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Have you ever been in a good conversation with someone and been interrupted by a dumb comment from a by passer? They had no idea how the conversation came up, but they felt the need to give their opinion and try to influence you one way or the other. You probably thought that the by passer wasn’t too bright. They could have at least listened for a few minutes before commenting. It’s the same way with social media. As a business owner, if you try to jump on social media sites without a plan, just because someone said you should be there- you might get the same response.
Although, there are many social media sites on the internet and more being created every day, one should know they can’t all be approached the same way. For example: if you have a Twitter account, you’re limited to 140 characters for your tweet. So obliviously, you don’t want to try to type in the company bio in one tweet. A company that uses Twitter well is Zappos. They’ve been able to relate to customers on a social level just by their president tweeting about his daily activities. On Facebook, the story is different. For example: Morevisibility has a Facebook page that posts recent blogs and videos. In the realm of Facebook, a company can present their bio information, mission statement etc., without seeming intrusive to fans.
Whenever, a company is looking to get on a social media site, it must evaluate why. Are they doing this because it’s the latest craze or is their a method to their madness? Each social site is different and has to be evaluated individually. If a company attempts to join a social media site without a strategy, it could backfire. Just like a company employs a strategy to reach its target audience in their advertising; a strategy should also be implemented to reach people on social sites. A key note to remember is that social media is about socializing. On most social sites, your job isn’t to be a salesperson; your job is to be a friend. The best way to do well on a social media site is to learn about the site and it’s “socialites”. Just like Mr. T would say “I pity the fool that doesn’t have a social media plan.”
Everywhere you go it seems people cannot stop talking about Facebook. I have been approached by several clients who are interested in advertising on there. While having a presence on a social media channel such as Facebook, is important, it may not be the best solution for every type of business.
Facebook ads can be targeted towards members not only by their age, location, martial status, sex and education level, but also by the interests indicated in their profile. Advertisers are able to select the audience they wish to reach; however, this may not work for certain industries. For example, an auto accident attorney in Phoenix, Arizona may want to start participating in Facebook. The attorney will be able to select the Phoenix area as the geographic location, along with the gender and age group; however they would be unable to select ‘auto accidents’ as an interest when choosing the audience. By only selecting the geographic area of Phoenix, the attorney runs a great risk of having the ads display on undesirable user profiles. Another suggestion that may work better would be to create a page or group for the attorney. Searchers would then be able to fan the page and learn more about the attorney’s services.
An example of a business that may perform extremely well in Facebook would be a nighclub. This advertiser would be able to not only specify sex and marital status, but also particular interests such as, nightclubs, dancing and music. Not only would they be able to reach the desired demographic but also users who have these particular interests. In addition, this advertiser may also want to set up a page or group within Facebook for additional advertising saturation.
Facebook is a powerful social media tool that can help you bring your business to the next level. There are many different components within Facebook that you can utilize. Whether you choose to participate in pay per click advertising or otherwise, don’t miss out on the huge potential Facebook offers.
With Google Insights for Search, you can “compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties”. Don’t you wish Facebook provided a similar tool for search and wall-posting activity that occurs within its ecosystem? They do….it’s called Lexicon….and it’s FREE! If your business is still in on the fence with regard to launching and maintaining a presence in Facebook, I suggest utilizing a combination of tools (namely Lexicon) and manual research to help determine the most appropriate strategy for gaining visibility and engaging with your customers and prospects.
A comparison of the terms “iphone” and “blackberry” are illustrated below.
Although Lexicon does not currently provide the granular level of segmentation that Google Insights does, these features are in the works and can be previewed here: http://www.facebook.com/lexicon/#/lexicon/new/. Cool new features include:
Of the new features in the pipeline, it is tough to choose just 1 favorite. Associations, Sentiments, and Pulse are my personal faves. Associations are similar to “Rising Searches” or “Breakout Searches” provided by Google Insights. The Associations graph is great for identifying related terms that are used in conjunction with the core term you are researching. See below for associations with “Swine Flu” wall posts in Facebook.
Consider using the same language in your Wall Posts as your prospective customers. Just how you should position yourself depends on your overall strategy for the channel. Using the Sentiments info provided by Lexicon can help guide the process. Lexicon Sentiments gives you an idea of positive versus negative commentary on the term you are researching. If you find that there is an overall negative sentiment toward your product / brand, be prepared to address the concerns head on!
Pulse is awesome! It gives you insight into interests (keywords) of users posting content relative to the keyword you are researching. This data can be tremendously valuable when setting up Sponsored Ads. For example, if I wanted to target football enthusiasts, Lexicon provides me with a list of keywords to include in targeting for my ad. The example below provides a breakdown of favorite TV Shows for users who posted wall content relevant to “football”.
While proactive keyword research and competitive analysis is critical to planning an engagement strategy for entering new platforms (or markets), Lexicon is not generally one of the go-to tools; it has somehow managed to go unnoticed by many online marketers. Maybe it is the excitement of Google Insights or the buzz about Twitter Search that has pulled would-be users into other channels. Perhaps subscription-based options give users a greater sense of value? Before heading down the road of paid or proprietary tools, check out what people are saying about you on Wall Posts in the Facebook ecosystem.