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January 8 2010

How Facebook Can Help Your Business

by Marni Weinberg

With over 321 million users (and growing) Facebook has become the most visited social networking site. People all over the world are sending friend requests, rekindling with bunkmates from summer camp and classmates from high school/ college. They are sharing pictures and videos of their children, sending out party invites, taking quizzes; the list goes on.

As fun as Facebook can be for many people, the notion that Facebook is just for fun and personal use could not be farther from the truth. Facebook can help your business in a variety of ways. Think of it like this: Your potential shoppers/clients/ leads are spending a considerable amount of time on Facebook. Therefore, you should be there, too. If your company does not have a Facebook profile, you are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to find new business.

Here are some tips on how to effectively manage your Facebook business profile:

  • Create a separate business account, which has different functionality than a personal account.
  • Completely and accurately fill out your profile; this will help to add creditability, as well as earn trust.
  • Post professional pictures of your business and employees. Ensure that all photos are “business appropriate”. This means no happy hour pictures!
  • Customize your tabs with relevant options for your business (Free White Paper, Events, Newsletters, etc.).
  • Don’t get lazy! Update your business profile on a regular basis with current industry news and events. If your site has a blog (and it very well should) you can repurpose content directly from your blog or your other social networks to your Facebook profile. This can be done through an RSS Feed or a widget. In addition, Facebook has a plethora of applications that can be utilized.

Employing the above tips can help get you on your way to a better business profile. Make 2010 your year to get social!

September 11 2008

CNN gets Social Media-how about you?

by Heather Wall

There has been a lot of hype and promotion recently with regard to incorporating Social Media into a company’s online marketing strategy.  Some of the biggest challenges are “how do we incorporate social media into our marketing strategy?”  And, “how is this going to help us grab a person’s attention?”

Well CNN gets it.  And you should too.  If you are wondering how to engage a larger audience and keep them engaged, check out how CNN is doing it.  One visit to their website, www.cnn.com, and you see they are all over the social media radar.  From RSS feeds, to Vlogs (Video Blogs), podcasts, and now… incorporating social media to create buzz and engage their audience live on the air!  Yup, you heard it right!  They are pulling the online world into the offline world right in front of you while you watch TV in your living room.  So, how are they able to do this in real time? Well, CNN is officially endorsing Twitter. They are the first major broadcasting network to do so, and they are doing a great job of incorporating it into their live broadcasting.  You’ll now find the likes of anchorman Don Lemon delivering a news story, then going to Twitter to see the direct impact of the story within the online Twitter community and announcing some of those comments live on the air.  It makes you want to go and check out CNN and Twitter, right?  I know I immediately started “tweeting” myself, hoping to get a comment in! 

This is social media done right!  Kudos to CNN and kudos to Don Lemon for laying such a foundation. So, you may be thinking, “Well that’s great, but what kind of online impact does social media really have?” Let’s look at CNN as compared to MSNBC, whom isn’t utilizing social media at the level CNN is.  One look at some online data utilizing Google Trends to see which website is receiving higher traffic volumes and it’s no surprise to see CNN is getting a great deal more online interest than MSNBC.  By CNN immersing itself into the online community, it’s seeing a direct impact with online buzz by people seeing CNN as their online news source. 

You can get started with this today.  If you already have a newsletter, then you can easily create an RSS feed on your website so others can download and share it.  You can start an online blog.  Make sure you post to it regularly!  Or, you can start podcasting.  Whatever direction is best for your company, you can easily get up to speed with web 2.0!  The internet is changing.  It is becoming a more interactive community.  No longer is a static website all you need.  More and more people are jumping online to interact with friends and businesses.  People are looking at customer reviews and corporate blogs to help them make decisions. If you can become more engaged, more social, in this ever changing online world, you’ll be sure to not get lost in the static.

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