Business Facebook Page Compared With Other Social Networks

Marketing a business takes time and hard work. It is through advertising in which businesses get their products seen and to reach their targeted audience. For years this was done, in a variety of different but similar ways for nearly all businesses.

In order for a business to be recognized, they often used adverts such as billboard posters, advertisement in a local newspaper, some on occasions, have used advertising on radio and T.V. Although these ways of marketing are still widely used for some advertising, more and more businesses today, are turning to social networking sites in order to advertise or promote a product. Social media is fast becoming the new trend in business marketing. With the options of reaching a wider audience faster, and achieving business goals more efficiently, it is no wonder this way of marketing appeals to many.

Facebook is within the top 3 most popular social networking sites used today. With over a billion users registered on Facebook, there is an endless stream of information, news and trends posted daily.

Fast becoming a favorite way in advertising. Facebook business pages are free to create but there is a small charge for promoting adverts. The option of creating a new profile specifically for your business Facebook account is available, or you can just log into a personal profile and create a Facebook business page.

So how does a business Facebook account fare against other social networking sites such as twitter and LinkedIn? For starters, Facebook is available in over 40 different languages whilst LinkedIn is only available in just over 3 languages.

With a Facebook business page in place, you are able to upload and share photos of products, or videos from other networks such as YouTube. There is no limit on written content per post. Posts can save you time as they can be written in advance and have the option of spacing them with as little as 10 minute intervals, this is an ideal way of keeping customers updated with news about products on a regular basis.

Twitter, on the other hand, limits the number of written content per post. Many businesses often choose to just add a link to another site when using twitter for promoting a business or product. Twitter is particularly popular amongst celebrities and for news links.

Facebook is a social networking site for all. Businesses, celebrities the general public can often be seen using Facebook. Unlike other social networks, Facebook also has instant messaging. This enables you to speak with clients more directly.

In having a Facebook business page you will target your chosen audience more effectively than any other social networking site. Whilst Facebook has a variety of users, LinkedIn is more professional based. This can aid in making contact with other businesses. Although you can, with a business Facebook account, add links to other social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. This will enable any contacts you have on other social networks to find you on Facebook.

Online Social Networking Basics For Doctors

Now a day, Social Networking is very much visible in many areas of our society. It is being used for various purposes, and not necessarily for its good functions. You might have heard in the news about some people being questioned for illegal or unethical conduct because of how they have used social networking.

Doctor, you need to know that if you engage in social networking deliberately, you can use it to your advantage.

This is also one reason why we have established our membership site to allow various degrees of interaction with our members. Historically, not only in our own experience but also with research studies that have been done, chiropractic doctors fall behind other groups when it comes to the use of social networking. This discussion aims to enlighten you a little bit and whet your appetite. Look for more information on social networking in our upcoming technology workshops.

If done properly, social networking can be very advantageous. It can put you in front of an enormous number of people in your own neighborhood and around the world. Just make sure you follow these two basic rules.

Rule 1: Your participation is limited. In other words, as one of my confidants advised me some time ago, limit yourself to no more than a few minutes per day.
Rule 2: Make sure what you are contributing is of interest and benefit.

Of course, there are a few exceptions. Social networking on hobby sites is something totally different.

On professional sites such as the Perfect Practice Web forum, if we had more doctors participate we’d start to see the benefits of sharing instantaneously.

If nothing else comes of this discussion, at the very least, take a look at our forum. Post something interesting. Post questions about things you need help on or recommendations for vendors and suppliers. There is no limit to what you can share. As long as it’s done in a professional and timely manner, everybody in the group will benefit.

So, lets cover some of the more common social networking sites, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I’d like to discuss each of them a little bit at a time. They’re all very important, and each has its place.

With regard to online social networks, Facebook is the most widely used in North America. Nexopia is used predominantly in Canada. Other social networking sites include MySpace, Tagged, Highfive, Bebo, Skyrock, Orkut, etc. Other sites that are also widely used around the world are Friendster and Cyworld.

There are so many sites that you can go to. I urge doctors to participate in those forums that will provide visibility and the opportunity to have a professional but friendly image. Facebook would be number one on my list, not only in my personal experience but in the experience of the other people in the field we talk with every day.

Another advantage of Facebook is that you can link videos and blogs to it. You can do this with other sites as well, but Facebook is so hardwired in through Google that the opportunities are limited only by your imagination and your financial resources.

MySpace is similar to Facebook. We have found it to be not quite as popular when we survey other professionals.

Twitter, on the other hand, is a fun site that can allow you to put yourself in front of thousands and thousands of people quickly.

The caveat with all these sites, but especially for the first three mentioned, is to understand that when you post, it is permanent. You have to make sure this information gets disseminated. It can be used against you. God forbid something unintentional gets posted on a particular site. Keep in mind that all your post are subject to the highest level of public scrutiny. One of the scariest things now, not just for healthcare professionals but other people, is that Facebook and other online posts are being used against them in legal matters.

Be professional, cautious and intelligent about what you’re doing.

The next site is LinkedIn. This site is pretty cool. It seems to be a little bit more difficult to get into. It takes a little bit more time with regard to networking, simply because it is professionals.

LinkedIn regularly send emails updates of what’s going on with other members of your network.

It also keeps us inform of what’s happening with the other online communities. For example, if you take a look at allied professions and what’s going on online, it gives us a great idea of what we should be doing.

Get yourself up and running. Get out there. I encourage everyone, members and guest doctors. Get yourself listed to each others Facebook Friends Lists!!!

This will have tremendous benefit. You automatically get more exposure on-line, just from linking with us and your profession and others on Facebook.

Be professional, friendly and proud, and take some time with it.

What is Social Media? A Guide to Profiting From Social Networking

SM is an umbrella term that encompasses the technologies and the activities that people use to share experiences, ideas and information with each other. The term is still evolving. The term “SOCIAL MEDIA” most often refers to activities that integrate technology, social (or human) interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio – better known as “user generated content” [an example of UGC would be videos on YouTube.]

Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing (crowd outsourcing), and voice over IP, to name a few.

Examples of social media applications are Google Groups (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace (social networking), Facebook (social networking), Youmeo (social network aggregation), Last.fm (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Second Life (virtual reality), Flickr (photo sharing), Twitter (social networking and microblogging) and other microblogs such as Jaiku and Pownce.

— What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

SMM is where you use social media networking and user-generated content platforms to promote a product, service or content. SMM typically involves creating and participating in a “conversation” with the target audience, rather than blatantly advertising to them.

SMM can also include creating and promoting viral content that is meant to be shared by users. Many marketers are not comfortable with the lack of control over social media but when approached properly, social networks can be extremely effective channels for building product evangelism, reputation management or corporate branding

— Why is it becoming so popular?

I believe it’s simply because it mirrors our true nature. We are gregarious by nature and for once we are able to use technology easily to reach out and connect in new and exciting ways. It’s still all so new too, there are new frontiers popping up regularly and it’s a bit like the early Internet “gold rush” days during the 90’s

— Is every Social Media site for every entrepreneur?

They might not think so, but it is. You do it naturally every day, SM online is simply the same thing applied technologically.

— How does a business owner determine which site is the best match for them?

Good question. Not all SM Sites are equal. I typically advise people to think “classical marketing” and don’t let the ‘flashing lights’ fool you. Visit the site, pat attention to the conversation. “Lurk” for a while. Ask a question, see what happens. Each environment has its own rules. Blunder in and start shouting and you’ll get flamed. Respect the environments ‘sub culture’ and you’ll do fine. An obvious example of this in action is a site that caters to “gamers” – you instinctively know that if you’re selling insurance you would have a tough time in that environment. Like I said, think like a classical marketer.

— Are there some “best practices” steps to starting and maintaining your SMM sites? And how do I make social networking work for me?

– Social Media Marketing

Many a company has forgotten the old maxim, “Act in haste, repent at your leisure…” The same warning should be applied to companies rushing to get in on the social media marketing wave.

If you hear things at work like “We should have a blog,” or “Let’s join Facebook,” I suggest [respectfully] that maybe you are about to make a whopper of a mistake.

Here’s why…

– Backwards is bad

You are starting your social media strategy design backwards – and this will lead to trouble.

In any other business endeavor we start by figuring out what we want to accomplish. Social media technologies are not magical. They’re just tools too. It’s time to stop doing social media marketing because it’s trendy and instead do it because it works!

– 4 Things to Remember

(1) The web is about people. You need to know your audience. Understand their capabilities, their hangouts online, their language and behaviors. If you’re targeting business travelers then consider rating and review sites for example. Just don’t guess…

(2) Figure out what will be different when you are done. This is the “why” behind your plans. Do you want to create a close knit community or a product testing ground. Understand the motive’s behind your actions.

(3) What outcomes and objectives are you seeking to achieve. Consider the end result and how you will measure it. A fuzzy or fluffy end result is almost as bad as not specifying one at all. How will you measure success?

(4) What technology to choose. Only answer this question when you’ve completed the others because then you’ll know with clarity and confidence.

In conclusion, if you recognize classic business planning and management principles amongst these notes you’d be correct. The game may have changed, but the rules are still the same. Plan first, then act with confidence.

— How long is this new type of marketing going to take to master?

The actual skills are quite simple – you likely already have them mastered. What you need to learn is the PROCESS. That takes a little time, but frankly not that much.

— What if I don’t know many people to invite to my network?

No problem. Answer this question “If you are the ANSWER, what was the QUESTION?” Armed with that answer you can locate groups of people who would need what you offer. You can then invite them to participate and you can SHARE your knowledge and expertise to PROVE you are the answer to their problem. Use your favourite search engine to locate these people – simply type in the QUESTION or problem. Remember, if people knew the answer they wouldn’t be looking 🙂

— How can I get business through SMM?

It’s a funny thing when I’m asked this. We do it daily, so I marvel at the fact people think it’s different online. Sure there’s a layer of technology in the mix, but it’s still about people getting to know people. Remember the old maxim, people buy from people they like and trust.

SMM simply enables (or should I say empowers) you to do this more effectively.

— Why Most Brands Fail on Social Networks

A new report from JupiterResearch sheds light on what many online marketers suspected for quite some time. Most brands are failing to make impact on social networks…

Naughton’s Law states: “We invariably over-estimate the short-term implications of new communications technologies, and we grievously underestimate their long term impacts.” Every brand should be online in the best way, know its consumers, and maximize the benefit of its online offering to those consumers.

Here are some startling facts from the report:

– Startling Facts:

(*) The average branded social networking page has only 6,494 friends.
(*) Many advertisers are still building branded social networking pages that broadcast content rather than inviting users to interact.
(*) “Most advertisers simply don’t know how to market properly within social networks.” – JupiterResearch

– New Research Suggests:

(*) You should promote your SM pages with paid adverts rather than relying on viral marketing to get the message out. Building viral buzz is harder than you think.
(*) You need to engage users on the page. Even simple forms of engagement, such as contests, on average doubled the number of friends acquired by each branded page.
(*) You must also appeal to social networkers’ love of multimedia to get noticed. Social Networkers are twice as likely to visit a branded page focused on media content than a branded page focused on products.

— How does the non-writer do this type of marketing?

It really shouldn’t pose a problem. The ‘Net is vast and there’s room for each of us to be AUTHENTIC. Even behind the shield of a computer many of us seem able to sense a scoundrel or someone “putting on airs”.

If you can email you can do SM. If you can talk you can SM. If you have a pulse… you get the idea.

— Do the Social Media Marketing sites have fees to pay?

Typically NO. I advise you to initially avoid any sites that ask for payment until you know precisely what you are paying for. There are some good fee based sites out there, but the good ones also offer a free version too – start there if you wish. Let the results determine the level of investment you are prepared to make.

— Are there some sites that you would recommend for business people?

LinkedIn.com
eCademy.com
SelfGrowth.com
Ning.com – ‘create your own’ Social Media website.

— Will I have to spend hours a day keeping in touch with all of the people who write to me?

You will need to invest time and energy in your online marketing. Whether it’s YOU that does this or one of your staff is entirely up to you. But you cannot expect a “set and forget” solution to something that is inherently human.

— How can I protect myself from “weirdoes?”

Be careful. Don’t give away sensitive or private information online. You will always be exposed to some degree to odd people. I get some very odd emails and propositions, however you need to remember this is business, and although you are using “personal skills” to network online, never forget that.

— How can I come across as a professional on these sites, and is it possible to do “real” business this way?

Yes. Publish a professional PROFILE. Show you are a professional and act accordingly and you will be perceived as such. Include family photos of you dressed as a clown at your kids birthday party at your own peril. Remember, online your “goofs” are eternal and will haunt you forever. Online reputation is area you need to tread carefully within. It’s a bit off topic, but that’s why I tell teenagers that they should be very careful about the pictures and posts they put on these social websites. Because in a few years the recruiters will be Googling them and this will be part of their “resume” and frankly it can be a career killer before it even starts.

— Why do some people seem to get good results and others just get discouraged?

As with all things in life some people quit too early. Social Media Marketing and Social Networking takes time. It’s like any relationship you develop with another human, rushing to the finish just gets you slapped… Metaphorically and literally too!

Also, success online isn’t about one big thing, it’s about a cluster of little things done consistently with focus and commitment. The strongest trees take the longest to grow. Online things happen a lot faster, but still there is a time commitment, think 6 to 12 months and you’ll be thinking along the right lines.

— Is there a “fast start” strategy once I sign up for a Social media marketing site?

There is. Create a professional profile. Publish some content establishing you as an expert in your field. The ‘readers’ will approve and so will the search engines. Explore the active or “hot zones” within the SM site, pay attention to the type of communication and then dive in. Give first. Build kudos and credit before you try asking for anything.

To keep up, use technology to “feed” your SM presence from your other sites like your blog or website. I use technology to syndicate and publish my content to all my SM sites with the push of one button. It makes connecting and staying up to date a breeze.

Remember to invite your friends to join you. Add a promotional button on your “other” sites – for instance if you decide to join Twitter, you can put a “Follow Me” link on your website. Connect, Communicate and Commit. Now ‘rinse and repeat.’

— Extra Topics…

– The 16 Rules of Social Media Optimization

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a set of methods for generating publicity through social media, online communities and community websites. Methods of SMO include adding RSS feeds, adding a Digg or Share This button, blogging and incorporating third party community functionalities like Flickr photo slides and galleries or YouTube videos. Social media optimization is a form of search engine marketing (SEO.)

Social media optimization is in many ways connected as a technique to viral marketing where word of mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of networking in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites. In a similar way the engagement with blogs achieves the same by sharing content through the use of RSS in the blogsphere and special blog search engines such as Technorati.

Rohit Bhargava was credited with inventing the term SMO. His original five rules for conducting Social Media Optimization have grown to 16 (as of today.) For reference, here is an aggregated list so far:

1. Increase your linkability

2. Make tagging and bookmarking easy

3. Reward inbound links

4. Help your content travel

5. Encourage the mashup

6. Be a User Resource, even if it doesn’t help you

7. Reward helpful and valuable users

8. Participate

9. Know how to target your audience

10. Create content

11. Be real

12. Don’t forget your roots, be humble

13. Don’t be afraid to try new things, stay fresh

14. Develop a SMO strategy

15. Choose your SMO tactics wisely

16. Make SMO part of your process and best practices

Much of what is listed here is common sense, some say it just Web2.0 marketing. Whatever you may think it’s definitely good advice no matter what. I’m just pleased we are taking the subject seriously now and promoting strategic content creation as an important aspect in the mix.

– 15 Social Media Facts That You Should Know

(1) Approx. 3 out 4 people in North America use the web
(2) Women are a growth area online.
(3) 44% of the Internet users are between the age of 35 and 54.
(4) Approx. 3 out of 4 people in North America use social networks.
(5) They spend an average of 6 hrs a month on these social networks and view more than 800 web pages.
(6) 51% of social network users are female – they also consume about 200 pages more than men and spend an extra 2 hours online.
(7) Canada is a Facebook nation, the USA is a MySpace nation.
(8) 65.7% of Canadians use Facebook each month spending an average of 350 minutes and consuming 725 pages of content.
(9) 35+ is the biggest age growth sector on Facebook.
(10) Online video and multimedia has grown over 300% in North America.
(11) The average length of a video online is 3.4 minutes
(12) 89% of all Internet users have watched a video in the past month.
(13) 57% of all videos are consumed on YouTube.
(14) Blogs reach more than 60% of all (online) people in North America. Blogging is growing at almost twice the rate of the Internet.
(15) Social networking and multimedia has a reach of more than 80% of the North American population.

Bottom line, if you are not engaged in social media conversations with your marketplace, then you face a very uncertain future. As I’m fond of saying “Be Found, Be Noticed or Be History!”