There’s a great video that I saw recently called “Facebook in Real Life”. Perhaps you’ve seen it to. It is a hilarious look at how Facebook would play out in real life, and to be honest, how silly it all seems. You can watch the video below;
While it can be a lot of fun (and silly) on a personal level to be social and to keep up with friends on Facebook and other similar sites, from a business perspective, you really should decide how to be intentional about who you connect with and how you interact. I thought I’d share just a few thoughts about things that we have done that has made a big difference in our business and, most importantly, has brought us new leads and buyers.
1. Decide what you want to be known for and what your potential connections want to hear; this determines what you put on your profile(s), who you connect with, and what type of content you post. For example, one of the things we like to be known for is that we’re passionate about using WordPress. WordPress is the platform that we build almost all of our web sites on (including ours). Subsequently, I have that in my various profiles.
2. Use tools to find people who need your expertise; One of the tools we use all the time is Twitter Search. You can search, real time, for conversations happening on Twitter around your area of expertise. For example, we have a query setup in Twitter Search that monitors people looking for help with WordPress. Here is a recent screen shot;
The two highlighted questions represent an opportunity to demonstrated our WordPress expertise and potentially generate a lead for our business services. You or an assistant can monitor this and respond very quickly since this is real time. Imagine the power of getting an answer almost immediately. This strategy alone has resulted in a lot of work for our company.
3. Add yourself to directories or groups; Another way to be intentional about who you connect to on the social networking sites is to use directories and groups. For example, consider joining Twellow.com, the Twitter Yellow Pages. Or, consider joining, or even better, creating a group on Linkedin.
4. Create a Facebook fan page for your business; We do a lot of speaking on the topic of social networking to business groups. One of the things we always do is ask who in the room has various different profiles such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. While almost everybody in the room has a Facebook profile, many fewer people have a fan page. Having your own fan page is a great way to see people who have ‘raised their hands’ and said they like your company. You can then be very specific about the messages and content you post on the fan page, making it all about your business.
These are just some of the ways you can be intentional about social networking (or as I like to call it social media marketing) to generate new leads. Be intentional, and it will pay off.
Tim Fahndrich is the co-founder of the Third River, an Oregon-based Internet Marketing company. He is passionate about people, marketing, and technology and loves helping businesses and organizations harness the power of the web. You can follow Tim on Twitter here or contact him at 503.581.4554.