Internet marketing has been changed completely over a just a few short years by a trend commonly known as social networking. You probably wouldn’t have needed a crystal ball to imagine that the Internet would develop its social theme as more and more people realised the reach of the web, and became increasingly connected through the use of smart phones and other new gadgets.
It seems that quite a few people consider MySpace to have been the one who started this trend, but recently, the buzz has all been directed at Facebook, and to a large number of people MySpace has become “so 2006.” Facebook is now the number one social media site. Its strength seems to revolve around its platform, and its clean and tidy appearance; many people consider it to be more upscale than MySpace, for example.
Facebook was devised by Mark Zuckerburg, Justin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, who were student room-mates at Harvard University. At first, the site was only intended to be used by university students, but it rapidly expanded nationwide through the school systems everywhere, and eventually to everyone else across the World. Zuckerberg’s original “Facemash” has now grown to over 200 million users. Incredibly enough, there are even some people who put its present value at around $5 billion.
Facebook is, simply, networking at its finest. Not only can you use the platform to interact with family and friends, but from an online business point of view, it’s great for marketing as well.
The first thing that you should apply yourself toward as an internet marketer is to create a first-rate profile. You should give this a great deal of consideration as your profile is essential to your success in this venture. Incorporate a branding strategy, but make sure that you understand what environment you’re working in. When dealing with any kind of social networking, commercial branding and marketing should be very subtle, and it should never be “in your face”.
Facebook provides you with the opportunity to expand your network of friends as far as you want to take it. Begin by building your network up with your current friends, and then try and connect with the establish contacts of “friends of friends”. You will find that a concerted effort will enable you to increase your contact list exponentially. Make sure that you never spam, and always temper your enthusiasm. Build relationships – not just numbers.
Within Facebook you will find that there are many, many online groups and there will certainly be groups which are associated with what you do. Every type of professional service provider has a group of some kind, and you should belong to all of these in your field. You can make tons of contacts this way.
If you cannot find a Facebook group that fits your vision, you can always create your own. You will need to be very proactive here to solicit members, and you should publish articles and give a lot of good information away, essentially for free, to create some buzz. You can create a Facebook “fan” page, especially if you find that your original page has reached its limit for membership, which is currently 2000. The fan page creates an additional subtle marketing opportunity, and it’s all a part of the process of getting people into your sales funnel and ultimately to your checkout.
If you have a blog or some form of website development which you regularly update this with great information, tips, tricks, solutions, assistance and generally good stuff – then you should syndicate it so that your posts appear on your Facebook profile page. The goal is to get as much exposure as you can, which in turn of course converts to readers, visitors and potential sales.
If you’re holding any events or creating a milestone of any kind within your business, you should create an event page within Facebook. By sending an open invitation, you solicit people to go to your events page and find out what’s going on, and they can then advise their friends, creating even further exposure.
Facebook should be an integral part of your business strategy, but you must also have your “fun” face on when you’re there. Warning – Facebook is addictive (not to me of course – but to many), so don’t let it take over your marketing programs altogether!
Michelle Dale is Chief Executive of Virtual Miss Friday, an adept and highly-proficient Virtual Assistant Service which works closely with enterprising people who really want to succeed in their chosen field. If you’d like to learn more about online business building success strategies that are tailored to your needs, contact VMF today!