Posts Tagged ‘Benefit’
It’s been said that we learn everything we need to know in kindergarten. Mostly it’s said as comfort to the majority of us who excelled at nap time but never went on to get a Harvard degree. But it’s also said because a lot of the basics are covered in kindergarten. You learn about following the rules, coloring inside the lines, getting along with others, and not biting someone for stealing your crayons. In other words, the fundamentals. And along with everything else, those basics apply to social media.
Coloring Inside The Lines: Seems simple enough. The lines in coloring books are there because most of us weren’t born professional illustrators. So use them. When setting up a social media page or a blog, be sure to use the guidelines they’ve provided to fill out your page and make it seem like you know what you’re doing. There’s a reason they have a space for a photo, one for your contact info, and for some background information. It’s because those are some of the first things people will wonder when stumbling upon your page. They’re going to want to get a quick snapshot of who you are and what you’re offering. Make a good first impression by completing your profile.
Follow The Rules: There are some simple rules to follow when using social media and, if you don’t, you’ll likely hear about it. Just as in life, people in groups and forums generally want you to follow some simple rules in order to participate. Pay attention and follow along. The benefit of joining groups is to mingle with people in your industry and region. Don’t start off by offending them, ignoring their requests, and using their forum as an advertising venue for your business. Play along and by the rules and you’ll find yourself meeting new contacts and potential clients.
Play Nice With Others: Be polite, participate, and don’t be a jerk or a nuisance. This would appear to be the most obvious of all lessons from kindergarten that could be applied online. Unfortunately, some people abuse the relative anonymity of the Internet. Don’t be like them. Respond to comments politely. Be accessible to your contacts. Ask questions. Take an interest in others. Share knowledge. Be grateful that anyone at all is looking at your page and paying attention to what you’re doing. You’re trying to attract, not repel, people. Act like it.
Pretend your Facebook fan page is your house. Now how inviting a home would it be if you didn’t have furniture, appliances, heat, plumbing, etc.? The answer is not very. It may look nice enough from the outside but you certainly wouldn’t have many guests if, for example, they were expected to bring their own seating, water, and heat source. The same principle applies to your Facebook fan page. In order to attract visitors and keep them long enough to get them to like your page, become a fan, or contact you, you’ll need to take advantage of any available apps and tools that add function, make it easier for you to maintain your page, and – most importantly – attracts visitors and potential business.
Here are some applications to help your business take full advantage of its Facebook fan page …
RSS Graffiti: Visitors to your Facebook page will need something to look at beyond your address and phone number. That means content. RSS Graffiti greatly reduces the stress of coming up with content to share on each of your social-media accounts by automatically sending your posts and tweets to your Facebook fan page. Easy to set up and free, RSS Graffiti can be used with any website or social application that has an RSS/Atom feed.
Schedulicity: Unfortunately this app will cost you a monthly fee but for less than $1 a day it adds a tab to your fan page that allows visitors to schedule an appointment with you directly from Facebook. And, while it can be a benefit to you and your existing clients, it’ll also help you find new clients. After all, making it easier for people to find and book your services can only help boost your business and your fan page’s functionality.
Contact Tab: Much like Schedulicity, this Facebook app makes turning visitors to your fan page into new contacts easier. With Contact Tab, you can collect all of your contact info in one place – from your address to your social-media accounts – and also add a map to your location and a form to send you a message directly from your fan page.
Pagemodo: Pagemodo makes it easier than ever to customize your Facebook fan page. Though the app comes with a price, it also comes with a variety of customizable templates that will take your fan page from dull to dynamic. You won’t need any coding or design skills, either. Features are easily added and include slideshows, video, contact forms, maps, and the ability to hide content behind a “gate” that requires interested visitors to first like your page before they can access the info.
Poll: Just what its name suggests, the Poll application on Facebook allows you to add a poll question to your page or profile. The poll shows up as its own tab and is great for gathering information from your fans and visitors.
More suggestions here, here, and here. Previous article on LinkedIn apps here.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
Doing something well requires practice. And practice requires patience. After all, it’s going to take a while to get good at whatever it is and, in the meantime, you’ll have to grow accustomed to the feeling of failure. The same goes for starting a social-media campaign. There’s no reason to expect you’ll have more fans than Oprah within a week of setting up your first account. Take your time and don’t get discouraged.
To help you get started, here are a few common mistakes to avoid …
Keeping Quiet: It’s easy to fall into the trap of only promoting your social network while you’re online. But driving traffic to your sites means getting the word out. Even offline. If you’re keeping a blog, talk about it as much as possible. Ask clients to visit. Ask your friends to visit. Mention it in meetings and at industry events and anywhere else you’re in contact with potential readers that fit your target audience.
Doing Too Much: Once you’ve got yourself registered on your social network of choice, it’s tempting to start following and friending every page, profile, and person you come across. And, while it is a good idea to connect with industry and community contacts, clients, and potential referral partners, building your network requires some focus. If you find yourself following 500 people on Twitter and the majority of them are your favorite actors, actresses, singers, and athletes, you’re likely not going to see any benefit to your business. You’re also never going to be able to locate your actual contacts through the mess of tweets filling your inbox.
Giving Up: There as many cliches about practice making perfect as there are reasons to keep with it. Sure, at first, it’s a struggle to find the time or the content or the purpose behind your social-media efforts. But with a bit of focus, and a commitment to engaging and interacting with your online network, the benefits will come. Don’t fill out your profile, let it sit for a month, and then proclaim the Internet a waste of your marketing efforts. If at first you don’t succeed …
More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.