7 Steps to Using Social Media in Business

Today I am participating in a Rochester MN Chamber of Commerce event called Facebook for Business. I did a 15-minute intro/overview, and Alan De Keyrel of CWS, Inc. is delivering the keynote, called “7 Steps to Using Social Media in Business.”

Here are Alan’s 7 steps:

1. Develop a social media policy.

2. Educate your Employees.

3. Define your purpose. Alan says there are only 5 basic things businesses can do using social media

– Branding. YouTube is a great vehicle for this, as this Sienna music video demonstrates

– E-commerce

– Research

– Customer retention/service

– Lead generation

4. Understand timing. The “life” of a tweet is about 8 minutes, so you should post updates on Twitter or Facebook at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., which are the times when people are active and likely too see your message. The top of the hour also has the most interaction.

5. Create Facebook page.

– Understand the difference between a Page and a Profile. Profiles are for individuals. Pages are for businesses or organizations. Don’t try to make a business presence on a profile. It needs to be a page. Using a profile violates the Facebook terms of service.

– Get creative. Use a large picture. You are limited to width of your picture, but not the height. Design a long, tall graphic.

– Create a custom landing page using FBML. Get the FBML app in Facebook so you can customize, instead of having people just “dumped onto your wall.”

– Adjust permissions to have the default landing page be your custom landing page.

6. Set up processes. Decide who in your company does what, when, where and how. Somebody needs to be responsible.

7. Monitor & Engage. Ask questions. Respond.

How to get more fans?

– Give away something. Set up a contest saying you’ll give away an iPod to a fan once you get to 1000 fans.

– Tag fans in photos.

– Embed widgets or icons on your Website or e-newsletters. Ask people to “join the conversation.”

– Store displays.

– Add it to email signature line. Encourage employees to do likewise.

– Use the @tag. In your status updates, create a link to your page with the @ tag. Use it sparingly. More on this in a future post.

– Use “Apps.” Survey apps, poll apps, promotion apps get people involved in your page. Many have viral components.

– Use “Deals.” This is what users are most interested in getting from you. Individual, Loyalty, Friend or Charity deals, based on what works for you. When people “check in” at your business with their smart phones. When people check in at your business it goes on their wall that they just got a deal at your business. You need to start by claiming your place. Check in at your business using your smart phone. Go to your wall on your computer and execute the claim. You need to show proof, but then that lets you use Deals.

– Merge your Place with your Page. More on that later.

Dealing with four kinds of negative feedback:

Straight problems – Legitimate issues. Always respond.

Constructive Criticism – Suggestions for ways to improve. Thank the person for the ideas.

Merited Attack – Always respond. Don’t take them personally, but acknowledge.

Trolling/Spam – Do not respond. Delete.

Now we’re looking forward to a good discussion with the panel.