Thursday, January 20, 2011

Social Media

Previously there used to be a lot of doubt as to whether or not marketing yourself through social media is a worthwhile use of time, I believe it is fair to say that the doubt is long gone. In fact you risk being left out and losing on your clients.
Although there are numerous social networking sites out there, I will cover what I consider to be the four most essential and powerful ones you want to have a presence on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
The main goals of all your social media efforts are:
To connect and communicate with people who are interested in your product or service
To drive these people to your website
To turn your product or service into money (but only after you get them to know, like, and trust you!)

Social media thus gives you the opportunity to earning the right to sell.
In this blog I will give you fairly basic, yet key information on each of these sites to enable you get started as one of your marketing strategies.

 Facebook. Is the most dominant social networking system on the planet, and currently has over 450 million members and some reports predict it will eventually rise to over one billion.
From a business standpoint, it provides you with three great locations to talk about your business:
Your personal profile page
Your business page
Your group

You are reading this blog so chances are you already have a business, or will soon. If this is the case, then having a Facebook business page is a must. Your goal being to build a huge brand, business page is the way to go, as there is no limit on the number of fans you can amass.
Keep the business page more business-oriented.Use your personal page to promote your business by inviting people to download or access free informational contents that you post.
Facebook groups are also good for business promotion.
Another idea is to join the pages of other experts in your field who share your passion and begin interacting. In fact, please go to mine and join http://www.facebook.com/pages/Patrick-JumaCom/186102531400898. Make sure to say hi while you are there.
The best part is that you can build an audience on Facebook in very little time per day. On average, I spend a maximum of thirty minutes a day on the site each workday. I will pop on throughout the day, post a comment, check my personal page, check my business page, respond to messages, check the newsfeed, interact a bit, and move on.

Twitter.
Twitter has a following of 190-plus million people and is an important source in building a business. Below are the top ten reasons why business people need to be on Twitter. 
1. Twitter allows you to listen to what people are saying about you, your product, your service, your business, and your competitors.
2. Twitter is perfect for market research. You can instantly find out what people want, what they need, what they hate, and what they love.
3. Joint ventures. Are the fastest way to build your list, and Twitter is the perfect place to find like-minded professionals in your industry with whom to collaborate.
4. It is the perfect way to network with your target audience. Twitter is the new way to attend a networking meeting. You can quickly meet and connect with the exact type of people you want to without expending the effort, time, energy, and money required in traditional networking.
5. Attract press and media. Your presence on Twitter can create a snowball effect in which you begin to get noticed both online and offline by magazines, newspapers, and television networks.
6. Get speaking engagements. Twitter exposure helps you to become known as an expert in your field, which can lead you to book speaking gigs.
7. Twitter is the perfect place to create a community of like-minded individuals.
8. Drive traffic to all of your other media vehicles. With Twitter you can lead and drive people to your other social media sites, like Facebook, YouTube, your blog, and your website.
9. You can teach people about your business. By taking the time to develop relationships on Twitter (aka getting people to know, like, and trust you), you can begin to qualify potential leads and teach them why they need your product or service.
10. Create a virtual sales team. Your customers on Twitter will be talking about you and your services to their community, thus basically becoming a free sales team for you.

My advice is to commit to one full year on Twitter. Take the time necessary to get established as an expert and decide for yourself if it is worthwhile.

 LinkedIn. Since its inception in 2003, LinkedIn.com has collected résumé data and business networks of over forty million members. It is the largest and most well-known business-oriented social network on the Web. I have found it to be much more limited than other networks (like Facebook), yet it is a great place to get recommended and to recommend others and their services. You can quickly set up an account and start connecting with tens of thousands of people quickly. And, unlike Facebook and Twitter, you do not really need to spend time on the site on a regular basis.

 YouTube. YouTube.com is my favorite video platform. It is by far the largest source for online video with over one hundred million people watching close to seven billion videos per month. With YouTube you can easily establish a profile, upload videos, and create your own channel.
I create and edit my videos with my digital camera (extremely easy to do), and then upload the videos (ten-minute maximum length allowed) onto YouTube. I then copy and paste the embed code (again simple to do) into a new blog post.
It is simple and free to have YouTube host the videos. Plus, the exposure I get on YouTube is powerful.

Social media enables you to connect and communicate with your audience hence the opportunity to earning the right to sell.

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