I hear the same quotes over and over again and if this sounds like you, then call me for a free chat and I’ll explani the whole facebook-mania to you in 5 minutes. It’s much easier than you think! Read:
I am wondering about social sites like Facebook and Twitter with regard to web design. I have a Facebook page but rarely visit it. Too busy! Plus, I find them more than a little silly. Everyone says social marketing is a great tool for marketing my products, but I just don’t get it. It seems so time consuming, with little guarantee of anything other than time wasted on my part. I wish there were some way to build the so-called power of social marketing into my website design. Is this same as using SEO to make my website work for me or is it different?
Another potentially good source is social networking.
Currently facebook and twitter seem to be the main ones, but there are many others social network and bookmarking sites around.
These might not work for everyone but as a source of cheap traffic they are certainly worth looking at.
Social networks = mindless chatter
I must admit that until recently I have ignored these social networks. It seemed to me they were nothing but mindless chatter. I wasn’t really at all interested what someone I don’t know had for breakfast. Or what their favorite TV is.
However I have kept one eye on them since they do have a huge number of users. This means a great marketing opportunity is there to be tapped into – somehow.
Changes in The Social Networks
And sure enough as these networks have matured there has emerged more effective ways of using them. Plus some very interesting changes ….
1. Recent announcements from google that they plan to introduce feeds from twitter into search results. And from bing that they plan to introduce feeds from both twitter and facebook in their search results. This is a big deal!!!!
2. A number of improvements in both twitter and facebook that now make using them much easier; including the new twitter lists
3. And finally the anticipated change in 2010 when bing starts providing yahoo search results (if it ever happens). See point 1 above to understand why this is relevant.
My Social Networking Experiment
So a few months ago I set about getting an active profile in these two networks (twitter and facebook) and a few others as well.
I did this to see if I could use some of the massive traffic these networks get and to see if I could leverage my social network pages to help my website
So far the results have been good. Very good.
Infact so far the sign up rate for my free eBook is highest with traffic from twitter than any other source.
Whether that translates into more prospects is yet to be seen. But the cost per acquisition is certainly very low.
How to Be “All Business” in a Social network
My strategy was simple.
1. Given a social networks is “social” – ie not primarily intended for business promo or sales pitches. ( Even though you see them a lot.) You don’t want to come over like the family member of friend who has just discovered MLM(been there, done that!)
2. Post and provide useful / free data which will appeal to my target audience. Keep the focus on filling a need.
3. These teaser posts lead the person to my blog or website where I provide the data promised and ask them to sign up for my newsletter. Notice- no hardsell!
4. I also offer my free eBook to anyone who follows me on twitter.
5. Those that do sign up I can now build a proper business relationship with through email marketing
So you see I use my blog and eBook as a filter to build a marketing list of prospects.
Now the goal driven people reading this might thing it sounds a bit vague and hard to quantify. No exact ROI and cost per conversion.
They’d be right
Which is why I don’t spend a great deal of my time on social networking activities. I have automated some of it and keep the focus clear and simple.
I avoid (usually) getting involved in the many otehr interesing distractions these networks can offer.
And as my experience and results grow I can refine my posts and offers further.
What you should do: a mini-plan
1. Minimally set up a facebook page and a facebook fan page. You can feed it the RSS from your blog to keep is fresh if you don’t think you’ll have time to grow it.
2. Set up a twitter account and maybe have a set of 40 or so key tweets you’d like to send out which relate to something on your site or blog. There are many free automated tools that let you do that. Use my strategy detailed above as a guide if you like.
3. Monitor your stats and if it works for you, great. If this is the case as / if time permits you should also look to join up with other networks such as LinkedIn, set up a squidoo lens and join digg and delicious etc
4. Until you can see solid returns only allocate an hour or so each week to this kind of marketing.
And if you just don’t have the time or need some help to do all this consider outsourcing it, ie contact me!