I'm just curious how other people have used other social networking sites, like Facebook, as a promotional tool. What has been your success with this medium, what problems have you encountered? What works, what doesn't?
The best advice for working this magic is to:
a) Set up a Group Page for your Product or Service (like Stacey did for her PSDA Facebook Page)
b) ENGAGE!!! Don't sit there and wait for it to come to you, it won't. Find and join groups that could potentially buy or influence the purchase of your product or service, then provide insightful (not spammy or salesy) Forum Discussion topics, comments, post articles and info that is relevant and helpful. Not relevant and helpful to you, relevant and helpful to the group members.
c) If your product or service isn't relevant to the conversation, don't talk about it! You can always add a link to your website in your signature, and if people are interested in what you have to say, they'll check out your product and service.
d) If you can, ALWAYS use A HREF tags to help grow your number of links to your site. See the HTML Tags Chart here for how to do it.
In closing, this is my opinion, LinkedIn is more professional for B2B Marketers.
Facebook is awesome for Word of Mouth and Guerilla Marketing Tactics, just check out this event: Talk Like Sarah Palin Day. 42,559 confirmed guests.
I'm still on the fence about Facebook for B2B. LinkIn, I do agree has potential, especially since I have heard from some members that they did receive interest in their companies offerings as a result of being active in multiple Groups. I don't think anyone really knows the best way to make use of these social media sites yet. Its all still a big experiment. I have found that for B2C, its been good for special promotions, product releases, news, customer feedback and addressing FAQs.
The thing I have experienced about social media marketing is that you first must position yourself as trustworthy and and expert. This is achieved by your content of course, but also the level of engagement you have with those you network with online. Have discussions with others about a variety of topics. If all you do it pitch, pitch, pitch, you will be tuned out quickly. Be a resource for your followers.
What people need to understand about SM is that it is part of the marketing mix, not THE marketing mix. I use SM as a sales "accelerator". By this, I am looking for business intelligence that can help place me strategically in the mix for projects. Having this intelligence, or knowledge, gives you the answer to the inevitable question that all salespeople hear, "what's in it for me?". Let's face it, your prospects don't care one bit about your equipment or capabilities, but only how you can solve their business problem. This business intelligence is clear: they have a problem. Can you deliver a solution? If not, move right along.
If you use SM in this matter (sales accelerator), you just might pick up a few clients.
Talk with Jim Lahner at Four51 about their new killer FanTools app. Jim REALLY gets it PLUS he will show you how to not only develop a Facebook strategy, but how to generate revenues managing customers' strategy.
It all depends on the type of product or service you want to promote. For some famous brands like coke and apple keeping an active presence on Social media has become a necessity rather than just another medium. Many b2c companies even have applications that supplement their mainstream product/service like dating apps or photo album printing. The key element knows your target market and focus on getting them emotionally involved. Special promotions, discount codes and lucky draws are very effective tools to get noticed by your potential and returning customers. Create a page for your product/ service and ask for your customers suggestion and be proactive with them.
There is no hard and fast rule for success in social media , it all depends how well you understand your target market and how can you reach them effectively.
For B2B wholesalers or printers, I always recommend becoming active in the Linkedin Groups. Facebook can also be a great resource. We set up a Western States Envelope page on Facebook, and have seen some interaction from it. Kind of surprising, considering we are a B2B wholesaler. It can be used to connect to customers and prospects as well as keeping employees connected and up-to-date on what is happening in your company. You can see our page and how we're using it here: http://ow.ly/1K51N.
I would also recommend Twitter. There are a large amount of printers interacting on Twitter, and it's a great opportunity to become a valuable industry resource. If you go to our Twitter page, http://twitter.com/WSEnvelopeLabel, you can see the wide range of printers and distributors that are following us.
Lastly, if you have any corporate videos, or videos showing your products/services, it would be great to put them out on YouTube. YouTube has become one of the largest search engines in the world, and people are enjoying watching videos more than ever. For an example of how we use YouTube, you can look at our channel here: http://ow.ly/1K5Kh.
Overall, social media is a great way to be a valuable resource throughout the industry. It not only increases your brand awareness, it can offer a quick and easy communication method for potential customers.
Western States Envelope & Label
Almost every person is having an account in facebook, and sharing the links of websites there is a great experience because the number of clicks on those websites are more than the others.Thats why the people are using social networking sites as the promotional tool..!
"I am sorry for the late reply but I have just joined the group.Believe it or not is to have a system designed for your needs. This way it is expandable if needed. It should be web based so users can access it from anywhere. What you may not know it…"
"Wally, I totally agree with you. There is tremendous opportunities. I see them everyday all over...it is rather exciting that we have turned the corner and now need to embrace the new things that are coming our way. Thank you for sharing."
"Thank you Renee. I evaluate print companies and redesign them through digital and find niche products that they can produce. I design web 2 print e-commerce solutions and have been in the print industry for ove 30 years mostly in label production…"