By Guest Blogger Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk
Today I was the speaker at the quarterly Women TIES Greater Rochester Luncheon which was titled "New Ideas for Using Facebook to Build Your Brand and Grow Sales". Women TIES is a regional organization that is based out of Syracuse, NY, but has regional events through upstate and Western New York. I met Tracy Higginbotham, the President of this organization, over three years ago through Yvonne DiVita who was a speaker at the Women TIES Annual retreat back in September, 2009.
Women TIES stands for "Together Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success". I have stayed in touch and have become a member of this group because I believe in Tracy and her mission which is to support women entrepreneurs and to encourage women in business to work and support other business women. Tracy reached out to me the year after we met and invited me to speak at the first Greater Rochester Chapter event that was actually held in Canandaigua, NY in the Finger Lakes area. At the time I spoke on the "New Social Media World" which was then very basic. So when she asked me to speak again this year we decided that I couldn't cover everything to do with social media in just 30 minutes. So we decided to focus it on Facebook since it's the largest social networking platform, and also the one that I am the most familiar with.
I started out by telling the group that a recent survey of 600 small business owners across the US indicated that 90% are actively engaged in social networking sites and 74% perceive social networking as valuable, if not more valuable than networking in-person. I knew that there would still be some skeptics in the room and wanted to make sure that they realized that social media is no longer an area businesses can ignore. Today women entrepreneurs need to be where their customers are, and they are on Facebook.
So now that Facebook has 1 billion users it does open up a vast national and global market. That same survey stated that Facebook pages are driving the most business for small business owners, second to their website. Some of the women at the event already have a Facebook page and some others that don't are now planning to start one for 2013. My goal of the talk was to demonstrate how they can use Facebook to their advantage today.
My presentation reviewed how they can both grow and engage their Facebook fan base by utilizing applications, running promotions, optimizing for mobile screens, scheduling posts and advertising on the platform to a specific target audience. We were running a little over time wise, but still had time to answer some questions during and after the presentation.
The feedback from most of the women that I heard from was very positive and I believe they all walked away with at least one new thing that they can try. It's always a challenge of presenting to a group like this where there are some people that know very little about the subject and others that are doing it on a daily basis. So I try to present a mix that will speak to both extremes.
If you'd like to review the presentation I will be happy to share. So just send me a comment back and I'll let you know how you can obtain a copy of it.