Social media is like a big trade show or community event. If you go to the bar, you get drinking. If you go to the amusements, you get amusement. If you go to the business expo, you get business. And you have to show up to get anything.
Even now, many businesses and sales reps don’t participate in social media for business. If you’re one of those folks, I hope to convince you otherwise. The free use of Facebook and other sites can be good for business. This is a long-term approach. If you need quick results, you should look into advertising on social media.
Since events and trade shows are cancelled, social media can make up for some of that. If you have extra time these days, look into social media.
Below are a few stories of how Facebook helped my business without paying for any advertising.
New Business from Previous Client who Posted to WordPress Group
Facebook showed a notification that “John Doe” posted to the Tampa WordPress group. I recognized the name because we had done business about 15 years earlier. The post was a request for a WordPress developer to help fix up their website. I immediately posted a response. They recognized me and gave an encouraging response. Separately I immediately e-mailed them.
After responding to the Request for Proposal, I’m working with this client again.
Referral Years after A Real-Life Meeting
Over 10 years ago at a trade show in Chicago, I met two people from another promotion-marketing company. They happened to be from Sarasota, about an hour south of my office. We stayed in touch on Facebook. In January 2020, one of them contacted me on Facebook and referred a client. We probably would not have stayed in touch except for Facebook.
I’m now working with the new client on web development and automating their spec sheet production.
Passing Meeting in Real-Life but Finally Connecting on Facebook
I met Skip Cohen a few times at photography trade shows, but it was mostly in passing. Years later, I shared a friend’s Facebook post about the new Platyball tripod heads. Skip is involved with the Platyball project, and he saw my share. Since he lives near Tampa, he called about meeting for lunch some time. So Facebook connected us better than we were.
Fast forward to the lock down of March 2020, and I saw Skip start the F64 Lunch Bunch, an online gathering for photographers to share ideas on doing business these days. And that gave me the inspiration to start the Brandon Lunch Bunch. In preparation, I contacted Skip, and he was kind enough to give me some pointers and lessons learned from starting F64 Lunch Bunch.
Facebook facilitated a business contact that mostly didn’t exist before.
Keeping In Touch with an Expert for Brandon Lunch Bunch
I met Darren Denington of Service with Style over 15 years ago. We were both members of the local chamber of commerce. I was last a member in 2012. Since then, I’ve seen Darren’s Facebook posts about his business and in particular his gigs as an instructor at national food and restaurant conferences. I image he also saw some of my posts over the years. With the start of the Brandon Lunch Bunch for the COVID-19 lock down, I remembered his posts and I realized I knew somebody in the restaurant business. Not just an owner, but somebody who teaches it. I asked if he’d like to join in, and he said yes.
Facebook kept me up to date on a local business expert and provided an easy way to contact him.
Showing up is 80 percent of life.Woody Allen
I’ve done some networking on LinkedIn, too, but I don’t check in often enough to give it a fair evaluation. I bet it can help with networking. Just like trade shows and any networking event, you have to show up.
If you have extra time on your hands these days, explore social media for your business. If you depended on events and trade shows to build your network, social media could make up for some of that in the long run.