is by using the FB/Twitter badges on your website and other marketing collateral. Since people are already online, visiting your website, a lot of times they will follow you if they like what you’re about.
On FB, you can suggest the page to friends, which was really successful for us. I did this, Arsham did it, and so did our employees.
Each of us has 500 friends, so we got a bunch of sign-ups off that. The larger your company is, the more difficult this is to coordinate, but one way or another, try to get your co-workers and the management involved.
Tell everybody what you’re doing, and ask them to invite their friends if they feel comfortable (or a selection of their friends who may be interested).
Finally (and this is the most important part), as you’re accumulating followers, ask yourself, “What types of information is XYZ Technologies privvy to that this group of individuals may find interesting?”
Once you answer that question (and typically your best insights will come from asking your followers), then resolve to start developing content pertaining to those topics.
As the content is developed, post it on your site, and then update the fan page with a link to the new content.
Twitter is a whole other ballpark.
The core concept is to engage in conversation with related users, make friends with them, and provide value for them.
Go to search.twitter.com and search for your main keyword (I guess “software applications”) and find people talking about it in real-time.
If they’re talking about something relevant, start following them, and send them @ messages with related commentary.
As you start developing a follower base, ask yourself the same question, which was, “What do these people want to know that we already know?”
As you answer that question, either develop, or find from other sources, content that answers those questions – then tweet about it. Be sure to monitor the accounts daily as people will be responding to you with questions or comments. For best results, answer them as promptly as possible.
Most companies think, “Facebook, Twitter — let’s get on there so we can make more money!”
But that type of thinking is faulty.
The best social media campaigns are very kharmic, like what goes around comes around. As opposed to focusing on generating revenues, focus on helping prospects make good decisions and servicing existing customer questions as efficiently as possible.
Companies will start realizing the fault in their ways and change their thinking to, “Facebook, Twitter — our customers are on there and we can use it as a platform to inexpensively increase the amount of value we add!”
People — whether current customers or prospects — like to do business with companies that over-deliver in the value department. Keep that in mind and you shall be paid handsome dividends for your efforts — in time.
There are a bunch of other strategies also, but this should give you a good start 🙂
Hope this helps,
She thought that was pretty helpful and replied back with,
thank you!!!!!! that was a lot more than i was expecting you to share, so seriously thaaank-you…i agree with you on the revenue thing…i need to relay that to mgmt..and the web guy is putting up the badges shortly. i’m impressed with what you know about this, in case that makes a difference to you. i’m going to see what i can make of your suggestions…maybe one day we will pay you for your knowledge:) i will keep you in mind…
The moral of the story
There’s a lot of talk (and blog posts, and books, and webinars, and videos, and classes) about social media marketing. Everybody’s trying to “teach” you how to do it (or just do it for you).
But really, there’s not that much to teach. It boils down to age-old principles of basic human conduct.
Be friendly, listen to what people are saying to you, create value when possible..And everybody will want to be friends with you.
It’s just that the medium is different.
Tell me what you think
Everybody’s so quiet in here. I know you’re reading this. I can see you on my Google Analytics.
Chime in and share your thoughts with the group. Might just start up a good little conversation.