Social media 201

Features - Cover Story

OK, you’ve got your Facebook page set up and a few posts to your blog. Here’s how to leverage your social media connections into real business.

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You feel like you’re off to a good start, but you’ve only got 50 fans on Facebook, 12 followers on Twitter and your LinkedIn profile tells you you’re only 80 percent complete. What should you do next?

Snowball fanning. Facebook is the perfect tool to connect with your residential customers and prospect base. How do you go about gathering new fans? Here are some ways we at Moyer Indoor Outdoor have gathered a larger fan base.

We started by randomly selecting one fan to receive $25 in Moyer Money each week. Advertising this on our website and notifying current fans, we added more than 75 additional fans.

I then started a new program that encouraged positive feedback on our fan page. Customers who become fans go through a quick three-step process and are automatically emailed a $10 coupon toward their next service in return. Step 1: Become a fan. Step 2: Write on our wall and tell us about your experience with Moyer. Step 3: Fill out a quick form on our website.

With this program, when we receive a new fan, we also capture their email address. This allows us to further cross-market additional services. The comment posted on our wall lets us express our expertise to other fans and use as a testimonial. 

Comment catching. I’ve found that you need to ask for feedback to receive it. Start from the very beginning by asking your fans questions. Each time someone comments on a post, his or her friends see the comment. This gives you more page views on the newsfeed and encourages their friends to become fans too.

Good, healthy competition. Applications like Wildfire (wildfireapp.com) help you run professional contests without spending a fortune. To enter our latest contest, you need to upload a picture of your family spending time together on our Facebook wall. One lucky fan will win a full year of tree and shrub care. It can be that easy, it’s all about creating a fun reason to be a part of your company’s fan page.

 

 

Easy tweet. Although Twitter isn’t for everyone, there are some easy ways to be there for your tweeting customer base without the additional hassle. We link our Facebook posts to directly tweet on Twitter. I personally have my Twitter account set to automatically update my LinkedIn status.

Getting lucky.  At networking events, I’m constantly getting pulled aside to meet someone new. I was heading out the door from an event and someone yelled, “Diana, come meet Kathy.” After a quick two-minute conversation, I headed off. The next day we connected on LinkedIn.

Kathy and I commented on each other’s posts and sent event invites to one another. Eventually we ended up at the same event and as soon as I walked in, she ran up, said an enthusiastic hello and gave me a hug. Yes, a hug. Imagine being set up on a blind date, meeting for coffee and skipping the dating process, going right to getting lucky. With social media, sometimes it feels like your skipping a step.

Writers block? Blogging is all about a personal style of writing. For a business blog, you’ll want one person to be that voice. Not a great writer? No problem. I’d suggest finding a local copywriter. You may even want to start with three to four, give them each bullet points and some research materials.

With any social networking site, you’ll need to become a conversation creator. Find interesting topics, comment on others posts, upload photos and share a piece of you. It’s a whole new popularity contest, and you want to become the homecoming king.

Diana Lauren Berneker is marketing and advertising coordinator at Moyer Indoor Outdoor, Souderton, Pa., and owner of DLB Creative. Find her on Facebook at facebook.com/dianalaurenb.