You may have already dipped your toes into the social networking pool with LinkedIn and Twitter, but have you considered Facebook? No? Maybe it’s time to add a Facebook Page to your marketing tool kit.
Facebook’s core service is completely free and supported by advertising revenue. To set up an account, you need to sign up with a unique user name and password. This creates a public Facebook Profile that you populate with whatever personal information you wish to share. If you’re concerned about privacy, lock your content, making it available only to those people you confirm as friends.
Once you have a Facebook account, you are able to set up a page for your business. Whereas Facebook Profiles function primarily as a conduit through which users share personal information, Facebook Pages, which launched in November 2007, offer a way for businesses, sports teams, films, brands, and public figures to establish a Facebook presence. Users opt-in to Facebook Pages by adding themselves as your fans. Fans can send messages, respond to posted content, and participate in discussions. In turn, businesses can use their Facebook Page to send updates to fans and engage them with videos, notes, links, and other content that communicates their business message.
Although Pages look and behave much like a user’s personal Facebook Profile, certain differences exist:
Anyone, even people who don’t have a Facebook account, can view a Facebook Page. In contrast, users must have and be logged into a Facebook account to view a Facebook Profile. Because Facebook Pages are viewable by the public, Internet search engines are able to index your Page and share it with their users.
Users don’t need confirmation to become your fan. Anyone can become a fan of a Facebook Page.
Facebook Pages can have an unlimited number of fans; the number of friends is limited for Facebook Profiles.
With Facebook Pages you can send targeted updates to all your fans at once; this feature is not available with Facebook Profiles.
To set up a Facebook Page, you first need a Facebook Profile. Once you establish a personal profile, go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Type the name of the Page exactly as you want it to appear. The page name should be one that users will use to search for it because you will not be able to change the name later. Next, choose the category that is most appropriate for your business. Now you can create content and publish your Page.
Facebook Pages come with multiple applications. Browse the application directory to view the options. One application that may be of interest to medical communicators is the Notes application, Facebook’s blogging feature. If you’ve considered blogging, but don’t want to set up your own site, try the Notes application. To write a note, go to the Edit Page for your Facebook Page, click on “Notes,” and click on “Write a New Note.”
Of course, with any social media tool there is the question of whether it’s worthwhile. The answer depends on what you expect from using social media. From a business perspective, Facebook can drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and enable you to connect to and engage customers and people who are interested in your service.
Keep in mind that it’s important to keep your online personal and professional lives separate. In the Facebook world, this means reserving your Profile for your personal connections and using your Page to connect with customers and business associates. You probably don’t want your clients to become your Facebook friends where they can view everything your friends write, mundane or otherwise.
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Know about Top Social Networking Sites all over the World Part 03
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#ESNLaunchTips – Identifying Workplace Personas During Enterprise Social Network planning
This week, I share quick tips to help with identifying your organization’s personas and how the data is useful during Enterprise Social Network (ESN) launch planning.
- SharePoint Conference 2012 Deploying Social in the Enterprise
Instagram for Business Basics
Thanks to the apperance of social media tools today, it is so easy to find the relevant, timely information about competitors. Many managers typically can get anecdotal competitive intelligence from tidbits they continually gain. These days, with the popular of many media tools, business owners should follow a more systematic approach that make it easier to learn the way other companies are carrying out.
Using the internet and social media simplifies competitive analysis for those who know how to use the tools effectively. It’s a little more than just Googling competitors. The goal should be profiling competitors to gain a better understanding of their background, financials, products, marketing, strategy and facilities.
It’s not feasible to get all this information in one visit on the web. While some facts may never appear in social media, with patience and research, many questions can still be answered. Social media sites are not silos of information; there is a great deal of intertwined info among sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs. It’s an unstructured exchange that will require searching and analysis.
Here are some quick ideas to get started:
1. Join blog discussions germane to the product area. Use blogcatalog.com to find people discussing issues and ideas relevant to the industry, service group or marketing niche. Reading these will provide a background of what’s important. Posting to these blogs is advised only if the contributor is ready to share and get some comments back! This is a step towards being known as an authority in the field. Another strategy is to learn which bloggers influence customers. Measure their influence by Googling them to see what else they are doing. It’s all about engagement, feedback and exchange. That just could lead to some direct business.
2. Search summize.com for data being announced in Twitter about products, companies, and industries. For example, one market researcher learned that his competitors were using Twitter to broadcast announcements to potential respondents, asking them to participate in a survey at the mall for $ 15/hour. This tool also helps with advanced searches about people, words, places, dates, attitudes, and retweets or tweets containing links.
3. LinkedIn.com facilitates a huge amount of competitive knowledge. Most people use LinkedIn to network and connect with other professionals. By digging deeper (and using the keyword, company or people search), users can find information on businesses and functions within companies, job listings, and join discussion groups. To get started, create a brief profile, including a picture to inspire trust, and start adding contacts. Here’s a tip – perform an advanced search and under company name select “Past not current”. This will give a read on the turnover rate and whether key people are leaving.
If this seems daunting, it’s not, just dedicate some time to “social media” activities, create a plan, start researching, and modify as needed based on which tools are working most effectively.
Back to school digital marketing campaigns.
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