Last week I attended a social media session with almost 20 local small businesses.
I have attended numerous courses, seminars and conferences over this past few years and this three hour session by social media guru Bill McCartney proved once again to be hugely informative… and entertaining. I could not imagine Bill getting through a seminar without at least a chuckle and his expertise, enthusiasm and good humour have made him one of the most sought after consultants in his field in Ireland. He runs www.net4wiseowls.co.uk
The event was organised by Down Business Centreas part of the #You Can business support programme and held in the Ballymote Centre in Downpatrick. Focussing on the two main pillars of Facebook and Twitter, Bill proceeded to explain the buts and bolts of getting into these social media platforms and how they could benefit your business.
The discussion also touched on You Tube and Linked in, showing how the different social media platforms can work in an integrated way to benefit your businesss.
Bill said: “Firstly I want to disperse a myth about social media. It will not make you money unless you work very hard at it as it will require constant attention every day to build up your brand, links.
“But it is a great way to improve the marketing of your business at relatively low cost.
“Essentially you have to build your audience. And in doing this, you have to build a rappor with possible clients and customers.
“It’s not good practice to Friend someone on Facebook or Follow on twitter and then ask them if they are interested in your products. You do need to invest time in building realtionships.
“One simple action you can do on Facebook for example is to create an event and invite your friends and others to it. In doing so you will be able to build up the clients that are interested in your conversation – and then possibly your products or services.
“It is really basic networking – you get to know people who know the people you want to know. For example, I managed to get speaking to a very senior person in an international company by getting past a ‘gatekeeper’ (PA) by asking one of my associates on Linked in to recommend me. Within hours I have achieved this when I had been trying to get a conversation for days. It’s all about who you know and it certainly works.”
Bill’s seminars are very productive and well worth sitting through. Several top companies are using his services and he provides talks all over Northern Ireland.
Here’s 10 tips on Facebook I noted but there are many more : why not log in to www.netforwiseowls.co.uk and check out his blogs and videos.
Some useful Facebook business tips – but there are dozens more to be gleaned at Bill’s seminars:
1. Build interest lists.
2. Leave comments on other pages daily.
3. Write at least three posts a week and one on Saturday and Sunday.
4. Use the Question App on Facebook once a week.
5. Post your own ads.
6. Check Facebook twice a day at least.
7. Respond quickly to posts.
8. Make responses short and punchy. Below 100 characters.
9. Use Facebook apps for events, questions, offers.
10. Open a business page and keep separate from your personal profile.
Bill also added that it was against the Facebook terms and conditions to run competitions directly on Facebook. “You do need to use a third party app as Facebook could visit your site and close it down, disrupting your business. Facebook are becoming more strict with this recently.
“If there is one message I would say to every business person starting off in Facebook: stop trying to sell and build your conversation,” he added.