There are plenty of social media platforms that you can participate in today, and they all have their pros and cons. The best way to choose a platform to participate in is to look at the people that hang out there. In my opinion, Facebook is one of the best platforms for networking-both personally and professionally. I also use Linked In and Twitter. Linked In is nice for having a more or less static professional profile online. Twitter is good for “blasting” bits and pieces of news to friends and clients. The one social networking group I am not part of is MySpace. Privacy controls are more lax at MySpace than I prefer. Of all the social networks, Facebook is the real gem when it comes to all-round marketing and networking.
I have been using Facebook for the past two years, and it is an excellent marketing tool. Here are 10 ways you can use Facebook to promote your business for FREE!
1. Create an Excellent Profile- This is THE first step in utilizing Facebook efficiently. If you think of Facebook in terms of a marketing campaign, your profile page can be considered your “brand.” Here is my profile. A strong profile should include: a professional picture (please resist the urge to put up pictures of yourself in this year’s Halloween costume-unless of course that is part of your brand), your contact information, your website address, and your personal interests. You don’t have to list out all your personal interests-you can stick to listing just you professional interests if you prefer.
2. Add Friends- This is what makes Facebook really special-the relationships it allows you to build and sustain. The more friends you have, the more affective your marketing and networking efforts will be. The most simple way to add friends is to use Facebook’s own tools to search for current friends already using the platform. Once you have added all current friends, you can start adding acquaintances. One unique feature of Facebook is that is allows you to look at friends of friends. You can build up a huge network this way in no time.
3. Join Groups- You can join online groups within Facebook that are related to what you do. There are groups for consultants, coaches, and trainers…almost all professional service providers have some type of an online group. I am part of many marketing groups and have made quite a few contacts that way. So, find a few groups that suit your tastes and get to mingling!
4. Create your Own Group- Can’t find a group that really fits your style-create your own! You can add members, publish articles, carry on discussions, and probably meet quite a few prospects.
5. List your Events- Hosting a Teleseminar or speaking somewhere? Create an events page and invite all those you want. You can even see how many RSVP and get feedback from attendees. Marketing doesn’t get easier (or cheaper!) than this.
6. Syndicate your Blog- You can syndicate your blog on your profile page. This basically means that every time you make a post, it will automatically show up on your profile page. More Exposure = More Readers = More Potential Leads.
7. Reach OUT! – Are you a fan or admirer of someone’s work? Reach out to them on Facebook! Many colleagues of mine check their Facebook messages more regularly than their email. They are also more likely to respond to Facebook messages. Don’t feel comfortable sending out a message to someone you don’t know? No worries! Leave them a “I enjoy your work!” blurb on their wall. (All profiles come with “virtual walls” where friends and acquaintances can leave comments.)
8. Send Virtual Gifts- Want to show your appreciation for someone? Send them a virtual gift. You can choose from a bunch of balloons to a potted plant that actually sits on the recipient’s profile and grows over time (my favorite).
9. Use the Marketplace- Facebook has an online marketplace that allows you to list your services and products for free. This is a great way to gain exposure. You can also list certain things you are looking for. I often find some great books through the Marketplace.
10. Create a Community- Perhaps Facebook’s greatest benefit is that it allows you to create a community. It provides you a group of people who are constantly connected to you, and are open to hearing your message. Write on people’s walls, respond to their comments, and introduce them to each other. So…start building your brand and leveraging social media networks for marketing!
1. Join Facebook (If you aren’t already using it!)
2. Feel Free to Add Me as a Friend
3. Join the free Marketing Mastermind Group on Facebook