Archive for May, 2010

Surviving Tough Economic Times Part VI: Free, Yet Effective Marketing Part 3

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 by Clyde A. Lettsome, PhD, PE

I have finally reached the last segment of the three part series on FREE, Yet Effective Marketing. In this segment, I will discuss marketing through social networking sites. As I have previously mentioned, social networking sites are the media marketing tool of the new age. Americans are continuously on the move, and they want their information to be short, timely, and from sources they consider reliable. These sites allow users to get all of this and more. They can receive short messages delivered directly to their computers and mobile devices from friends, family and other trusted sources. Statistics support the migration to these sites. Let us take a look at the statistics from three popular social networking sites.

Facebook has (source:

  • More than 500 million active users
  • 50% of their active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • ŸAverage user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook

Twitter (source:

  • Twitter ended 2009 with just over 75 million user accounts
  • The monthly rate of new user accounts peaked in July 2009 and is currently around 6.2 million new accounts   per month (or 2-3 per second).
  • About 25% of accounts having no followers and about 40% of accounts having never sent a single Tweet.
  • About 80% of all Twitter users have tweeted fewer than ten times.

YouTube (source: and YouTube)

  • ŸOver 300 million worldwide users
  • ŸMore than 2 billion views a day. This is more than ABC, NBC, and CBS combined
  • ŸAverage person spends 15 minutes a day on YouTube.

So, how would you use social networking sites to market your business? Use each site based on how users use these social networking sites. According to a Mashable study, most Twitter users use Twitter to get news.  This is higher than the number of people that use Facebook for the same purpose, even though Facebook has more users. However, more people use Facebook for the community building aspects. This tells me that, as an entrepreneur, I can use Twitter to send messages about hard facts. For example: an up-coming sale, new products, promotions, and other objective facts. I can use Facebook to disseminate more subjective information and use the peer-to-peer aspects to create assist in the spreading of the information. An example of this is mentioning cool features in a new product that some users may find helpful with improving their productivity and/or lives. This information will help to spur discussion and help to create buzz around your product or service. From a business point of view, YouTube is sort of in the middle. You can use YouTube to deliver videos with objective information (example: how to videos, upcoming sales information) or it can be used to deliver entertainment which is subjective (entertaining commercial). Given this, I recommend entrepreneurs:

  1. Create an account on all these networking sites.
  2. Make your customers aware that you have a presence on these websites. You can do this through your website, receipts that you give them, or through promotions. An example of a promotion is 20% off for anyone that connect with you on these websites.

Once you have done these two, use each site for their strengths.


  • Opt for the Facebook Fan page vs. Group page for the following reasons:
    • The Fan page can be viewed from outside of Facebook. Thus, if someone does a search they will see your Fan page. You cannot do this with a Group.
    • With the Fan page, you can place Links and Badges from your website back to your Facebook Fan Page. You cannot do this with the Facebook Group.
  • ŸPlace primarily subjective information and some factual information about your business on Facebook. The goal here is to get your users to share the data they get from you with the approximately 130 Facebook Friends.
  • ŸCreate a landing page instead of using the wall as your landing page on Facebook. This gives you an opportunity to inform your customers and potential customers instantly of upcoming events, sales, or changes.
  • ŸLink back to your main site as much as possible. This will help to boost your SEO ratings.


  • Post factual information (example sales, events, promotions, etc) about your business here. Make your posts searchable by placing # (makes post searchable via trend function) in front of key words (example #sale). Because many users on Twitter do not have a large numbers of Followers, any message you send to your followers will not spread as quickly or as far as they would on Facebook. Because of this, many users, not in your network, may find valuable information by using the Trend function in Twitter. This allows them to search for trendy/news topics people are tweeting about on Twitter. This is your opportunity to get additional followers and potential customers.
  • ŸLink back to your main site as much as possible for a boost in your SEO ratings.


  • You can highlight your expertise with how to videos or create your own video commercials.
  • Keep your video content short, entertaining, and informative.

Of course, many times you will notice that the content you place on these sometimes can be placed on all three sites. If that is the case, there are many tools both built into the networking sites or that you can easily obtain to help you share the information across 2 and sometime all three sites with one click of the mouse. Use these tools as well as the site and you can disseminate your information to a whole new set of customers that never knew about you before.

Bookmark and Share