Small Business Trends Radio

Facebook Small Business Marketing, Advanced Tactics

Below is the transcript of a Small Business Trends Radio Show episode featuring Shama Hyder, Chief Marketing Expert and Founder of Click To Client, which was broadcast on February 3, 2009 titled, “Facebook: Online Business Marketing, Advanced Tactics.” Shama share’s advanced small business marketing tips with you on how to better leverage Facebook to market your small business.  

FACEBOOK SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING, ADVANCED TACTICS

Using Facebook For Small Business: The Ins And Outs

Anita Campbell: Hi, this is Anita Campbell. Welcome to Small Business Trends Radio. I am broadcasting today from New York City, where I’m here attending the Small Business Summit. It’s a great day and I’ll tell you a little bit about what’s going on here. 

I’m taking a little bit of time out from the show to come on and conduct our regular radio show. I’m going to introduce our guest in just a minute, but let me say here that this is a great day.

We’ve got over 300 small business owners attending the Small Business Summit in New York. Had a great lineup of speakers so far today and that will continue through to the rest of the day. The theme is all about how do you get and keep customers and how do you keep the customers that you have very, very happy and loyal with you.

One of the things that is a constant theme here today is using online technologies, specifically using social media technologies. So, things such as Twitter and Facebook have come up regularly and frequently here today.

We’re hearing a lot of great tips from the different speakers. We heard from one of the speakers who is from Dell and is in charge of their online conversations. He talked quite a bit about the Dell Social Media Community at Facebook, as well as their strategy for using Twitter.

Various other speakers have been talking about their strategies for how they use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and blogging and other tools of the trade. It’s a very timely topic.

With that, I would like to introduce today’s guest. Today’s guest is actually a repeat guest, someone we’ve had on before that’s been phenomenally popular speaking about the very topic of Facebook. We invited her back on for a part two so that we could get in to some more advanced techniques.

I’d like to introduce Shama Hyder. She is founder of ClickToClient.com. She’s joining us once again for another great Facebook show. Hey, Shama, are you with us?

Shama Hyder: Hey, Anita, I’m right here.

Anita Campbell: OK, terrific; glad to have you. This is all very timely. As I’m sitting here in New York and all this talk floating around me about Facebook; everybody’s very interested, wanting to know more. As I mentioned, our first show with you was so popular that obviously there’s a great interest in learning how to use Facebook.

So with that, let me just jump in and ask you, how has the demographic of Facebook changed since we last chatted? And that was what, maybe a year ago?

Shama Hyder: Yeah, I think so. So it has changed, not dramatically, but very interestingly. Facebook now has 150 million users around the world. I believe the US makes up about 35 million users. The most interesting statistics for me is the fastest growing segment on Facebook is women over 55.

Anita Campbell: Wow.

Shama Hyder: Yeah, isn’t that interesting? The last time we spoke, you were talking about how it’s not a kid thing and it’s not just for college student. It’s amazing to me that the fastest growing is women over 55. Almost a quarter of the US members are actually age 35 and over, and 46 percent make up 26 and up, that age group.

Teenagers account for about 12 percent of Facebook still, but you can see it’s pretty surprising the way it’s kind of shifting. I don’t think anybody really expected that the older audience would join. But women above 55 being the fastest growing demographic was certainly a surprise to me.

Anita Campbell: What are all of these women above age 55 doing on Facebook? Is it mostly social? Is it mostly business, combination? Do you know? Why is that group growing?

Shama Hyder: Right and I think it’s sparked by curiosity. I think it’s curiosity because your kids are on it and you keep hearing it. My mom fits into that category perfectly, so I’ll just use her as a persona. She was just curious because everyone kept talking about it. I obviously talk about it a lot. My younger sister is convinced that I am the one who set up Mom on Facebook. I did not.

She was just curious. I think now that she’s on there, she’s using it socially, in terms of keeping up with friends and viewing pictures and keeping up with family and her nieces and nephews. But also professionally, in terms of she’s realizing that that’s a good branding area for her.

She’s an actress, so she really uses that sector as put up her pictures and her bio. It’s a great tool, multiple uses. I think initially it was just curiosity. It’s like everyone else is doing it and so why not check it out and get on it?

Anita Campbell: Oh, wow, so your mom is an actress. Is that right?

Shama Hyder: Yeah. She’s in quite a few independent films. I think she still wishes that I had followed her footsteps and had gone into the business. But I think she’s making peace with it, Anita.

Anita Campbell: OK, that’s interesting. I have to say you are the first guest that I have knowingly interviewed whose mom is an actress. That’s great. I’m really glad to hear she’s using it also for Facebook and related to business, too.

Shama Hyder: Yeah. She really thinks it’s a good branding tool because she sees people and she realizes that it… Because initially it was connecting with friends and people who are already on there. And a genuine sense of what is everybody talking about. I think as she’s getting more deeper into it, she’s realizing that it can be a powerful platform for personal branding and professional branding.

Anita Campbell: Speaking of branding and getting your brand out there… So on Facebook, you can have a personal profile and then you can set up a Facebook group page. I think you can even set up a company page, right?

Shama Hyder: Mm hmm, right, absolutely.

Anita Campbell: Which of those should you do? If you run a small business, should you be focusing on your personal profile? Should you be setting up a Facebook group? Should you set up the company page? Which of those is best?

Shama Hyder: You always want to begin with, like you said, your individual profile. If you have a company that multiple employees and you’re all going to be really using Facebook, then it’s best to have multiple profiles for all the employees. In terms of a page or group, both have their pros.

A page is really nice for SEO purposes, for search engine optimization purposes, because Google index is done and they are public. It’s a nice way to get there on the first page for your company name and things of that nature. That’s what I like a page for.

It’s also nice because when you create a page and people become fans, because you have fans when you have a page, you can see demographics that tells you how to understand a little bit better about your audience. That’s great.

In terms of a group, I like groups better because they’re a really fun place to provide value and build the community. Which, a new Facebook, that’s its hidden power is that it allows you to really create that platform around yourself. Showcase it to the world, build your expertise and build a community. I don’t know any other platform where you can really get known that fast for something particular as you can in Facebook.

With a group, I think it’s a very nice area to build that community, share your knowledge. Often when we have clients who say, “I would like to build a forum or a place where I can do more of those interactive activities,” and if they don’t have a very big base already where it wouldn’t necessarily make sense for them to invest in that kind of technology and maintenance, then we always recommended them why don’t you set up a group on Facebook. Build it there because it gives you a lot of the same capabilities. It gives you a discussion wall. It lets you email the members.

The only down side to that, and the only down side to all of Facebook is that you don’t own any of it. You don’t have ownership, Facebook does. Let’s say they do kick you off the account, or something happens and you lose that. Then you’ve lost your community. I still think it’s valuable because people don’t necessarily forget.

Even if let’s say something happens, and your group disappears or you are kicked off on Facebook for some reason, you still have that foot print there. And so I still think it’s a valuable tool, despite that one downside there.

Anita Campbell: So, I’ve set up a Facebook group page then, Shama. What do I do actually with that page? I mean, walk us through some of the things you might suggest to a client, for example, on how should you use that Facebook group page. What do you do? What do you put on it, how often, and so on?

Shama Hyder: Are you asking me specifically about the page, or the group, or both?

Anita Campbell: Actually, the group, a Facebook group.

Shama Hyder: Right. The Facebook groups are fun. The first thing you want to do is start getting the word out, build up your membership base. It also has a really nice feature of videos, and so first thing; I’ll just walk you through what I did to build up my group.

The first thing I did, because I knew I wanted to take this and really build it out, I bought a domain name, and forwarded it to the Facebook group, because Facebook group names tend to be very long, you don’t have a personalized group name that you can send to people to, so I bought activeblueprint.com for example and forwarded it along to my Facebook group page.

Now whenever I want to ask someone to join our community, I can send them to a very easy domain name, rather than going to Facebook and search for it. That’s a basic step you want to do while setting it up. The other thing I did was Facebook groups have a really nice video feature, right? So I went into the video feature and I picked three clips of me speaking that I thought shared valuable information that I had gotten good feedback on.

I put it there as initial content. I chose interactive content for a reason. I wanted it, to be, again, interactive. I wanted people to come there, click on it, see the video, and get a feel for who was behind this. One thing you definitely want to do is set up where when you sign up into a group; it gives you an area to explain about.

That’s a really nice place to tell a story, and to share why you are doing what you’re doing. That’s the area I shared my story in, and said this is how I’ve grown my business from a single printer to a full firm and this is my way of passing on the knowledge and sharing my expertise and make the most of it.

Then I started out the discussion board, because there was a little discussion board there on Faceboard groups. I started a thread that asked you to introduce yourself. So, again, really being the hub for people to also get to know each other, and facilitating that, at the same time, sharing your own knowledge is, I think, the key to really keeping a group running well. I know for someone like you and me, and people who are very busy and think how can we keep up with all this?

The nice thing is, once you have your group going and you’ve got it building, I have my assistant, my interns, do a lot of the stuff in terms of taking out the juiciest articles from the blog. Or finding podcasts I’ve done or things of that nature, and putting it into the group, and messaging the members and saying you’ve gotten new content here, you’ve gotten new information. So, once it is built, and you are being part of it, it’s very easy to delegate some of those pieces and still keep a community going.

Anita Campbell: So, how frequently should you be putting content on your Facebook group? Is this something that you need to be doing daily? Is weekly enough, once a month? What would you recommend?

Shama Hyder: Right, great question. Once a week is ideal, right? Once a week, because when you go and search for groups, Facebook gives you two columns. One is the most popular, and the other is the most recently updated. It’s really nice if you are always in the recently updated groups, right? You come up in that list for people to see. There are a lot of groups on Facebook that people doing something once a month or twice a month or things of that nature.

They fall off track, right? You lose that cohesiveness. The once a week is ideal for information. I also see some people, on the other end of the spectrum, that message their members every four days. I don’t recommend that either. I think it’s really like sending out a newsletter, if you will, in terms of what works for your audience in how much is too much and how much is just enough.

Anita Campbell: Now, let’s talk about your personal profile page again. You mentioned that early on. Let’s say I’m a small business owner and I’ve got 89 friends. These are all people that I know and so on, and I’m feeling really good about that number, but I’d also like to grow that number. How do I go about growing my contacts so I can build out more of a network and broaden my reach? Or should I be trying to do that on Facebook?

Shama Hyder: Right, I think that’s again an excellent question. I think you do a little bit of both. You definitely want to be using the network you currently have, because 100 people is also a lot, and still work on increasing it organically. By organically I mean, don’t add friends for the sake of adding friends. It’s probably not a smart idea. Things you can do that are really simple, is look around on other social media sites for friends that are there that may also be on Facebook.

That’s a very simple strategy that people don’t often think about. It’s like you have 800 people all linked in. Do you think some of those people could also be on Facebook? So, that is a good idea. The other thing is coming up with buying a domain name that is your name or whatever it might be, and then forwarding your Facebook profile address to that domain name. For example, mine is shamahyder.com. If you go to that, it takes you to my Facebook profile.

It makes it much easier when I connect with someone to say let’s connect on Facebook. You can find me here. As unique as my name is, I think there are three other people with my name on Facebook. And so, if you are looking at someone like “Anita Campbell”, for example, I bet there are multiple Anita Campbells. Again, you want to make that easy for people. That’s one thing.

In terms of building out your contact list, again, people you meet offline, people you meet at conferences, I think people often think of Facebook as the secondary tool. But for example, when I got to a conference or I go to a meeting, with a whole bunch of cards in my hand, I search them on Facebook and add them as friends. It’s so much easier to keep up with them that way. It’s my online rolodex if you will.

Anita Campbell: Now, you mentioned that if someone is on LinkedIn, check and see if they are also on Facebook. What does that do for you, Shama, if you are already connect with them on LinkedIn? Why go that extra step to see if they are on Facebook? What advantage does that give you?

Shama Hyder: Right, because Facebook has a very coffee shop feel to it, LinkedIn is more static in my opinion. The nice thing about Facebook is you know when their birthdays are. You get to see their pictures. You get to see a little more of the personal side to them than you would on another social networking site.

So, I really made Facebook my home base, if you will. While I may have someone on linked in, I don’t necessarily look at their profile, or they don’t come up on my news feed. Facebook, on their home page has a newsfeed where names come up, and certain things come up like, “Anita Campbell is now hosting SmallBizTrends radio,” things like that.

I don’t have that much interaction on LinkedIn as I do on Facebook, so this allows me to, I believe, take the relationship to a different level, just a little more personal that you would elsewhere.

Anita Campbell: Good point. Now, I’d like to talk about updating your profile page, and specifically, I’d like to talk about a technique that some people use. In fact, that I use myself, and get your thoughts on this. That is, what do you think about sending your twitter feed to populate your Facebook page, or some people do it with FriendFeed and other social site, and they use whatever is going out on FriendFeed or twitter, to show up on their Facebook page and keep that updated. Does that add to interactivity and engage people more, in your opinion? Or does it just clutter things up?

Shama Hyder: Right. I think status updates are one of the most powerful aspects of Facebook. I’m not a big fan, in all honesty, of setting up twitter or FriendFeed or other social networking updates that you might update more often, into Facebook. My reasoning for that is this: for example, I am very active on twitter. I send out maybe 12, 13 tweets a day on a light day.

I can’t imagine someone keeping up on Facebook and understanding the lingo, the add tags that people use on Twitter, or the hash tags when something is going on. I think it confuses people.

The other thing is it clutters up your profile page. Those status updates show up on your profile page when someone looks at it. On Twitter, I may be doing a million things and keep updating. But on Facebook, my profile page, I really want the juiciest content and value there. I want the best of the best, when somebody is going to come and look at that, to be on the front page.

For that reason, I’m actually a big fan of a tool called Ping.fm. It’s a website, but, again, lets you cross update your status updates across networks. If I put a message into Ping, it will go out to Twitter, to LinkedIn, Facebook, FriendFeed, whatnot. I use that when I have something of immense value that will make sense across all networks.

Each social network has some own norms and its own language and protocol, so to speak. If there’s a message that I want to get out, for example, here I am, talking about advanced Facebook marketing. I would use Ping to send that out across all my networks. I only do that when there’s something that is extremely important and where I think it would benefit members across networks.

Anita Campbell: I see, OK. Literally, when you have something that you think is extremely important to say and would be easily understood across networks, you’d actually log in to Ping.fm and update the message there.

Shama Hyder: Absolutely, yeah.

Anita Campbell: OK, great. What about the idea of going around and making comments and visiting other people’s Facebook profiles? How important is that?

Shama Hyder: Pretty important. Again, Facebook is a tool, like any other. It’s really up to you on how you leverage it. I often tell people that social media doesn’t work for anybody. You have to make it work for you. It’s very important to reach out to people and connect with them.

What you want to be really careful though, Anita, is doing a mass message and copy/pasting that across. I’ve seen some people, and they have a very canned message that says,”Hey, thanks for being my friend on Facebook. Check out this website here,” and it will quote a game but it’s canned. They copy/paste that across profiles. That’s something that can easily get you banned from Facebook.

Anita Campbell: Oh, yes. Besides which, it really doesn’t have the intended effect because people know it’s canned so it doesn’t feel personalized in any way.

Shama Hyder: Yeah, well that doesn’t seem to deter most people. If you’re going to get banned for it, then most people will say, “Oh, I’ll quit doing that.”

Anita Campbell: OK, let’s talk a little bit about Facebook applications or Facebook apps as they’re called for short. Should I think about doing an app? I have to prep with this by saying a lot of the things are a little on the silly side, sending somebody a flower or something like that.

Shama Hyder: Or, a vampire bite . . .

Anita Campbell: Or, a vampire bite . . .

Anita Campbell: Or a virtual glass of wine, which you can’t really enjoy. Some of those things are a little silly. Then there are things that are actually useful, interactive applications. What’s your view on that? Is that something that a small business should be investing in? And, if so, what type of applications should you look at creating?

Shama Hyder: Here’s the truth of it, Anita. I’m not a big fan of applications as a marketing tool, especially for small businesses and small to medium size companies, and definitely not for solopreneurs. The reason is because old Facebook… remember the old Facebook design? They’ve switched to new Facebook design.

The old Facebook was really conducive to applications. You went on someone’s profile page and you saw that it’s littered with applications and things. It had more real space. The new Facebook doesn’t function that way. Unless you have an application that is going to be just vital to people or something amazing…

One application that I use and really enjoy is being able to pull my blog feed into my Facebook profile as notes. I enjoy doing that and it’s fairly straightforward. I don’t know how much that company gets out of it, though. I don’t even know which company gives me that ability to do that. I just know I can do that ask people to come to Facebook.

Facebook is really looking very hard to monetize it. They’re looking to see how can businesses make money on Facebook, and if they’re making money, somewhere or the other, how can they make a dime off of it but just free thinking; nothing wrong with that. That’s why they don’t give a lot of credit to applications.

My thought is that they’ve put that in the background. For me, Facebook isn’t so much in terms of using applications and ads. It’s much more go there to do what people are already doing, which is connecting with each other and learning and having a good time.

If you can be the stream of that, do whatever you do on Facebook, rather than using the applications and ads which has yet to be developed, you get more bang for your buck, in very straightforward terms.

Anita Campbell: Absolutely. You have a new company name or a new company since the last time we talked with ClickToClient.com, right?

Shama Hyder: Yeah, we rebranded after the launch to ClickToClient because we are a full service web marketing agency. We started out our audience with people who just launched and wouldn’t know what to do. When you looked at our clientele, most of them were established companies, so the name didn’t fit our brand anymore. We rebranded it to ClickToClient.

Anita Campbell: I see, OK. What do you do? It sounds like you help companies with their Facebook strategy. What else do you do?

Shama Hyder: Being full service, we pretty much do all online marketing. We do have a very heavy focus in social media. Of course, Facebook would fall under that category.

In terms of a business, we do pretty much two things. One is where we train entrepreneurs and smaller companies startups on how to leverage the Internet, use social media, to further their goal and their business. The other side of the business is we take over online marketing for small to medium size companies and we serve as their online marketing department, if you will.

Anita Campbell: I see, OK. Good. I think we are just about coming to the end of the show, so I’ll give you if you have 60 seconds just to wrap up anything we haven’t talked about that you think is important that people keep in mind about Facebook?

Shama Hyder: It’s important to be careful on Facebook, in terms of what you’re doing. If you get a message on Facebook, they’re doing this now, that pops up and says, “This is against Facebook rules,” or “You’re misusing Facebook.”  Stop what you are doing, “just be careful.”

Really do your research if you are going to look at using Facebook as a marketing tool. There is a lot of information out there, so do your research before starting out.

I think the most important thing, if you just walk away with one thing in this whole segment, is to remember that behind that Facebook profile and behind the page, is a human being.

No matter what the medium or technology, you’re still communicating with a live human being, a person. If you keep that in mind while building your strategy, I think you’ll have 95 percent more success than most people do.

Anita Campbell: Great advice. Thank you so much, Shama Hyder, of ClickToClient.com. I really appreciate your coming back on the show to share these advanced Facebook tips.

Shama Hyder: It’s been my pleasure. I always love being on your show, Anita. You bring some great information on here. Thank you so much for allowing me back on. It was really my pleasure.

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Small Business Trends LLC, 2009

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