I have never played a game on Facebook, but I have gotten several clients this past year from effectively using this social networking site. So, why are some people getting clients and others are saying it is a big waste of time? “Attitude and aptitude!” If a person doesn’t believe that on-line social networking is important to the growth of their business, it is as good as a salesman who doesn’t believe in his product trying to sell it door to door. After the 7th door slams on the salesman’s face he drags himself back to the office and announces that no one wants the product and it can’t be sold, but other sales reps still sell it with ease. Business owners who tell people that they haven’t gotten any customers from Facebook are like that same salesman who quit. What is the difference? Well, many business owners tell me they play games or spend time reading other people’s posts and never comment and are lucky to get on Facebook maybe 2 times a week and rarely post an update. YIKES!!! This is not the attitude you need to be successful with on-line social networking. A positive attitude and the belief that on-line social networking is an important new marketing tool that will help your business if used consistently and correctly is half of what you need. This brings us to the other half, the “aptitude” part of how both navigate the sites and what to actually post while there. There are a list of “do’s and don’ts” that I share with my clients, but they can differ depending on the industry you are in and what you are trying to achieve from using these sites. For instance, for many businesses I warn that playing games or tending “farmVille” on Facebook is not the best use of your social networking time, but if you were an internet company about to launch a new on-line game this could be exactly where you want to be since your potential market is drawn to these programs. Another “don’t” that I share with my clients is to stay clear of any topic that is political or religious based or could prompt people to be polarized in their views unless you are a political analyst or gain from taking a stand in such controversial discussions. The “do’s” I tell my clients is to work on connecting with people and adding them to your personal page and to your business “Fan” page which has recently been renamed to the “Like” page. If you are trying to expand your reach, why limit your contacts??? Unless you are saying no to a direct competitor, I would be inviting people to get to know you and your business. And, once you have them there, you have got to interact. Think of it this way, you have just invited 50 people to your home and instead of greeting them at the door and introducing them to others, you have gone to your bedroom to take a nap and to allow the party to go on without you. WAKE UP SLEEPY HEAD! 🙂 The party is in the living room and it is filled with people who like you enough to show-up and they each know about 150-200 people and many of those people they connect with quickly with their own social on-line networking so if you are not being a good host, you just might lose out on a potential referral or introduction to key contacts. Frequency of posting and interaction with other people when they post is how to use these sites well. And, if your aptitude is such that you get confused when you are trying to navigate the various sites, then you need to call your kids in to the room and ask them for help because there are 10 year olds who are on Facebook setting up “event invitations” and for their own birthday party or “surveys” for their school projects. Your parents are posting photos of their grand kids and sharing them out to their friends so if you think that uploading a company photo to your business page requires your web designer, you are wrong….”tweet” or text your parents and ask for their help! And, if you still have not set-up a Twitter account and haven’t learned to text, please do so today.
I give one-on-one coaching to clients who are still struggling with the new technology, but every social networking site has a “help” section and commonly asked questions that will quickly make you an expert on how to gain the aptitude of how to navigate the site. If you choose to embrace on-line social networking and have a positive attitude and a great aptitude for connecting with others and building your network, then you may be smiling as I did today when I received an email on Facebook with ANOTHER referral for my marketing services from one of the many contacts that are on my page!
All my best to your success!