Building Brands and Booking Business with Facebook

When it comes to leveraging social networks for building your brand and generating leads, Facebook has not typically been the first site that comes to mind.  That honour usually went to LinkedIn and small business-focused Networks. Well, the times they are a’ changing. Facebook is increasingly becoming the focus for companies and professionals who are looking to leverage its fast growing user base, currently pegged at 600 million users. If you’d like to learn how to use Facebook for business, here are some good links collected by the smart folks at Mashable.

·  Essential Apps for Building Your Brand’s Facebook Page

·  Elements of a Successful Facebook Fan Page

These links should provide you with a good starting point for a Facebook campaign. Please share any experiences your company has had with Facebook in the comment box below.


Your Worst Customer is Your Best Friend

Huh? How can that be? Well, according to the book What Would Google Do?, in a “google universe” most information is both public and transparent. That means you can save a lot of anxious moments down the road (not to mention revenues) by knowing your worst customers and finding out what they have to say. Imagine a world where customers could not pan your products or services with a few clicks of the mouse. A world where bad product and service reviews could not be easily tracked or discovered. In that world, negative news would spread slowly and stealthily by word of mouth and, by the time you found out about it, it could be too late (and infinitely more expensive) to fix.

What’s the lesson here? Leverage the Web and social media tools to get as much feedback from your customers as possible. Give your worst customers the opportunity to speak up quickly and easily so you can fix their grievances in the same fashion. Here is author Jeff Jarvis’s description of a restaurant run according to Googlethink. Once you read it, ask yourself how it applies to your business. What can you do to find your worst customers/best friends?

“What would a restaurant run according to Googlethink look like—other than being decorated in garish primary colors with a neon sign, big balls for seats, and Fruit Loops and M&Ms on every table?

Imagine instead a restaurant—any restaurant—run on openness and data. Say we pick up the menu and see exactly how many people had ordered each dish. Would that influence our choice? It would help us discover the restaurant’s true specialties (the reason people come here must be the crab cakes) and perhaps make new discoveries (the 400 people who ordered the Hawaiian pizza last month can’t all be wrong??? Can they?).

If a restaurateur were true to Googlethink, she would hunger for more data. Why not survey diners at the end of the meal? That sounds frightening—what if they hate the calamari?—but there’s little to fear. If the squid is bad and the chef can hear her customers say so, she’ll 86 it off the menu and make something better. Everybody wins. She’ll also impress customers with her eagerness to hear their opinions. This beats wandering around the tables, randomly asking how things are (as a diner, I find it awkward and ungracious to complain; it’s like carping about Grandmother’s cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving). Why not just ask the question and give everyone the means to answer? Your worst diner could be your best friend.”

Is Social Media for Real?

A good number of our clients have been rolling out social media initiatives over the last year or are in the process of doing so.  These initiatives include blogs, podcasts and social networking.

We also hear regularly from clients who are considering initiatives but are still unsure about the effectiveness and staying power of this particular marketing channel.  One of the most frequent questions we hear:  Is this social media thing for real and should be deploying our resources to leverage it?  To answer this question I will direct you to some stats that were sent to us by a friend of ours, who herself is a savvy marketer. Check it out here:

5 do’s and don’ts of building a network of marketing communications colleagues

In an earlier post, we talked about the rich resources available in the marketing communications industry. You don’t have to figure out everything yourself – you can make use of the experiences of others, and pass along yours as well.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re networking:


Stay professional, positive, and generous. The more you give in your networking relationships, the more you will receive.

Consider a more formal networking arrangement such as a think tank or mastermind group. There will likely be an agreement to cover things like scheduling, eligibility, and structure.

Shop around for volunteer opportunities within your group or association. Sitting in on a committee or helping to plan an event is one way to develop relationships with the people who make things happen.

Attend the educational and conference events that genuinely interest you. This way, you’ll be at your most energetic and engaged, and you’ll meet people you can relate to.

Make the best first impression you can in your online profile on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Write and proofread your profile carefully and include an attractive, professional, and friendly photo.


Expect referrals, introductions, or assistance right away. People refer to, help, and do business with those they know, like, and trust.

Start your own group – online or offline – before you consider the time, energy, and commitment involved. If the group fades away or falls apart, your credibility could take a hit.

Gossip or criticize about your colleagues. It only reflects poorly on you.

Talk to the same people at every meeting. Venture out of your comfort zone and approach people who run in different circles or who have more experience than you have.

Forget to bring business cards or collect the business cards of the people you spoke to. Follow up with any information you promised, or to book another time to get together.

Your network may just be your most powerful resource. Whatever your question, there is someone with an answer. Whatever your experience, there is someone who could benefit from hearing about it. Whatever you need, someone in your network either can help, or can introduce you to someone who can help. It’s worth the time to build a strong network.