Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Add to Your Circle of Friends!

My friends at Overdrive Interactive have a new white paper that details ways of making connections in social media. They have 100 suggestions; I’ve picked out what I consider the Top Ten Ways to Make Friends—all free; all things even the smallest business can do. Here’s the list with some commentary and some combinations:

1.BE VAIN. Facebook now allows vanity URL’s. If you don’t have one yet, set one. It’s a lot easier to promote your page if you have a short, relevant URL that people can remember.
2.FACEBOOK TAB IT. Add an “Invite Friends” tab on your Facebook page that allows your friends to invite their own friends to become a friend of your Facebook page. Add the tab, then draw attention to it through status updates and tweets.
3.TXT 2 B FRIENDZ: Create a campaign that encourages people to join your Facebook page or Twitter profile by text messaging. If possible, respond back to messages with a coupon code or information about your company. Text “like overdriveinteractive” to 32665 to check it out. Give people an incentive to become your friend, then continue to reward them for loyalty.
4.USE CROSS-PROMOTIONS. Promote your Facebook profile on Twitter and promote your Twitter profile on your Facebook page. Tweet about your Facebook page and use status updates to talk about your Twitter page. Cross promote all your social networks, in fact! When you post something on YouTube or SlideShare, post a notice on your Facebook page and Tweet it. Be sure your company blog has chiclets or other call-outs to all your social channels!
5.SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION. Optimize your Facebook and Twitter pages for SEO. Make a list of high value key words to use opportunistically in your content. Yes the engines are indexing sourced content. Yes, Facebook and Twitter get indexed. It’s hard to overestimate the contribution of high value key words in all your social channels! Study your referrals data, use keyword tools, and see what words are drawing traffic to the sites of your competitors on Compete.com.
6.REACH OUT TO BLOGGERS. The blogosphere is great place to promote your Facebook and Twitter communities. Find key bloggers that talk about your brand, company, or product category and then reach out to them to become your friend. Tell them the value of your content and tell them to send things to you to tweet and post.
7.WRAP IT. If you sell packaged goods, make sure your packaging promotes your social channels. If people like you enough to buy your product, give them the chance to connect with you in the places where they want to connect. Shopping bags provide great display space. And be sure your main channels—blog, Facebook and Twitter, probably—are on your business card and your email template!
8.MORE THAN JUST DISCOUNTS. If you send [mail] out coupons, include your Facebook and Twitter addresses on them. For more encouragement, include a statement about how social connections will receive more exclusive discounts on the social channels. Do the same in your email newsletters.
9.FOR FRIENDS ONLY. Have friends-only content on your Facebook page. If users want to access the content, they need to become your friend. Give them incentives by including coupons, discounts or sweepstakes entries. List your job openings there; why should anyone apply for a job who isn’t your friend?
10.Above All: SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN. In social media, you never want to be quiet. Keep sharing information that your friends want to hear: tips, resources, contests, discounts, information, etc. The more you share content they care about, the more they will share your content and brand with their friends.

Among many other useful tips, the white paper points out that you should never waste friends. Don’t just close down a campaign-specific Facebook page. “Reskin” it. That one is likely to require professional programming assistance, but it’s worth it to recycle friends instead of having to reacquire them!

Notice that this is all about integrating your channels to get the maximum value out of your social media efforts. How are you doing on that score? There’s a new app, a Social Page Evaluator from Vitrue, discussed on Smart Blog and in more detail on Vitrue’s company blog that will put a value on your Facebook and Twitter pages.

So find out how well you’re doing in social media at the moment, think about where you need to go, and read the entire Overdrive white paper to get more valuable suggestions!


Online Reputation Management said...

Social Networking sites including Myspace, Facebook and Twitter are very popular for this. I already added my profile on facebook and also on twitter in order to expand my social network.

Janet Dillon Robinson said...

Be vain, so true. I was thrilled when Facebook allowed you to customize your URL.

walt bayliss said...

Great Post. I have subscribed to the RSS -
Looking forward to more content.
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Walt Bayliss
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seo services india said...

Now a days, Facebook is much popular than twitter. I like facebook. By this i can easily get in touch with my new and old friends.