I’ve heard that using Social Media to promote your business can be both good and bad. In a sense, it’s free advertising but doesn’t it take a lot of time to keep up with posts and comments? How often do you keep your customers informed about what your business is doing? What are the advantages to using sites like Facebook and Twitter to promote your business? What do you do if your customers say something negative about your products or services? Has anyone successfully used Facebook or Twitter to increase your business presence? Please tell me about your experiences...the good, the bad...I want it all!!! Thanks!
Some businesses are more conducive to using the new "social media" outlets than others. I develop and design websites for a variety of businesses in my town, and several have Facebook and Twitter accounts that they use to promote their business. They all use them differently. It CAN be a time drain - unless you can afford to have someone(s) assigned to the task of responding and updating.
I have a personal Facebook that is purely personal/social. I also have a personal Twitter account, and a second Twitter account with my business name, though I haven't really explored how to use it effectively. I mostly network with other designers and get tips on articles and information concerning the field - it's not an outreach to generate business at this point in time.
A local theatre promos their latest production via Facebook - a T-shirt place in the mall Twitters their sales - a Christian-based production company does fund-raisers and promos their concerts via Facebook and Twitter, and the followers are gathered via the website (FOLLOW US icons and links) and email campaigns. Just a few of the ways I am directly involved in helping to facilitate....
Social media is all new, and the rules are being invented as we go it seems! Hey, we are pioneers!!
SuzyQ - longtime Verizon customer Helping others get the most out of their phones!
You can also follow the advice of a LOT of people with regard to automation and appropriate promotions using Social Media. I highly recommend Chris Brogan (his post on "Grow Bigger Ears" is phenomenal!), Darren Monroe, and Giovanni Galluci. Subscribe to their RSS feeds for daily ideas and inspirations.
Just got to your post, a little bit late but its better late than never huh? Anyway, with regards to your question, I was also skeptical at first using FB and Twitter to use for my advertising and marketing of my products. You see I sell gold dipped roses and blue crystal rose online and I was having a hard time cracking up the right advertising and marketing technique. I looked at FB and Twitter, observed how to interact correctly with my right target audience. I was just trying it our at first but got a response within a week, so I said its pretty effective.
The disadvantage is how to maintain your accounts with FB and twitter. You must have fresh updates to your customers. To solve it, including the customer support, I hire a freelancer and gave him all the instructions and that solved my problem. You can try it, it worked for me.
A local burger place I go to exploded after getting positive reviews on both Yelp and Facebook. It's definitely something to look into (social media marketing that is). Nothing speaks better than real fans spreading the love for your business :).