In part one of my four part series I spoke about how the economy made me think outside of the box, leading me in the direction of the internet. In part two, I shared how I built my new sites and about the many so called experts that will take your money without giving you anything in return. In part three I am going to explain how important social media is, in making you relevant on the web.
Once I had built my Interior Design Network of Service, who knew I was there? That is a very important question to ask yourself! I have found most people think they need a website and once it is built, feel secure in just knowing they have one. The question is…what is it doing for you, if no one see’s it? Remember the old philosophy question…if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there did it really fall? Exactly…. and who cares?
The BEST way to promote you is through a blog. I mentioned my blog, www.digthisdesign.net in part two and all of the opportunities it has offered me from travel to a freelance writing gig. The blog is a good thing to have directly on your website because you always have current content which the search engines love, it makes you relevant. The blog also distinguishes you as the expert in your field that is if your content is informative and good. If you’re just going to launch a blog but, you do not nurture it then it will not do much for you. A blog is to promote your brand and direct traffic to your site. If you get a large following on your blog, you command a large audience. Big business loves bloggers because they know a blogger can either hurt them or help them. Big business turns to bloggers to help them promote new product. The reason I am invited to be guest of companies like Brizo, GE, Jenn-Air etc. is it helps pump up their social media and their brand. The more buzz put out on the internet the bett, and the blog and bloggers do that well!
Social media is getting the word out there and this world we live in today is made up of social media outlets. We have so many avenues to shout it out but, there is an art to it. I think it is important to distinguish if you want to reach local demographics or are you going for the universe? In my business model I needed to reach the universe with my virtual design company,www.professionalkitchenandbathplans.com and a national audience for my ecommerce home store,www.PDBHomeStore.com and a local market for my interior design firm, Patricia Davis Brown Designs, LLC.
The people who want to reach the universe should look to Twitter for that. Twitter is a social media site that allows you to put out up to 140 characters per tweet, to the world. I have found Twitter to be GREAT for pushing my BRAND. If you join Twitter I would recommend also joining one of the social media management sites, like HootSuite or TweetDeck. I have tried both and I prefer HootSuite, because I found it easier to use. HootSuite allowed me to schedule several tweets in advance. Tweet deck, when opened on my computer, had a flashing window that made an obnoxious under water submarine bleep while flashing the most current of my twitter followers tweets. Now that was a mouth full but, needless to say I prefer HootSuite. These two programs will help you manage your followers, create list of followers and is a must have, for twittering in my opinion.
People, who are unfamiliar with Twitter, just do not get it because they do not understand it. It is scary, I know but, you just have to JUMP in, as I did. There is an art to twittering and you will need to Google it and read a few of the do’s and don’ts of the game. There is protocol to follow and one of the lessons is; it is not all about you.
You want to create twitter relationships where you thank people for re-tweeting your message and they thank you in return. Every Friday is follow Friday and you would thank everyone who had mentioned you that week, for example; TYSM #FF @patriciadavisbr, which translates into…Thank you so much, follow Friday this person. Don’t worry; you will get the hang of it!
Another GREAT thing about the Twitter community is you are FIRST to hear any BIG news, even before it is announced on TV or radio. Twitter puts you in touch with the MOST current happenings, I really like that! Also, as your followers build so does your social ratings and your relevance in your field and on the internet.
My experience with Facebook is more of a local demographics. Facebook is geared toward friends and I think that was their original intention. When I opened my facebook I was doing it for business reasons and I quickly found out I had to open a personal page before I could open one for my business and it was called a fan page. Since joining the Facebook community I have really enjoyed catching up, so to speak with people I haven’t been in touch with in a while. The concept of Facebook becomes infectious even if you think you won’t enjoy it you really do. I quickly found that most people respond better to my personal page than my business page and maybe because it is MORE SOCIAL. Social is the key to any social network site and you want to remember that, it is more about developing relationships which in turn will promote you better.
I have touched on the social media sites and what I use to promote my Interior Design Network of Services. Everybody’s business model will be different and you will need to find the sites that work best to promote your brand. My last post on this series, will speak about FREE ways online to promote your business. I hope you tune in to hear about my latest FREE promotional finds, that will help you to put IT out there!