Social Media (SM) is the Internet’s means of promoting, among other things, websites. Your website is the informative and promotional face of your business these days (if you don’t have one, for Pete’s sake, contact me now). Using Facebook and other Social Media to get people FROM there TO your website is the key, not the other way around. Facebook does not need your branding support.

social media symphony

social media symphony

There are several things you should plan to do right off the bat.

First Task: Your Website should be using SM’s standard icons prominently with links to each; Facebook and Twitter especially. How it works: when someone clicks on the media icon, and is a member of that SM already – of Facebook, Twitter, etc.- then their friends and connections see their “like” or “recommend”. For Facebook, either can be chosen. I prefer “recommend” for businesses given it’s not normally soliciting teenagers to comment on ice cream flavors! Ask your website designer to obtain the “embed code” for your website after creating an account. This is a free source: AddThis.  Note, my social media icons are small but visible. The Add This tool includes “bookmarks” (or “favorites”), registering the approval of your site with a myriad of social and bookmarking venues across the Internet where you have accounts – and even adding a printing utility.

Second group of tasks: Open one SM account at a time as you are prepared to do so (i.e., be ready to enter all the data and upload images in one sitting). In this blog I’ll focus on Facebook.

Facebook requires a great deal of information for the Facebook company to acknowledge your organization’s Page as a complete one, not to mention that you have to have earned at least 25 fans of the Page to secure the Page name. Facebook says, *”All Pages are eligible to claim usernames if they have more than 25 fans.” [* Please note: information was accurate at the time this blog post was published]

You will need a synopsis of your business, a logo that is sized appropriately to be viewed completely and clearly (no fuzzy graphics!), address, phone and other contact information, and a half dozen photos that highlight your products and/or services. Even free photos are better than the otherwise “empty boxes” at the top of the Facebook screen (being careful to use free photos off the Internet that indicate that they are free to use. Many are not, so please don’t disrespect copyright law -or look rather foolish by those in-the-know).

Once your business is set up as a Facebook Page, proceed to invite people to be fans of your page by emailing them with a humble “Would you help me please?”, using a blind copy – b.c.c. –  so you don’t expose your friends’ and family’s email addresses to everyone receiving your email. Initially target the invitation to this, your “warmest market”  i.e., people who already care about you and the success of your business. People normally will help when requested. Don’t be shy about reminding them once after then, however, if they don’t show up in the group in the left hand column of the Facebook page called “people like this”. A third request might be considered being pesty though.

There are more Facebook tools, but worry about the essentials listed here first so you are at least keeping up with your competition. And speaking of competition, it’s typically advisable not to promote your competition, right? So why would you on Facebook? Don’t become Fans of (“like”) competitors’ Facebook Pages. After all, they might make a slicker first impression when Internet surfers are busy and don’t have time to dig deeper to uncover your business superiority! But do add as many other Page types as you want to be viewed by your marketplace. E.g., do “like” your favorite accounting business; don’t “like” your favorite grunge band.

Be careful to use the organization’s Page as your facebook identity when you are working on the Page for promotion. Refer to the dropdown menu in the top right, click on “Account”  then go to “Use Facebook as Page” . Whatever this is set for will indicate “who” is commenting on the wall and otherwise interacting on your Page.

Finally, check you Page often for univited posts. You will get advertising posts galore as people “like” the Page and then become able to post. One can stop other’s ability to post, but then you are losing the very thing you signed up for, the sharing of posts on other Social Media accounts! Do allow posting, just delete ads as you go.

There are other Social Media related tasks you might want to assume subsequently, requiring a recommended few hours per month. What and how much depends on your business or other organization. I’ll address that in another blog.

You can contact me for more information. I am truly pleased to help you grow your business or other organization.

~ Isa