WORKSHOP LESSON #4:
Welcome back to lesson #4! In the last lesson, we began to discuss the power of social media sites, such as Facebook. We also covered how you can use “Like Gates” as a way to provide an incentive for people to “Like” your Facebook fan page or website.
Of course, if you want people to “Like” your Facebook fan page, you’re going to want to have a Facebook fan page to begin with. Unlike your company’s website, Facebook fan pages are located on one of the most highly trafficked websites in the world: Facebook, of course! Plus, since it’s completely free to have a Facebook fan page for your business, it only makes sense to tap into this massive resource of prospective customers.
When you have a Facebook fan page, you’ll be able to attract people, who are actively looking for your type of business on Facebook. As these people come to your fan page and “Like” it, this can help to generate more referral business for you. As we discussed in the last lesson, when someone “Likes” your company’s Facebook fan page, their Facebook friends can see that they did this. This can result in a passive, ongoing source of referral business for you – especially if you offer a valuable incentive for people to “Like” your Facebook fan page.
Creating a Facebook fan page is extremely simple. All you have to do is go to Facebook.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the link that says, “Create Page”. From here, you would just select the options that apply to your business. Once you’ve completed the simple set up steps, your basic Facebook fan page will officially be live. Keep in mind, though, that there are a great deal of things that you can do, to create a highly professional looking, customized Facebook fan page. Obviously, a more professional looking fan page will create a more professional image for your company. Here’s a really inexpensive way to get a great looking fan page set up within a matter of minutes:
“Just run a search on Fiverr.com, for “create Facebook fan page”.” ] here is one example https://www.fiverr.com/shawnecannon/create-a-facebook-fan-page-for-your-business-or-organization-and-include-25-likes
Once your Facebook fan page is set up, it’s a really good idea to create an outgoing message that will automatically be sent out to your mailing list’s subscribers. The outgoing message that you schedule to be sent out should provide your subscribers with the web link to your Facebook fan page. Additionally, you should let them know about any special offers that they’ll receive by Liking your Facebook fan page. You should also tell them about other, ongoing benefits that they’ll receive if they become a fan of your Facebook fan page. These ongoing benefits could include additional coupons that you’ll only be sharing with your Facebook fans, “early bird” notifications about things that are related to your business, or anything else that you believe would appeal to your mailing list subscribers.
As we alluded to in the previous lesson, when your mailing list subscribers automatically receive an email, letting them know about your Facebook fan page, and the benefits they’ll receive for liking your Facebook fan page, this can create an ongoing source of free, word-of-mouth advertising for your company.
In addition to notifying your existing mailing list subscribers about your Facebook fan page, there’s another very powerful, free way to find people who are likely to have an interest in your company’s products and services. This free strategy leverages a little-known feature inside of the largest search engine in the world: Google. Specifically, this feature inside of Google is known as “Google Alerts”.
The way that Google Alerts works is as follows:
First, you would simply go to www.google.com/alerts and enter terms into the “Search query” field that are related to your business. If you’re a local business that exclusively serves a specific, geographic market, you’d also want to include those geo-specific terms in the “Search query” field. For example, if you own a florist that serves the Atlanta, Georgia area, you could enter the following terms into the “Search query” field:
I need a florist in Atlanta
Atlanta wedding florist
After you enter a search term, the next field to choose from is the “Result type”. Google Alerts allows you to choose from “Everything”, “News”, “Blogs”, “Video”, “Discussions”, and “Books”. Your choice here will really just depend on what you want to receive an alert on. For example, if you just want to receive an alert each time someone says, “I need a florist in Atlanta”, in an online discussion forum, you’d select “Discussions”.
After entering in the various terms that you want to receive alerts on and selecting the types of results you’d like to receive alerts for, you would then select how often you’d like to receive these alerts. Google Alerts gives you the option to receive these results in real-time (“As-it-happens”), “Once a day”, or “Once a week”. Just select the option that works best for you, based on how often you’ll be able to check your Google Alerts.
Next, you’d select whether or not you want to receive “Only the best results” or “All results”. The option that you select here will depend upon how many different search terms you set up in Google Alerts. You can set up Google Alerts for up to 1,000 different search terms. You might find that if you choose to receive alerts on “All results” that it becomes too cumbersome to sort through all of the results you receive. On the other hand, if you select, “Only the best results”, you might find that you don’t receive any alerts at all. Ultimately, this is an option that you’ll have to test out and see which one works best for you and the search terms that you choose to receive alerts for.
The last thing you’ll need to enter is the email address where you’d like the Google Alerts sent to. It’s important to keep in mind that you probably aren’t going to want to use your main email address, for receiving your Google Alerts. The reason why is because you could end up getting tons of Google Alerts each day or each week. In turn, this could make it difficult for you to find other, more urgent emails that you receive. The best thing to do is to have your Google Alerts sent to a secondary email address that you set up specifically to receive Google Alerts.
When used correctly, Google Alerts can be an extremely powerful, free tool for businesses. As you can see, not only does Google Alerts allow you to find the people who are actively searching for your products and services, but they will send you an email alert, directly to any email address that you specify, each time something that’s relevant to your business goes online. If you’ve spent any amount of time or money investing in expensive newspaper ads, trying to actively reach out to the people who are interested in your products and services, you likely have an appreciation for this free tool. It is indeed a very powerful thing when you can receive a Google Alert, anytime someone expresses an interest in the products or services that your company can provide to them. In this regard, Google Alerts has turned the entire premise of traditional advertising upside down. In other words, instead of having to pay to “push” your advertisement out to people, who may or may not be interested in what you have to offer, Google Alerts sends those people to your email inbox!
Twitter is also a massive social media site, with millions of people who are interested in millions of different things. When used correctly, Twitter can provide you with a huge resource of customers who are actively looking for your company’s products and services. For businesses, the most powerful feature of Twitter is its search function. This search feature works in a very similar way to Google Alerts. The only difference, of course, is that if you run a search on Twitter, it will search for related “tweets” that people have written on Twitter.
At first, it may not seem like a big deal to be able to see what other people are tweeting about on Twitter. When you consider the fact that you could type in your company’s products or services and your city name, though, you should begin to see how Twitter can be an absolute gold mine of new customers and prospects, who are actively seeking out your products and services!
For example, let’s say that you’re a Real Estate Agent in Houston, Texas. Just one very simple search you could type into the Twitter search bar would be, “looking for a house in Houston”. Obviously, a good number of the tweets will be ads from other Real Estate Agents in Houston, who may have tweeted things like, “Are you looking for a house in Houston? Call me!” Nevertheless, you can also find tweets from people who are actually looking to buy or rent a house in Houston.
This one simple search feature on Twitter can literally be a goldmine of new customers for many businesses. While this tip might seem extremely simple – because it is – it is very often the simple things like this that can reap huge rewards, for the businesses that take advantage of these highly targeted prospects!
Of course, there are tons and tons of different types of searches that you could enter into Twitter’s search feature, to find people in your area, who are actively searching for your products and services. When you really start to think about all of the different ways that people will express an interest in your company’s products and services on Twitter, it becomes clear that the possibilities are endless with this very simple, free tool!
Again, consider the fact that a traditional, expensive advertisement will go out to hundreds or thousands of people, with the hope of finding that small percentage of people who are looking for your products and services. Now, compare that expensive advertisement to this completely free search tool on Twitter, which only finds you the people who are actively expressing an interest in your products and services, in their Twitter tweets. A good analogy, to contrast running an expensive newspaper advertisement and using Twitter’s free search tool, is the following: It’s like choosing between paying thousands of dollars to try to find a needle in a hay stack (the expensive ad), versus going to a store that is giving away the same needles for free (the free Twitter search tool that shows you people who are expressing an interest in your company’s products and services).
Obviously, if you’re going to take advantage of Twitter’s search tool, you’ll have to create a free Twitter account. Signing up to Twitter is as easy as choosing a username, providing your email address, and selecting a password. For your username, you may want to select the name of your company. Alternatively, you could make your username something that describes the benefits that your company provides. As an example, if you’re a DJ that’s based out of New York City, you might want to select a Twitter username such as BESTNYCDJ. This way, if you reply to a tweet, from someone who mentions that they’re looking for a DJ in New York, they’ll see that you’re someone who provides exactly what they’re looking for, just by seeing your Twitter username.
Unlike Google Alerts, the Twitter search function, by itself, has a couple of major limitations. First, you don’t have the ability to receive email alerts, if someone tweets a term that you’d like to be notified about. This means that if you were to just use the Twitter search function on its own, you’d only be able to benefit from it by constantly running searches on Twitter. Obviously, this could take you hours upon hours each day, just to try and find people who are tweeting about looking for your company’s products and services. The second disadvantage to the Twitter search tool, when used by itself, is the fact that you can only search for one term at a time. Unlike Google Alerts, where you can set up 1,000 different search terms to receive alerts on, the Twitter search tool works more like a traditional online search, where you can only run a search for one term at a time.
Fortunately, there is an amazing tool that solves all of these limitations of the Twitter search tool. The tool is called HootSuite. While this tool actually does several amazing things, its ability to track and log multiple search terms as a time, as people tweet about them, is the feature that we’re most excited about. In the same way that Google Alerts will email you, HootSuite will automatically add someone’s tweet to your HootSuite “dashboard”, if their tweet includes any of the search terms that you set up in HootSuite. With this feature, you won’t have to sit at your computer for hours, running countless searches on Twitter, trying to find people who are tweeting about things related to your business. Instead, those relevant tweets will automatically be sent to your HootSuite dashboard, as people type tweets that include the search terms that you specify.
If you’d like, you can even set up an audio alert to sound on your computer, if a tweet comes in to your HootSuite dashboard, which contains a search term that you specified. This audio alert feature will make it very easy for you to be the first one to respond, if someone tweets that they’re looking for your company’s products and services.
With over 200,000,000 active users, your company simply can’t afford to miss out on all of the people who could be tweeting about looking for the products and services that your company offers. By combining the Twitter search tool with HootSuite’s ability to send you those targeted search results, directly to your computer, you can allow interested prospects to be sent directly to your computer. Again, this is a far more targeted and cost-effective option, as compared to investing hundreds or thousands of dollars into one-time ads, in the hope of trying to acquire new customers.
To learn more about HootSuite, click here: www.hootsuite.com
Congratulations on now learning about these very powerful and easy-to-use tools, which will enable you to harness the true power of social media. Being able to receive Google Alerts and tweets, in real-time, from people who are actively expressing an interest in your company’s products and services will give you a major advantage over the majority of companies, who are not familiar with these extremely powerful tools.