Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | May 28, 2011

Add Social Media as a Friend

Back when I started Neat Freak Cleaning Services, social media meant having a drink with members of the press. Oh my, how times have changed. Now it seems that if you don’t have a profile on Facebook or a following on Twitter, you’re not just missing the boat, you’re dead in the water.

Without social media, I did pretty good in my first few years in business. But with it, I figure I can now accomplished the same degree of success in half the time.

Believe the hype.

Social media isn’t the wave of the future – it’s the wave of the present. However, like any other form of media, the success you achieve with social media depends very much on how you use it.

When I first joined Facebook I discovered a great way to reconnect with past clients and old acquaintances that could lead to new clients. I found old classmates, relatives who had moved away years ago and people I’d done business with just the day before. I added them all as friends. Don’t be afraid to do that.

Like a phone call or chance meeting at the mall, they’ll be glad to hear from you and confirm you as a friend. Think back to what I said about the importance of building your contact list. This is another way to do that. So once you have a hundred Facebook friends, what do you do next? How do you turn this new social media into new ways to grow your business? There are no hard and fast rules, but I’ve established general guidelines I that I’m prepared to share.

Because social media is still relatively new, people are still figuring out how it works, why it works and the best way to make it work. Post too many updates on your profile and you not only risk getting lost in the deluge of updates that hits their screen daily, you also run the risk of annoying your online friends and turning them off.

So sprinkle in info on your business, market trends, links to interesting articles and so on but don’t make it all business. Like everything else, moderation is key. These people are your friends, after all. It says so right on your profile.

Okay, let’s say you have 100 friends and you keep them up to date on what you’re doing. It gives them a human face – they can see you as a person with a real life outside of work. Then when you post that you have a new product for sale, it’s like putting the product literature in front room of that home while those 100 people watch. And they’ll notice because it’s not something you’re doing with every post.

Now the beauty of social media is what I like to call dropping a pebble into the ocean. Those 100 friends you have may all have 100 friends themselves besides you. That listing doesn’t end at your friends.

Like a ripple it goes out through all your friend’s friends as well. Maybe none of them are looking for your product or service but there’s a chance one of them will have a friend on Facebook who does.

Done right, that ripple will move out through the friends of friends of friends of friends and so on. It’s free marketing, it’s not that difficult to master and the dividends it can pay are more than worth the couple of minutes it takes.

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