These days more and more companies are using social media to build influence
on the web. It’s challenging. Many fail or give-up because social media sites possess
a formidable barrier to entry, one designed to keep hawkish salespeople at bay.
Web 2.0 or community sites reward genuineness just as they toss commercial behavior
into the spam bin.
So how can a business build a successful non-commercial "commercial" presence
in social media? By being active, genuine, creative and, most of all, keeping the
business angles on the back-burner. As an example of this, here is my Facebook strategy
for businesses just starting out in social media. I like using Facebook for this
because Facebook is better suited for people who are already popular. If no one
knows you when you arrive on Facebook you will have to do much work before you can
A Facebook Social Media Strategy
Facebook is a closed membership community built for people, not businesses. If
your account does not have a person’s name as the user name or if they discover
that you are not a real person, Facebook will delete your account.
Messages are the simplest and most common form of communication on Facebook.
They occur in different formats and different places They can be one-to-many communications
or one-to-one. Most messages come in the form of:
- Personal updates
When you place a message on your profile it appears on all of your Facebook
friends’ Facebook | Friends pages (status updates, notices). If you write on
somebody’s wall it will appear on all of their friend’s home pages.
- Group messages
If you are the administrator of a group with 5,000 or fewer members you can
send a message to all of the members. These are great because they go into people’s
- Event invitations
Members can send RSVP style event invitations to their friends and to members
of groups that they administer.
Hopefully by now you realize that The first key to successful push promotion on Facebook is to have lots of friends like Luis Perez does.
The second key to Facebook success is to create anticipation.
Facebook members, especially the popular and influential ones, receive a crushing
stream of messages. If people do not look forward to your messages they will skip
over them or quickly forget them. It’s difficult to get around this by using
frequency and multiple impressions because it will earn you a reputation as a spammer.
The best way for a business to build a following from scratch on Facebook
Identify groups that contain your prospect or customer base or targets
- Match your industry
- Match your niche
- Focus on systems or technologies that are prominent in your own business
Identify the leaders and key people in these groups and solicit them for friendship
with custom crafted personal messages
Spend a week following your new Facebook friends’ messages
- Keep track of the people they engage with.
- Note what they converse about.
- Note their status messages.
- Note which topics and styles of messages seem to drive the most interest
- Note the things they do NOT write about.
Join the conversation
- Update your status before 9am, at noon and at 4pm each day.
- Write noncommercial messages that fit within the tenor of the larger conversation.
Begin with three or four each day and spaced apart. If a message thread picks-up
popularity then respond with the same frequency as you would in a natural conversation.
Otherwise hold back. You are building goodwill, not prominence.
- Draft a message to ask for friendships, one that sounds personable, and
keep it handy.
- Request friendship from other people who converse frequently with your Facebook
friends. Don’t try to add everyone all at once. Pace it out.
- Approve all requests for friendship from others.
Become a leader
- Leadership is within your grasp, just wait until after you become accepted
as a regular.
- Write articles on your own website’s blog, articles that extend and expand
on topics from Facebook. Then, message your Facebook friends with a link.
- Celebrate other members’ news. Congratulate them and retell their story
to your own friends.
- Stay out of arguments. Avoid taking sides.
- Take your Facebook conversation to other Web 2.0 platforms. For example,
you could tell people that you’ll be on twitter for an hour and welcome live
- Hold an event offline. If lots of people in your Facebook community are
going to a conference or will be in the same place at the same time, host a
dinner or a party or a game or an activity where everyone can get together.
- Hold a contest. You could give an iPhone to a random person who adds you
as a Facebook friend or subscribes to your blog during the next week.
Now You Can Market your message
- Hype your business indirectly. Never tell people your product or service
is great and that they should try it.
- Tell people what you are working on and why you think it’s so cool.
- Let people know you are excited.
- Drop updates and insights. Make it sound like you are telling people insider
- Remember, Never sell directly!!! You’re more savvy than that.
- If you absolutely must sell then make it sound absolutely genuine and not
resemble a sales pitch.