Using Facebook, Twitter
and other social media for
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Social media are replacing
newspapers, radio and television
as the main way people get
information about everything.
Social media have even become
more popular than email as a
way for people to communicate.
But what are social media?
Three characteristics of social media:
Users create the content. A traditional Web site is a business
brochure. Social media are a public scrapbook, consisting
comments, photos, videos and stories from you and your
customers. Businesses can and should facilitate the
conversations and participate.
Many lines of communication. In traditional media, you send a
message or ad and customers receive it. In traditional word-of-
mouth, customers talk among themselves. In social media, you
talk to customers, customers talk to you, customers talk to
each other about and with you, groups of customers talk to
other groups or individuals about and with you. All of this is
done openly and permanently saved.
People are their own gatekeepers. Mass media no longer
control what’s available for the public to consider “newsworthy.”
Each person may do that for themselves.
The main social media networks businesses
Facebook: About 400 million worldwide and 150,000 in the
Twitter: About 20 million worldwide and 3,000 in Boise
Businesses should also consider MySpace, YouTube and
This discussion will focus on Facebook and Twitter.
The Fan Page is
the heart of the
effort, where you
converse with your
they discuss your
and your fans will
post photos and
videos related to
your business and
you should give
incentives to your
More on the
You should post
rates, offers and
promotions. It is
much like a Web
site, only less
people can interact
with it directly. You
can use this to
reach and reward
your most devoted
fans and the people
who love your
How do fans
Every person on
Facebook has a
timeline – the
comments of all
page with a
Most people use Facebook to keep up with friends
photo or post, it
and family, but a surprising amount of business
shows up in the
networking goes on. Stick your face in your fan page
timelines of your
at least once a day and respond to everyone who
writes on your wall.
Twitter is like a
People send 140-
Metro Express Car
Wash has nearly
you send, you
should have at
least two non-
and it is easy to
see what people
are saying about
love the brand.
Don’t just churn
people and reply
Don’t just sit
Use Facebook and
Twitter to find
profits and local
clubs that need
prizes for drawings.
They will thank you
on your page, tell
their friends and
build goodwill for
your brand. You
may be doing these
social media just
allow more people
to know and talk
I once heard someone
say, “I went onto
Twitter once and there
was just a guy talking
about the burrito he
had for lunch. Who
needs to know that?”
(I’ve heard similar
Believe it or not,
really does depend on
knowing that sort of
need to know what
people in their
town are saying
How to find
Use a program like
Tweetdeck to pop the
lid off Twitter. The
search function opens
a gold mine, allowing
you to hear what
people are saying
about your industry,
product, or your own
business. You can
reach out to those
people, send them
them, invite them
over - even Shanghai
them away from
Search Facebook, too
This is the Facebook
page of a burrito
business. Below are local
people and what they
recently had to say
about burritos in their
status updates. Get a
username so people can
find your fan page, like
Ads are only shown
on the right-hand
column and are non-
interruptive. You only
pay when someone
clicks on your ad and
the more you’re
willing to pay per
click (say, 50 cents),
the higher your ad is True story: I once wrote on a friend’s wall
placed. You set a about a welding repair job I did for her. The
budget of how much
next day, I started seeing ads for welding
you’re willing to
spend per day and supply companies. Ads are also placed based
the ads stop running on your stated political views, your gender,
when you reach it. marital status, age, pages you visit and
You select keywords, favorite books, movies, foods, etc. When a
ages and cities for man turns 40, for example, he will start
the ad. seeing many ads for Viagra and golf.
What can I expect social media
to do for my business?
As with traditional advertising in newspapers, radio and TV,
it is about connecting with your customers, keeping them
loyal and getting them to leave your competitors.
Your customers are already talking about you, or may want
to talk about you in the right place. Do you have that place
ready for them?
Social media are especially useful for customer service and
assessing new products and services.
If your competition is doing it and you aren’t, you are at a
Increased sales and market share are possible. Cause-and-
effect sales may be difficult to pinpoint, similar to
traditional advertisement – except social media cost much
less to use.
How do I do this for my own business?
Many businesses do their own social media – some do it well
and some not so well. It is not particularly difficult to learn,
but it does take a consistent commitment of time and effort.
If you want to outsource it, there are various public relations
companies that will do it for you, or train you to do it
correctly. Here is what you should look for:
Is the PR firm interested in your company and do they ask
questions about it? Do they consider your other PR assets:
Signage, history, visual appeal, vehicles, Web site, etc.?
How often will they update your Facebook page and Twitter feed?
At least a few Tweets a day and a Facebook update a day are
Are they suggesting new approaches and things for you to try?
Are they linked in to the community, so they can think of
partnerships and other ways of increasing your profile?
Do they get you in traditional newspapers and television, and
leverage that in social media?
VERY IMPORTANT POINTS!
Social media cannot change anything about your business.
They can only amplify what is already there and what people
think about you already.
If you offer a good product or service, do good deeds and
treat your customers well, social media will reflect that.
If you offer a product or service no one wants and you
mistreat people, you should not be in business.
You should work for the IRS.
Using social media is a reflection of the faith you have in your
If your marketing people are not
getting you into social media,
they are behind the curve