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Santa’s Three Tips for Business Building on Facebook

Santa’s Three Tips for Business Building on Facebook

By Leilani Haywood

Steve Dailey in Lee’s Summit MO is a drug tester for a private investigation firm and a Santa from November through December. He has a fan page on Facebook with over 10,000 “likes” from all over the world. I set up Santa’s fan page last November when he asked me how could he increase his bookings. “I don’t have a lot of money but I need to get the word out fast about my Santa business,” he told me in late October 2009. I recommended social media as the answer to quickly raise awareness of his Santa business.

When I set up his fan page at that time, I didn’t realize that he was the only Santa on Facebook. We both suggested the page to our friends and within 2 weeks we attracted over 1,000 fans. I was happy about the results and sent out a news release to local media about the Facebook Santa taking gift requests from his home in Lee’s Summit. The Kansas City Star, Lee’s Summit Journal, Lee’s Summit Tribune and Fox 4 News publicized Santa’s Facebook page.

The fan count ramped up to 3,000 within a week of news coverage. Even a reporter from the Los Angeles Times called Steve to interview him for a news story about the Santa business. For those who want to know how to build up your fan counts, here are a few tips from Santa.

#1 Use traditional public relations for your Facebook page. If you have an unusual service or business, send out a news release to promote your page. Of course you should have a reason for someone to visit your page. An example is you were taking donations for a non-profit organization, you could ask potential donors to visit your Facebook page to view photos of or register for an event. This is one of the best ways to build up your “like” base quickly.

#2 Connect your Facebook page with a related cause or brand. Santa partnered with City Union Mission, an outreach to the homeless in Kansas City. We created an “Operation Santa” toy drive to collect gifts for homeless kids and teenagers served by City Union Mission. The Operation Santa drive sparked a second wave of media attention and thousands of more fans. We used Facebook to publicize the drive and sent an update to fans with a link to donate to City Union Mission.

#3 Give and it shall be given unto you. Santa made a surprise visit to the 10 marketing directors at the top hotels and shopping destinations in the metro Kansas City area. The marketing director of the upscale Hyatt Regency hotel came out of an meeting because he had to see Santa. “You made my day,” he said. Santa gave a holiday cardholder that included his business card. That gift yielded a booking at the Great Wolf Lodge Resort and a promise to give him a call for corporate parties.

As you can see, Santa’s Facebook fan page is a key part of his offline outreach. Every day during the holiday season, his posts are folksy stories about the reindeer, elves and creating gifts. But the rest of the year his posts are reminders to keep the holiday spirit of care and giving alive everyday.

By the way, what do you want for Christmas? Tell Santa here!

October 19, 2010 By : Category : Blog Featured News Guest Blogger Tags:,

View Your Social Networking Like a Party

View Your Social Networking Like a Party

Let’s think about why people are so into social networking sites, or to ask a better question why are people into social activities at all? They’re doing two things. They are expanding the group of people they know, and they are…drumroll please… having fun! No one wants to go to an event to be bored. They can do that at home. They go somewhere to have fun. Social networking sites are no different.

Even Linkedin, the so-called Professional networking site, is recognizing the need for more entertainment value with its features. They’re now allowing blog and Twitter feeds to connect your other social media profiles and they’re expanding their group discussion platforms for more interaction. Will Linkedin ever have games like Farmville? Doubtful. Maybe we’ll see a cubicle puzzle or a flash paper toss game (doubtful), but for the most part they keep it pretty professional, and rightfully so.

My point is most people, the target audience of marketers, aren’t on these websites to be marketed to. Most people use social networking as a means of escape. They frequent these sites to sit back and let their brain rest for a few minutes. But in the process they are still that same person they are at work and they still have the same interests.  Maybe they’ll stumble across some cleverly designed marketing and might take a produce or service for a ride.

So here’s how to get past that “I don’t want to buy your stuff” wall that most people on social media sites put up.

Think of your social media activity like a party, and then compare that to how you handle your social media marketing right now. Most marketers just throw out their links every time they post a tweet, status update, group discussion topic, video, etc. How would this come across at a party?

Imagine someone just running around screaming at people about themselves and the products they sell. How would that come across? Would anyone want to talk to that person? Probably not. They’d get snubbed.

Now think of how an event networking veteran does their thing at parties and networking events. What does this person do to “work the room?” They strike up conversations. They talk to several different people. They share their stories. They offer assistance. They hand out freebies. THEN, after a relationship has been established, they do their elevator speech about what it is they do and how they can help. Or they ask their prospect to take the next step in their sales funnel. Sign up for my blog, newsletter, free trial, whatever.

Make sense? Are you starting to get the picture?

The same thing goes for social media marketing. The psychology of people is no different online than it is offline. On social media platforms make connections through DMs, wall posts, @mentions, group discussions, fan page messaging, etc. Hand out gifts that you know people want through these same distribution channels. Grow relationships this way before you start selling and you’ll be much more effective.

On top of getting more leads, you’ll also probably make some friends along the way who you can then leverage to help you get the word out about future deals, and vice versa. You’ll grow a partner network online, which can be a very powerful thing.

So take a step back and start viewing your social media marketing like a party. Even though some people use social media for marketing and marketing only, be smart about it. No one wants to talk to the person who is obviously just there to peddle their wares.

by Cody B Wheeler of cbwheeler.com

October 11, 2010 By : Category : Featured News Guest Blogger Social Media Spotlight Tags:, ,