Thank you to all the folks who attended our webinar, “7 Social Media Strategies for Business,” featuring social media luminary Jason Falls. If you couldn’t attend or you’d like to see the presentation again, we’ve posted the video above for your reference. You can also view the webinar via WebEx here.

As promised, below are Jason’s responses to attendee questions not addressed during the webinar’s Q & A segment. 

  • Question: The realtor marketing norm historically was “look at me” via designations/awards. That model doesn’t work today. How can I use social media to build awareness without espousing the old models?
    • Jason: Be uber smart about your geographic footprint. Post information about restaurants, attractions, events, things to do. Sell the area. If you become the expert on Northeast Louisville (for instance) on Facebook, Twitter, etc., then when people are looking for a house, they’ll find or be referred to you.
  • Question: We are a transportation company for the oil and gas industry. We don’t have weekly and monthly specials to advertise…is social media still a good platform for us?
    • Jason: Sure it is. You are experts at transporting oil and gas. There are lots of B2B customers out there that need your services and have questions about safety, regulations, interstate commerce laws and more. Blogging about these types of issues, or even tweeting or posting to social networks about them, makes you look really smart about those areas. When the prospective customer goes looking for answers, they’re apt to find you or be referred from someone who knows you are knowledgeable about those topics.
  • Question: How do you gather new Friends / Followers for social media like on Twitter and Facebook if you don’t know a lot of people to start?
    • Jason: Two ways: First, follow the types of people you’re interested in having follow you. Twitter has a bit of a follow-me-and-I’ll-follow-you culture. It’s not required that you follow people back, but many folks do. It’s at least a way for them to see you as most people will check out the account profiles of people who follow them. Second, provide really interesting content on those networks. If you’re constantly posting good links to interesting articles about health care reform, people interested in health care reform are going to start following you.
  • Question: You mentioned that for measuring public relations, size matters for stakeholders. Can you elaborate?
    • Jason: Regardless of what you’re trying to communicate, you have stakeholder groups. That terminology is taken from government and public policy communications because it can but doesn’t have to include customers. You could be talking about voters, constituents, legislators, elected officials, interested businesses, etc. If you’re trying to measure your public relations efforts AND one of you goals is to grow those stakeholder groups (build a bigger audience) then you hope size matters and you grow the group. Size doesn’t always matter, though.
  • Question: If a person is just getting started in social networking, is Facebook a good place to start?
    • Jason: It can be, especially from a personal standpoint. Facebook allows you to friend or fan whomever you want (as do others) so you can bite off little chunks as you get comfortable. Twitter is almost useless unless you’re following and watching a lot of different people, so it can get overwhelming fast. Facebook, though, is a good place to start to just start watching what your friends post and then commenting, sharing, etc., as you get comfortable.
  • Question: We are an e-learning platform. Will LinkedIn be more feasible for us?
    • Jason: It depends on who your platform is for. If you’re trying to attract soccer moms, I’d say “No.” If you’re looking for purchasing officers at businesses? Probably. But again, you really have to know your audience and find out where they are more comfortable engaging online and see if your content and efforts make sense there.
  • Question: How would you handle your competition? Would you join them on social media too?
    • Jason: Sure. You can follow and watch them, just like they can follow and watch you. The more you are aware of what they’re doing, the smarter you can be. Just don’t obsess over them. Worry more about your content and stuff. Competition can be distracting if you let it.
  • Question: Do you think there is value in ALL social media venues for ALL business types? More specifically, my company deals in B2B IT services and there is some debate as to whether or not a Facebook presence has value for our structure.
    • Jason: I think we answered this on the call, but to reiterate — no, I don’t think all social media channels make sense for all types of business. It’s about finding the channel that is most comfortable and appropriate for your audience. That’s where your focus should be.
  • Question: How would you measure the community size in a service-related company? Whom should that kind of company follow?
    • Jason: If you’re a service-related business and want to follow and friend folks on Twitter (or target fans on Facebook), I would look for prospective buyers first, then the companies they work for (related to companies in your industry), professional associations and the like. Even if you just follow a bunch of industry related companies to have good content to retweet from time to time, you’re going to illustrate that you’re plugged in to the same conversations your prospective customers are interested in.
  • Question: Can developing LinkedIn Group discussions be good to build market awareness?
    • Jason: As long as prospective customers and maybe other industry members are there, absolutely. Leading discussions makes you a leader by default. If your discussions are so compelling people encourage others to join, participate, etc., you become an influencer in that industry.
  • Question: How do you market something that is not sexy, i.e., insurance?
    • Jason: Just be useful. Insurance isn’t sexy, but it is complex. Explain some of that complexity. Be helpful in showing people how to cut that premium down by doing some preventative things. Find and share links to car care/home care/health care tips and tricks. It’s not about selling insurance as much as it is selling you as a useful resource.

Thanks again for the attendance, interest, and kudos!