Social Networking

Why use Facebook & Twitter?

There are 60.8 Million people in the UK, in excess of 22 Million of these are Facebook users and 3.5 Million are Twitter Users (at August 2009)! These users are potential customers, suppliers within the same industry and your competitors!

Facebook & Twitter are FREE! Where else would you be able to get the same level of coverage for nothing?

Build relationships & new contacts with potential customers, other suppliers within the industry and your competitors.

Gauge trends in your sector of the Industry without the need to invest your time or hard earned cash in Market Research.

Tweeting & posting on Facebook need not be a time consuming task (unless of course you get addicted to reading tweets and posts!). The two can be set-up to work together, so your Facebook Page also tweets and the tweets you post can update your Facebook page.

Tweetdeck is a fabulous piece of FREE software that allows you to manage Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (if you join that Social networking group as well). You can leave it running on your PC (as well as being able to access it on your iPhone when you’re out and about!) so you can maintain a constant link to what’s happening without the need to be “online”.

Facebook

Have you got a personal profile on Facebook? If you have, you are more than likely to be ‘friends’ with other people and are members of groups belonging to other groups or businesses.

Setting up your own page is extremely easy!

  1. From your Home Page, click “Adverts and pages” (normally on the left hand side)
  2. Click “Create Page”
  3. The following screens will lead you through the process of adding all of the data required to create your page

When your page is set up you will need to “publish” it so others are able to find it. Don’t forget to “suggest your page to friends”. As people become fans, news feeds will be displayed on their home page.

Create Photo Albums, get your blog to import into the Notes section, start discussions, link to other pages and create favourite pages. With a page you also have a feature called “insights” which gives you information on how many visits you are getting on your page and other analysis features.

Another sensible Page task would be to shorten the name of your page by giving it a user name. When you initially set it up the URL will be really long this can easily be shortened, simply go here http://www.facebook.com/user name/ so you can end up with shortened page names like http://www.facebook.com/deliciouswebdesign

Advertising on Facebook

This is a good method to gain targeted visitors. You can create an advert that points people to your Facebook page instead of your website. One thing Facebook did get right with their advertising was the ability to narrow down the target reach, for example if you are targeting wedding services you have the ability to narrow down the number of people who you want shown your advert from the 22 million registered UK members to the 1.9 million of them who are engaged to be married (2010 figures). Facebook as you might well know is paid advertising so it is best to limit yourself initially to a few pounds a day, initially to see how these new Facebook fans convert into clients, so your goal initially it to bring in a handful of new fans which you can then show your new goods and services by updating your Facebook page. The important thing with the pages is to keep the content fresh that way you stay in their mind for the moment that they make their decision to use your services.

Twitter

I’ve been using twitter since June 2009. I tend to favour Facebook but use it as a pure business marketing tool, by responding to particular searches or discussions I have seen I have generated new business for ourselves and generated great leads that I would not have got if I wasn’t on twitter.

You choose to follow people’s ‘tweets’ and in return if you post interesting / relevant information you in turn will be ‘followed’, other users have followers in the thousands… it is powerful thing. I have built up some great contacts and even met some of the people I had only tweeted with previously.

I have been able to find new suppliers for stock that I require based on recommendations by people I am following.

Time consuming as I have allowed it to become, I have found that it has saved my time elsewhere in trawling the web for pieces of information… I simply “Tweet” a question and someone has the answer!

When you first start looking at tweets it can be a little daunting… Abbreviations can be very confusing! BUT, you will quickly pick it up! Tweets are restricted in length to 140 characters, so your choice of wording can sometimes be tested!

You will notice peculiar looking web addresses, these are shortened URLs. You will need to register with bit.ly or a similar service to be able to shorten the URL you post. In addition to shortening your tweet, bit.ly also allows you to track the number of clicks of the URL.

General Tweets everyone can see your tweet unless you protect your account. Direct Messages can only be seen by the person you send them to. These start with a D before the user’s name rather than an @ symbol.
@ by using an @ symbol, you will be directly mentioning the other twitter user
# tags are used for searches… you’ll notice “#FF” which is a user suggesting people to follow (on a Friday). “#WW”
(Wedding Wednesday) is a similar thing as well as other # tags… i.e. #wedding

Twitter itself has a good “help” section…

I have linked my twitter account to my Facebook account so when I post on my group pages the post is mirrored on my twitter page.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck is especially useful if you use Twitter & Facebook. The News Feed from Facebook can be downloaded and you can respond and comment on items without the need to log-in to Facebook online. You can also publish status updates to Facebook via TweetDeck. In addition to simply viewing all of the tweets made by your friends, you can arrange a variety of columns to assist in searches for keywords, tracking who is following you, people that directly mention you, and Direct Messaging.