Jun 22, 2011
Internet marketing is the promotion of products and services on the web. This form of marketing has many advantages over traditional methods, including lower cost and the ability to reach a wider audience. Because the web combines aspects of television, radio and print media, it’s value to a marketing campaign is superior to other media choices, especially when cost is factored-in.
The most important thing to remember in marketing is to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers. Internet marketing is no exception to this rule. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have made it easy for marketers to learn about their target audience and pinpoint their messages to their specific needs. It has never been easier to deliver marketing messages to a worldwide audience of interested consumers. The businesses that understand this and take advantage of it have a huge advantage over their competitors.
Here are 10 ways use Facebook to promote your business, and all of them are FREE!
- Create an Excellent Profile– This is THE first step in utilizing Facebook efficiently. If you think of Facebook in terms of a marketing campaign, your profile page can be considered your “brand.” Here is my profile. A strong profile should include: a professional picture (please resist the urge to put up pictures of yourself in this year’s Halloween costume-unless of course that is part of your brand), your contact information, your website address, and your personal interests. You don’t have to list out all your personal interests-you can stick to listing just you professional interests if you prefer.
- Add Friends– This is what makes Facebook really special-the relationships it allows you to build and sustain. The more friends you have, the more affective your marketing and networking efforts will be. The most simple way to add friends is to use Facebook’s own tools to search for current friends already using the platform. Once you have added all current friends, you can start adding acquaintances. One unique feature of Facebook is that is allows you to look at friends of friends. You can build up a huge network this way in no time.
- Join Groups– You can join online groups within Facebook that are related to what you do. There are groups for consultants, coaches, and trainers…almost all professional service providers have some type of an online group. I am part of many marketing groups and have made quite a few contacts that way. So, find a few groups that suit your tastes and get to mingling!
- Create your Own Group– Can’t find a group that really fits your style-create your own! You can add members, publish articles, carry on discussions, and probably meet quite a few prospects.
- List your Events– Hosting a Teleseminar or speaking somewhere? Create an events page and invite all those you want. You can even see how many RSVP and get feedback from attendees. Marketing doesn’t get easier (or cheaper!) than this.
- Syndicate your Blog– You can syndicate your blog on your profile page. This basically means that every time you make a post, it will automatically show up on your profile page. More Exposure = More Readers = More Potential Leads.
- Reach OUT! – Are you a fan or admirer of someone’s work? Reach out to them on Facebook! Many colleagues of mine check their Facebook messages more regularly than their email. They are also more likely to respond to Facebook messages. Don’t feel comfortable sending out a message to someone you don’t know? No worries! Leave them a “I enjoy your work!” blurb on their wall. (All profiles come with “virtual walls” where friends and acquaintances can leave comments.)
- Send Virtual Gifts– Want to show your appreciation for someone? Send them a virtual gift. You can choose from a bunch of balloons to a potted plant that actually sits on the recipient’s profile and grows over time (my favorite).
- Use the Marketplace– Facebook has an online marketplace that allows you to list your services and products for free. This is a great way to gain exposure. You can also list certain things you are looking for. I often find some great books through the Marketplace.
- Create a Community– Perhaps Facebook’s greatest benefit is that it allows you to create a community. It provides you a group of people who are constantly connected to you, and are open to hearing your message. Write on people’s walls, respond to their comments, and introduce them to each other. So…start building your brand and leveraging social media networks for marketing!
Facebook is not just a fun way to stay in touch with friends and family. It is an incredibly powerful marketing tool, and most of its marketing features can be accessed free of charge. Combined with a quality website, Facebook can become the most cost-effective tool in your marketing arsenal!