Operations

Harness Social Media as the New Marketing Frontier

Posted on February 1, 2010

Social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn have opened up a new world for connecting with your clients. They offer the ability to reach out to them daily. Unlike encouraging clients to visit your Web site frequently, social media is used by most people to connect with their social circle of friends each day to announce what you are doing as much as seeing what your friends are up to. The whole idea of being considered a “friend” helps propel opportunities for business. Sites such as Facebook and MySpace refer to your social connections as “friends.” Of course we all want to do business with our friends, so social media cements your relationship on another level.

LAST-MINUTE SPECIALS: Obviously it is disappointing when you realize the weekend is not shaping up as planned and your fl eet will most likely sit in the yard collecting dust. In the past, there was nothing you could do. Borrowing from the concept of Priceline.com, you can reduce your rates on a day-by-day basis to create sales and encourage some cash fl ow rather than none. By posting a special on social media, you have the ability to reach many people at once about a great special and make the phones ring right away. Hotels and airlines for years have offered up last-minute Internet deals to try to fi ll rooms and airplane seats. We can do virtually the same thing.

BE RESPONSIVE: People who send messages or ask questions on your social network site have become accustomed to immediate answers. Managing a social media page for a business is quite different than answering a personal email. Failure to respond to messages in a timely manner can create a false perception that you are not responsible or effi cient. For that reason, a few people in the company need to be assigned to monitor the page day and night to respond and be the voice of the company on the social media pages.

MAKE FRIENDS AND FANS: Obviously the more friends you have, the more people you connect with. Unlike a personal page, you don’t need to be personal friends with these people, so start "befriending" as many people as you can. On Facebook, businesses that have at least 100 "friends" can get a new address on Facebook such as Facebook.com/ABCLimo and your friends become known as "fans" instead of friends. Make sure you put tag lines on your e-mail signatures such as "follow us on Twitter" or "join our Facebook page." The logos for each company are readily available for your use on your Web site, letterhead, brochures, etc., as social media companies want you to be on their sites nearly as much as you need to be on them.

TODAY ONLY SALES: If you want to create a fi nancial boon in a single day, you can pick any day in the future and start promoting your “One Day Sale.” You can run promotions for anyone who books on that date, and that date only receives special pricing, a free hour of service, or a free bottle of champagne. You can make up any promotion you want. The key to success is to continuously mention this date on your Web site to create interest, allow people to save their money until the special date comes, and plan for the transaction on that specific date. Money will be rolling in the door that day.

Social Media Web sites
www.facebook.com
www.myspace.com
www.twitter.com
www.linkedin.com

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