The Marketing Twins had a meeting earlier in the week with another marketing professional in which we talked about the role of social media for business. (If this term is not clear, read this definition or think: interacting with people through technology, mainly the internet such as blogs, Facebook, YouTube, etc – also check out what John says about one of the oldest social media tools around!)

If you still think that all of these tools are just for sharing personal information, immature worthless videos, or trying to connect with long-lost friends, then you need to start thinking how you can use these tools in your small business. Non-profit organizations and churches are waking up to the reality as well. Why?

I read an interesting article online at FastCompany. In talking particularly about the power of Facebook marketing (this is business marketing, not just personal use of Facebook), it was noted that traditional media called on the company to disseminate the marketing message through mediums like radio, print, TV, etc, and then just WAIT. But within social media, a message may be initiated by the original source (you), but in hopes that it spreads like a virus and gets picked up by a million different viewers – each adding their own commentary, their own perception on what you are offering, and their own personalized endorsements. Here’s what the article says:

“Organizations need to understand how to get distribution within these social networks. How do we get friends to tell friends? How do you create new viral videos? How do you create groups that people are going to join? How do you create events that people will invite other people to? That’s where mass interpersonal persuasion comes in. Through the newsfeed and my social network, interesting stuff now comes to me; I don’t have to go searching for it.”

Through the likes of RSS feeds, what I’m interested in does arrive in my RSS reader (Bloglines for me) and I get to read about what I want to read about. My interests. My likes. In Facebook, I may join a group of like-minded people. And ads are targeting this very group. Or people within the group share links to web pages talking about things we might all enjoy. As more and more people learn to use the internet in this way, traditional shopping will transform. You can’t expect people to just find your products. You have got to create traffic that drives up your search engine rankings. You’ve got to provide rich content that uses the right keywords so that I see it in my RSS feed. A viral video shows up as I check up on my friends in Facebook – I watch it, share it, post it, link to it. Others who have similar likes follow my suggestion and this becomes a powerful force of referral marketing.

For alot of folks, the use of social media is still relatively new – and even newer is the application for small business. So if you’re not up to speed, don’t worry. But don’t delay!

Here’s another article by John Jantsch – Social media strategy

And another perspective on Facebook for Business by a fellow Duct Tape Marketing Coach, Bill Briesford – Using Facebook for Business

And have you ever uttered these words: “They don’t use SOCIAL MEDIA in my industry.” If so, read this one, the guy who lures!

And finally, if you are new to Facebook, note that there is some privacy established for everyone’s protection, so we can’t be “friends” until we both accept. So when you get on Facebook, search for “Randy Vaughn” and click on “Add as Friend.” Then click on “Add a Personal Message” and type in “MarketingTwins blog” – this way, in case I don’t know you yet, I’ll be able to accept your invitation. You’ll find a quick link to Facebook on the right of this blog (scroll down a little after this post). Yes, the other Marketing Twin, Donny, is on Facebook, too, so add him as a friend as well!

All this social media stuff still clear as mud? Keep reading throughout the summer for additional posts about the emerging role of “Social Media & Business” – and coming SOON, we’ll be offering a marketing training workshop on this very topic! It probably won’t be ready for a few months, but it will be very practical!