Long Island Marketing – Facebook a Time Waster?

I am sure you have heard of social media and you probably wonder how you can use it to market. Maybe you experimented with Twitter and checked out your kids’ Facebook profiles. It looks like a good way to keep in touch with old acquaintances and for college students who want to make sure they’re all at the same bar next Friday. But why does any of this matter to you or your business?

Social media is an increasingly important asset for businesses to get found by and interact with potential buyers on the web. Think about the way you personally get information these days. When researching a product or service, less and less of your information is coming from “traditional” media sources. How much are television ads, radio ads and newspaper influencing your decisions. Do you even see TV ads anymore with your DVR recording your favorite programs?

It’s much more likely that you ask a friend or check a search engine for information about what you are searching. Today people have gotten very good at ignoring the traditional media adverts and instead go to Google and social networks for answers to their questions. The question for your business is: will you be there to answer it?

Facebook is not an evil time-waster( although it can be), a community just for college students, or irrelevant for marketers. Facebook is a means for connecting people with those around them. Long Island marketers have an opportunity to use Facebook to expand their online footprint and engage with customers directly. However, it’s often difficult to figure out what you should be doing, and sometimes more important, what you should not be doing.

So, I’m going to go though a brief primer for using facebook for your Long Island marketing plan.

Business Goals for Using Facebook:

  • Get found by people who are searching for your products or services
  • Connect and engage with current and potential customers
  • Create a community around your business
  • Promote other content you create
  • Setting Up Your Facebook Profile
    You should create a personal account and start making connections and sharing information. Fully completing your profile will help in future efforts. Make sure you read privacy policies and use the facebook settings to properly control your privacy.

    Personal Accounts vs. Business Accounts
    On Facebook, Profiles are meant for people and Pages are meant for businesses.
    Do not create a personal profile for your business. If you do, facebook may shut down your account. Facebook is building new functionality for businesses, and all of this functionality is only available to Pages.

    There are a few key differences between Business Pages and Personal Profiles:

  • Pages allow you to have multiple administrators to manage the account. Profiles are for one person only.
  • Pages are, by default, public and will start ranking in Facebook and public search results. Pages are split into different categories (local businesses, brands, musicians) that help you get listed in more relevant search results. Profiles can be private or public depending on settings.
  • Personal profiles have friends, which require approval by both parties. Anyone can become a fan of a Page without first going through approval.
  • Worried about privacy? Facebook is very flexible in letting you control what is seen.

    Promote your Page
    Now that you’ve built your Long Island Marketing Page, you need to get some fans. Here are a few ideas to get started.

    Run a Contest on your Page
    This is a powerful tool to generate new fans quickly.

    Use Your Existing Personal Profile
    Using your personal profile you can encourage friends from there to join your
    Page.

    Promote with Your LinkedIn
    LinkedIn is another great option to use to get expose for your Page

    Promote With Press Releases
    Create a Press Release to announce your new Page.

    Use YouTube for your Facebook Page
    Youtube is a great place to promote your Page.

    Promote In your Email Signature
    Put your Page in your email signature and use it in any forums you might be involved.

    Advertise on Other Peoples Websites or Blogs
    You can create Banners and have other people help you promote your Page.

    Facebook Advertising
    Facebook Ads are created right through Facebook and can be a very
    effective way to promote your Page. These ads are not free but can be targeted to a very specific audience based on information they provide to Facebook!

    Word of Mouth or at Live Events
    Make sure to add the link to your Page on you business cards, and brochures. Invite
    people to join your community.

    Craiglist and other classified sites
    Use the ‘announcement’ section of Craislist or backpages.com and post a FREE classified ad pointing back to your Page.

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