Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Social Media Marketing -- Everybody’s Doing It!

Social media is not a fad, it is a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. That means new rules, new opportunities, and new challenges – and businesses must understand this. Social media is a necessity for promoting your business, and it is a powerful strategy that will get you attention, word-of-mouth hype, and massive amounts of traffic to your website and brick-and-mortar store.

What’s There to Lose? There is no other low-cost promotional method out there that will easily give you large numbers of customers, some of whom may come back to your store again and again.

Where to Start? Facebook is your best bet. The online community now has over 300 million users and offers a very powerful platform on which to build a presence. If you are not already active on Facebook, you should get started right away.

How to Get Started: Set up an effective Facebook Fan Page. This not only attracts fans but is sticky, meaning fans keep coming back and may share the content on your page with their friends. Start adding fans to your page by identifying contacts from your profile that are either business connections, people working in a field related to your business, or who would otherwise benefit from the information your company provides, and invite them to become a fan of the Page. Email a short note explaining what you want to offer through your Facebook page, and include a link to the site.

Get the Word Out: Start promoting your Facebook page everywhere: put a Facebook page button on your website, spread the word on Twitter, send an email notification to your newsletter members and place a link on your business cards. Do whatever it takes to help people know that your company is on Facebook and want them to become a part of your community.

Maintaining Fans: In order to stay relevant on Facebook, you need to continually update your page and use the site. The more actions you take uploading pictures, sharing videos or posting notes, the more you appear on fans’ News Feed (the page a Facebook member first sees when logged in). This keeps your brand in their minds.

Encourage interactions with fans, asking them to vote on their favorite new products and what community activities they would like your boutique to host. When fans post comments on your Facebook page, the posts show up on their friend’s News Feeds further promoting your brand to potential customers.

Updating content on your Facebook page also encourages fans to remain supporters and visit your page for unique information that is beneficial to them. Examples include exclusive content, secret contests, special sales or insider access revealed to Facebook fans before revealed to non-fans.


Jon Biancardi is a marketing intern with Itzy Ritzy. He is a senior at North Central College studying Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management and Marketing.

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