I have not been especially kind to Facebook in this blog only because a lot of business owners see it as a panacea of marketing. But while I’ve tried to discourage people from putting all their eggs in the Facebook basket I also do recognize opportunity in the world’s largest social network. And, for a brick-and-mortar business, Facebook WiFi is definitely an opportunity. What is Facebook WiFi and how can it help your business?
How do you market a small business in these modern times? I attended a three day marketing conference called Social Media Marketing World to gain insights on today’s trends in the small business and tourism marketing world. With over 120 speakers and 3,000 attendees from all over the world gathering for three days I have notes upon notes, references and ideas but I wanted to sum up the Conference on the latest in digital marketing in one article. Here’s what I learned.
Effectively, you can sum up the whole conference very simply with the acronym “LIKE.” I coined this because I’ve heard so many of my clients wanting more “Likes” on their Facebook Pages. But, as written previously, Facebook “Likes” are only one step in the whole process - sort of like having plates and a fork in time for dinner. What we really want is a balanced meal.
Surprisingly, those who have followed my blog for an length of time will not be surprised by this information. So what did I learn?
One of the worst marketing things I can see a business do is put up some sort of sign that reads, “Like us on Facebook.” Sometimes people even put the URL for their page. This is a big mistake. Why?
We all know who Facebook is - at present they have over a billion and a half users and that kind of pool of people can be a huge temptation for any business owner. I even believe that a Facebook Business Page often is a solid component of a small business’ marketing arsenal.
But a Facebook Page is only one component and only a part of a solid online presence.
Because of the ridiculous number of Facebook Pages I manage I get a lot of people who ask me about their own Facebook Pages. One of the things I get asked a lot, especially lately, is why their Page has suddenly lost its momentum and traffic has dwindled. It’s almost always the same answer.
First, let’s talk about what Facebook is.
Many’s the time I’ve advocated that whatever you do now you can do a little bit better. This was one of Disney’s hallmarks where he would tell his team to “plus it” knowing the power to be greater was within their reach.
But you don’t have to be a creator of magical things to follow this example. One such local example is at a local eatery. As part of loving discovery, my wonderful wife and I try to venture out and sample new (to us) places on a regular basis. From miniature golf, shopping and food we love the world of discovery and so we plan visits to places we haven’t been before.
This past weekend I was at several social gatherings and not one person told me to announce to the group that I was that person’s friend. I was also not given any propaganda material and told to share it with the whole group. But this should not be surprising - that would be bad behavior and probably get someone never invited back. So why do people do this on social media?
I’ve related social media, particularly Facebook, to the water cooler of the old days in offices. Most people sign-up for Facebook to catch up with their friends or find out what’s going on in their social circles. In some ways, as friends migrate to faraway places, go on long journeys or just get really busy with their own lives, social media is a great way to catch up and find out what’s happening.
In our last get together I talked about Firehosing - taking your message and spraying it out with the hopes of getting positive results. This week we’re going to go over another point of social media - interacting with your audience.
Remember my vision of social media that it’s the modern version of the water cooler. People go to relax and catch up on what the people they care about are doing. It also lets us keep in touch with people who we do care about but don’t see very often which is a huge appeal for some people.
I’ve spoken with a lot of people who tell me that social media is nothing but a waste of time from a marketing standpoint. Usually I then go look at their efforts and find that they’re firehosing. What is firehosing? To start, it’s a great way to get out of the minds of the people whom you’re trying to reach.
I just made a decision about a business before even looking at on-line reviews or asking around about the quality of their service. That decision is that they weren't worth doing business with. So what caused this?
The contact form on my business's website doesn't just divulge our email address, that's dumb. Instead it has required fields that they individual has to fill out including their name, e-mail and a few other things. If your business's website doesn't have a contact us form you might consider doing this - it protects your email address and also gets the information from those wishing to contact you that you want.
This past weekend I went to a steam engine festival. I love this festival because of all the cacophony of machinery, smells and people. It's terrific. Unfortunately, I don't think many people agree with me based on this year's attendance. But maybe it's not the festival itself.