Facebook Hits 500m

The Daily Social Media Marketing Campaign News
By Howard Oliver, CEO, What If What Next, whatifwhatnext@on.aibn.com

Half a billion people around the world are now using Facebook on a monthly basis. That means Facebook has a slightly smaller population than the continent of North America. The social network also has enough users to put 75 people on every one of the over 6.6 million square miles of Russia, the largest country in the world by landmass.

The largest number of Facebook users live in North America with 35.4 percent of the continent actively logging on to Facebook every month.

To celebrate this accomplishment, I have assembled a group of ideas on how to use Facebook for lead generation:

Facebook can improve your company’s exposure and increase the search engine rankings of your home site. Search engines consider links from Facebook as being “powerful links”. They can help form a very strong link profile for business related websites.

It is important to genuinely get involved and not just needlessly and ineffectively spam on Facebook. Users of social sites ignore irrelevant commercial content. The key to success with Facebook, like any social networking site, is to provide what the users want – useful information and interactions. Think of social media as the global water cooler. You wouldn’t impose on your friends in a social setting. It takes some creativity, a willingness to help people and sincerity to do this effectively. There is a subtlety that is required.

That being said, Facebook offers access to a large number of topic related groups that you can access and join. Find the topics that are most relevant to your business where you can become an active community member. The more targeted the group and the more active you are, the more leads you will generate. Targeted groups are the secret app of all social networking sites. We have generated a flow of leads for our business and for clients from these targeted sites.

To set a measurable goal, we recommend building a list of 100 social media originated prospects. You should view to do this in two months.

Set up your profile on Facebook. Having a profile opens up various useful features in Facebook. Above all else you will have one page that other users visit if they want to find out more about you or your service. Include a few links to your websites are landing pages.

Fill out your profile completely to earn trust. Establish a business account if you don’t already have one. Stay out of trouble by reading the Facebook rules regarding business accounts. Install appropriate applications to integrate feeds from your blog and other social media accounts into your Facebook profile. Post a professional or business casual photos of yourself to reinforce your brand. Post your newsletter subscription information and archives somewhere in your profile.

Consider obtaining a Facebook vanity URL. Add your Facebook URL to your email signature and any marketing collateral (business cards, etc.) so prospects can learn more about you.

By creating a Facebook application you can promote your business in several ways. Users will add you as a friend if your application is useful. They may also send details of your application to their own network – producing a viral effect.

Start a group or fan page for product, brand or business. Add basic information to the group or fan page such as links to company site, newsletter subscription information and newsletter archives. Post upcoming events and activities. Update your group or fan page on a regular basis and answers to questions.

Share useful articles and links to presentations and valuable resources that interest customers and prospects on your wall, to establish credibility. Combine Facebook with other social media tools like LinkedIn and Twitter.

Look for mutual contacts on your contacts’ friends lists. Find experts in your field and invite them as a guest blogger on your blog or speaker at your event.

If you’ve read through this piece to this point, I would assume you are concluding that all this takes a lot of work. You are correct. Social media are free but the labor to produce a business results is not. But, the effort is more than worthwhile. Consider the 100 Lead Project I mentioned above. Run the campaign over two months and compare the costs with your other traditional activities to create High Quality leads. You will be impressed with the results.

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About Howard Oliver
The founder and CEO of What If What Next, Howard Oliver (holiver@whatifwhatnext.com) for more than 20 years has been an entrepreneur, writer, thought leader, PR Guru, business development strategist, technology evangelist, manager and consultant for numerous service, industrial and high technology companies. Howard provides leadership in the application of Agile and Lean project management methodologies for technology enabled social media marketing and PR campaigns that deliver revenue, customer and alliance engagement, and media buzz. Clients in technology and other industries recognize him as a driven, highly creative and disciplined thinker. He also created the WebVoyaging® brand, a market engagement methodology that optimizes the deployment of cloud based, best-in-class marketing automation solutions. The WebVoyaging® process is inspired by the great visionaries who conceived of and built history’s great sailing vessels, which helped establish trade routes and created huge wealth. An accomplished business educator, Howard has recently created the WebVoyaging® Master Class, a training program for organizations interested in implementing Lean marketing automation solutions. Howard holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University. Howard is an avid sailor and collector of books.

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