social networking for business
Antisocial networking?

Social media is an interesting thing, and it can actually benefit your business. There are a few strategies that you can employ if you want to get your business noticed on Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, etc. We’ll just talk about the two major players in this article: Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook has morphed into a wonderful way to create awareness. You can do so a number of different ways. First, you can tag other organizations that you like in posts. For example: say you are a startup ice cream business and you want to create a following on Facebook for your new peanut butter peppermint ice cream. The way you do that, is you find Facebook pages of other companies, businesses, organizations or clubs that you feel might have the audience that you want to reach.

After you do that research, “like” those pages using your company’s Facebook account. After you do that, you can start “tagging” that organization in your posts. What you do for that is you enter the “@” sign then the name of the organization you want to tag. For example: “Come to Iggy’s ice cream for a free scoop. @BenKweller will be performing from 8-10.”

Now a few notes of caution: do not make false claims on your Facebook page with tags. Second, make sure that the tags are relevant and aren’t just random spam tags. Nothing will ruin your reputation and Facebook “cred” like a lie. So, all posts have to be honest and ethical.

Anyway, the advantage of tagging Ben Kweller’s name on a post like that is that all the people who are his fans on Facebook will see that post. When people like an organization on Facebook, they are immediately linked in to that organization’s Facebook feed. They see what Ben Kweller’s site managers see. Does that make sense?

Now, let’s talk about Twitter. Twitter is a different animal because posts are so short. So, you have to make sure that you really capture the essence of what you’re saying within the 140 character limit. In order to do that, think about what you want to say before you say it and make a few drafts.

Twitter’s appeal is that you can link to anyone that you want to. All you have to do is “follow” someone’s Twitter feed, and you can see every tweet that they post. After you have started to follow someone, you can tag them in your tweets (the exact same way that you tag someone in a Facebook post). By doing so, that person becomes aware that you are following them.

If I was following Brendan Frasier and I wanted to say something about him, I could do this: “@BrendFras, I loved the first two Mummy movies. Big mistake on that third one.” Then, because I tagged Brendan in that post, my tweet will show up in his Twitter feed, so he knows that I am talking about him.

The same rules apply with tweets as do with Facebook. Don’t make false claims and don’t spam people with tags (relevant or irrelevant). By tagging people in posts, you can get the attention of big players in the industry you want to break into.

Going back to the ice cream store, you could say “If you like @ColdStone, you’ll love Iggy’s peanut butter and chocolate dipped ice cream sundae.” Then, everyone that follows Cold Stone Creamery will see that post. Granted, that is really shameless promotion. So, you wouldn’t want to do it like that, but you get my drift.

Get a Facebook for your business, and while you’re at it, get a Twitter account as well. Once you have them, play around with them a little bit and see what magic you can come up with. Trust me, the Internet is full of possibilities. You just have to learn how to tap into them.

About the Author

Andrew Snow is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers is an online resource that helps students gain the experience they need to land top jobs.

Image: planeta / Flickr