September 24, 2009
Internet marketing has been revolutionized over a few short years by a phenomenon known as social networking. You probably wouldn’t have needed a crystal ball to imagine that the Internet would develop its social theme as more and more people realised the reach of the web, and became increasingly connected through the use of smart phones and other new gadgets.
Many people consider MySpace to have initiated this trend, but in recent times the buzz has all been around Facebook, and to many people MySpace has become “very 2005.” Facebook is now the number one social media site. Its strength seems to revolve around its platform, and its clean and tidy appearance; many people consider it to be more upscale than MySpace, for example.
Facebook was devised by Mark Zuckerburg, Justin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, who were student roommates at Harvard University. The site was initially intended for use by college students, but it quickly expanded nationwide through the school system, and eventually to everyone else. Zuckerberg’s original “Facemash” has now grown to over 200 million users. Some people put its current value at $5 billion.
Facebook is, simply, networking at its finest. Not only can you use the platform to interact with family and friends, but from a commercial point of view, it’s great for marketing as well.
One of the first things that you should do as a business marketer is to construct a profile. This needs a great deal of careful consideration, as your profile is a critical factor in your potential success. Incorporate a branding strategy, but make sure that you understand what environment you’re working in. Within social networking of any kind, commercial branding and marketing has to maintain a far more subtle approach, and it shouldn’t ever be “in your face”.
Facebook allows you to expand your network of friends infinitely. Start off by building a network of your actual friends, and then move on to establish contacts with “friends of friends”. You will discover that a concentrated effort will enable you to rapidly increase the number of your contacts. Make a point of never spamming anyone, and always keep your enthusiasm under control. Build relationships – not just numbers.
Within Facebook you will find that there are many, many online groups and there will certainly be groups which are associated with what you do. Every kind of professional service provider has at least one group of some sort, and ideally, you should belong to all the groups which are within your area of expertise. You can make all kinds of contacts in this manner.
If you cannot find a Facebook group that fits your vision, you can always create your own. You’ll need to work really hard to get new members, and to help you along your way, you should regularly publish unique content articles and give away high quality information, literally for free, to generate some fast moving buzz. You can create a Facebook “fan” page, especially if you find that your original page has reached its limit for membership, which is currently 2000. The fan page creates an additional subtle marketing opportunity, and it’s all a part of the process of getting people into your sales funnel and ultimately to your checkout.
If you have a blog and you regularly update this with great information, tips, tricks, solutions, assistance and generally good stuff – then you should syndicate it so that your posts appear on your Facebook profile page. The goal is to get as much exposure as you can, which in turn of course converts to readers, visitors and potential sales.
If you’re holding any events or creating a milestone of any kind within your business, you should create an event page within Facebook. By sending an open invitation, you solicit people to go to your events page and find out what’s going on, and they can then advise their friends, creating even further exposure.
Facebook should be an integral part of your business strategy, but you must also have your “fun” face on when you’re there. Warning – Facebook is addictive (not to me of course – but to many), so don’t let it take over your marketing programs altogether!
Michelle Dale is The Managing Director of Virtual Miss Friday, an accomplished Executive Virtual Assistant Service which helps companies of all sizes reach their commercial targets. Want to get more information about online business building success strategies that really work? Then why not Contact VMF Today at=> http://www.virtualmissfriday.com