After some convincing, most executives understand why their businesses should be on Facebook. The old argument was, “none of my customers are on Facebook.” Well, actually, they are. And, if you don’t believe it, here are some statistics
to prove the point:
- There are more than 800 million active users (Your customers really aren’t part of that?)
- The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
- More than 2 billion posts are liked and commented on per day
Now that we’ve moved beyond the why
of Facebook, let’s focus on how
to make it work for your business:
- Be authentic and personal. This is not an advertising platform. This is a platform for engagement with your constituents. Share a mix of industry fodder, company, product and customer updates, and content that displays the human side of your business (think photos of the office outing, humorous articles, any philanthropic efforts, etc.).
- Follow the science of social media timing (originally published by HubSpot in a webinar, The Science of Timing), which is based on monitored audience behavior and suggests posting updates every other day, at noon, and on Saturdays for maximum exposure.
- Don’t be afraid to include other companies in your updates. Link to them in your status updates so that they are alerted to your shout-out in order to promote a synergistic fan page relationship, as well as further interactions between both companies, on or off Facebook.
- Interact on other Fan pages. Create a list of companies that you endorse, or that are your customers, partners, integrators, etc., and make your fan page a fan of their fan page. (Say that five times fast!) Track for relevant updates where your company can be a part of the discussion. Not only will you foster (or create) a relationship, but you will become visible to all of their fans, only increasing your visibility in that network.
Start your Facebook efforts with 10 minutes each day, and keep it up. Set goals for your page and check the weekly e-mail updates sent from Facebook to track for success.
Okay – I admit I am late to the game. Not in using social media, but in reading the book “The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal.” We all know the story behind Facebook, how it began in a dorm room and is now part of more than 6 million individuals’ daily lives. But what is most interesting about the book and the company itself is the grassroots approach Facebook used to grow its business.
Rather than drawing on old-school PR methods -- an official company launch, a press release, media interviews -- Facebook founders started with their friends, their personal networks, and the demographic to which they best related, and then expanded out slowly campus by campus, building a groundswell of followers -- a pure grassroots marketing effort.
Companies sometimes overlook social media and the principles upon which it is built in favor of advertising or traditional media relations, but the overwhelming adoption of Facebook and social media around the world should draw attention back to the value of grassroots PR and marketing for promoting flourishing startups.
Unfortunately, what is not discussed in the book is how the social media revolution -- including Facebook -- has changed the way we communicate in the business world. To learn more about this, you’d have to read Fortune’s David Kirkpatrick’s book The Facebook Effect, which provides a much more comprehensive look at the impact Facebook has made on our world and the way we communicate. It's also a less drama filled book but it will leave you understanding how much we have all changed as a result of Facebook and social media in general.
We have seen a dramatic shift in business communications due to the instant nature of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other online sites. Social media is no longer an optional PR component – it is a MUST have for any company that wishes to be a leader in its market.
By Erin Rohr
A few weeks ago, I read the Forbes article, “Sean Parker: Agent Of Disruption
” and was completely fascinated. Sean Parker, most famously known for his former presidential role at Facebook, is a man with a hand in almost every aspect of today’s Internet business. Although Parker is remarkable, I was more interested in the journalist Steven Bertoni
’s role and ability to express the true grit required to become an entrepreneur.
Bertoni has the most amazing journalistic job to date. He covers billionaires, entrepreneurs and disruptors for Forbes. He believes money is power and chronicles the people who shape the world economy and the lives of billions – both for good and bad.
For this story, Bertoni experienced a day in the life of Sean Parker by shadowing Parker across the country on various engagements for an entire week. Yes, Bertoni got to fly all over the country, meet Internet billionaires and party with fabulous people, but he also discovered how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur.
Whether he meant to or not, Bertoni beautifully depicted the necessary must-haves for every wannabe entrepreneur. Listen up, folks. The following are requirements:
- Passion -- To achieve your goal, you need something that will drive you forward every day.
- Guts -- There isn’t always time to conduct market research. As Steve Jobs said, “People couldn't know what they would like when they had never seen it before."
- Less sleep -- As an entrepreneur, be prepared to handle anything, anytime, anywhere.
- Connections -- In the world of start-ups and entrepreneurship, connections are everything. Keep all the doors open, no matter what.
- Tenacity -- Most entrepreneurs fail multiple times before they become successful. Accepting failure is one of the smartest decisions you can make as an entrepreneur.
“For all that he has accomplished, Parker remains a hacker at heart, motivated less by money than the drive to disrupt,” said Bertoni. Parker, like many successful entrepreneurs is continuously motivated by passion and unexplainable dreams.
Guest blog by Chad Hall, founder and vice president of sales at Ioxus, Inc.
“Why should we blog? We don’t have time.” It’s a statement we say frequently at Ioxus. We’re an emerging ultracapacitor startup with many internal technology priorities, and we’re always on the go working to establish a successful global presence. Well, for all of you out there who are muttering the same question, here’s the answer:
My colleague, Brendan Andrews wrote this blog, “Greening the Automotive Supply Chain.” Less than two months later and after Metis’ blog distribution, a Design World reporter wrote a standalone article based on it: “Are ultracapacitors poised to replace batteries?” The article quotes Brendan’s blog. Not only does the publication reach our target audience, the story provoked more than 75 Ioxus whitepaper downloads from leads including top-tier car manufacturers and military personnel. Our site traffic also skyrocketed by more than 300 percent compared to the day before.
Ioxus has built a worldwide presence among design engineers, media, analysts, partners, investors and other audiences due in part to our blogging efforts. While timelines and deadlines can come upon you quickly, if you plan and commit to blogging, you will see sales success.
A lot of marketing and PR firms make recommendations and simply back off if you say, “no.” They don’t describe the value or push you to the next level. Metis doesn’t allow this. Our team at Metis wants us to be successful, see return on our PR investment and drive awareness for our business. We listen to the experts – they’ve helped us build a formidable presence online and in the market at large.
While it is debatable whether or not PR played a role in swaying the Italian courts to free Amanda Knox, her transformation from bad girl to good girl in the press certainly had a positive effect in the court of public opinion.
After being accused of killing her housemate Meredith Kercher in 2007 during a semester abroad in Italy, Amanda was deemed a “she devil” by the European press. Upon her return to the U.S. after her conviction was overturned, the media welcomed her home as “a nice young woman, a linguistics major at the University of Washington, who had fallen victim to the Italian justice system,” as the New York Times recently put it.
So what contributed to the significant shift in public opinion? The answer – in part -- is a carefully executed PR campaign. The grass-roots effort was launched by the Knox family in response to pre-trial publicity that painted Amanda as a wild party girl with questionable morals. The family hired a Seattle-based PR firm that specializes in crisis management after receiving an overwhelming number of media calls. Friends of the family also created a website that protested her innocence and showcased heart-warming family photos to paint a more wholesome picture of Knox.
While it is difficult to know for sure if the Italian courts were influenced by Knox’s media campaign, this is a great example of the powerful impact PR has on shaping the public’s opinion and dispelling preconceived notions.