If you want to be a rockstar in your industry, it’s time to break out of your shell and become the “go to” person whose opinions are valued by the masses. But this isn’t attained overnight.
Networking is a simple skill that can be done simultaneously in real life and offline. One of the easiest ways to network and connect with your audience online is through Facebook. For business purposes, create a fan page and optimize it with your contact information, local area keywords, hours of operation and website URL.
After you create your fan page you will notice that you don’t have any followers or “Likes”. How depressing! After all the blood, sweat and tears you put into your business it’s sad to see such a small online circle. This is the beginning of growing and developing your business influence.
While it may be tempting to just start following everyone on Facebook in order to gain more followers for yourself, think about who you want to target. If you have an office in Hartford, CT, chances are slim that people in Florida will be interested in following you. Instead, start focusing your efforts on getting your name known in the Hartford area.
Start posting questions or helpful tidbits on your fan page that your audience will find valuable. At the same time, search for other businesses in the Hartford area and “Like” their fan pages. Be sure to leave messages on these pages so others can find you. If there’s a conversation going on, feel free to add your expertise where appropriate.
To show your customers that you care about them, consider giving away a small report or other digital item to everyone who “Likes” your page. This can be a short report, audio or even a private video. No matter the medium, make it valuable. It’s all about making a good impression on these potential customers.
Now that you’ve got some action on your page, find even more followers by purchasing a Facebook ad. These ads appear in the sidebar of people’s newsfeeds and are very visible.
To start, use keywords that are pertinent to your geographic location. In our example, using “Hartford, Connecticut” as a keyword phrase would be important. Also try putting your occupation along with the geographic location in the keyword phrase, such as “Hartford lawyer”.
If the purpose of this ad is to grow your circle of influence, have the reader land on your fan page when they click on the ad. If you’ve given enough information on the page and have a great prize for pressing the “Like” button, you’ll see a high number of “Likes”.
As you see this number of fans increasing, place a Facebook badge on your website showing the number of people who have “Liked” your page. Place a congratulations message on your wall to the 500th person to like your page. Hold a contest to reach 1,000 fans.
These increasing numbers are considered social proof – proof that what you have to say is important, that this many people consider you an expert because they are following you.
Remember, networking is NOT selling. It’s simply an introduction to others in your area who might need your services or products at some point in the future. If you make a good impression and network on a regular basis, people will remember you fondly and will recommend you.
Some networking is difficult to outsource but internet marketing consultants can save you lots of time by setting up your Facebook account, “Liking” other local business pages, posting questions to your audience and creating your ad campaigns.