Here's a brief description of each of the three major ways to conduct social networking and how it benefits you and your customers:
- Twitter, or 'micro-blogging' (journaling)
- Blogging (journaling)
Twitter is just like it sounds - short, socializing messages (tweets) whistled out to the universe much like the birds do it in spring. These messages are 140 characters or less, and can be sent through your account at Twitter, via a special email address to Twitter from your personal cell phone (or related downloadable application, like TwitterBerry), or through 3rd party software that you install on your computer to help you organize the twitters based on groupings of friends and contacts. Twitters can keep people informed about changing weather conditions, sale pricing on merchandise, special events, and small items of interest that keep you communicating with your customers. Tweets are public to anyone following you and your permission is not required for them to do so.
Facebook is a free-access social networking website where users can post photos and videos, share links, show event calendars, start or join groups around a specific topic, etc. You set the level of privacy for your information on Facebook, ie. only approved friends can see your information, friends of friends can see it, or it's public. Most social facebook pages are friends only, and businesses tend to set it at friends-of- friends for broader reach. Politicians would be an example of someone who would choose the public setting.
The benefits of Facebook are that you can share a LOT of information with a LOT of people very easily and with a minimum amount of work, you can keep track of what your 'friends' are doing via their status updates, and you can advertise events and track RSVPs through the invitation function.
Blogging, or online journaling, is the most commonly known tool for networking and communicating with customers and customers-to-be. I use WordPress for all my blogging - WordPress has achieved critical mass and there are so many great add-ons, hosting setups, and tips and tutorials that's it's just my favourite tool.
Blogging is not private - the very function of it is to push your content out into the Internet and get it passed around, syndicated (RSS = Really Simple Syndication), linked to, even excerpted and linked to. Blogging is where you tell the story of you and your business, because blogging is a one-to- one connection and it's about the human contact.
People not only want to know about what you're selling, sales, specials, getaways etc.... they want to know that you had to stop cleaning your accommodation early this morning to simply stare out the window at the gorgeousness of your little corner of the coast. They want to know that you've been kayaking for 10 years and still, every day, you want to be out on the water because that's where you feel free.
What if you want all of these powerful traffic-building tools added to your business, but you don't have time to figure it all out?
Bad Dog Design offers a one-stop development program that includes:
- wordpress site setup, as a 'static' web site, or blog, or combination of both, using free or for-purchase designed themes, plugin/widget installation, and set up with a self-hosted version with your own domain name and hosting
- twitter setup, with customization of your background to match your business
- facebook setup, with uploading of your basic data and installation of up to 6 Facebook plug-in applications
Call 604.885.5913 and request an information packet for more details - please leave the name of your business and email address, or write firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a custom process, so please allow for 2-4 weeks for discussions and setup. Pricing starts at $999. Twitter and/or Facebook can be setup without a site/blog, approximately $299.
For UNIQUE, fully-customized blogs - capable of being your entire online presence and not template designed - we'll refer you to a top-notch online company with a range of packages from blog-add-on to full comprehensive site development. Prices start at $1999 for the basic branding package.
Bad Dog Design Inc.: Designing for Small Business and the Internet Since 1997.