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Facebook has rolled out their new, shorter URL’s. They purchased the http://on.fb.me domain and now you can replace the longer Facebook.com URL’s with the shorter version.
There is now the fb.com for your business “Like” pages and fb.me for your profile pages. For example my shorter fb.com URL for my business page is now http://fb.com/copywritingandsocialmedia. My fb.me URL for my profile page becomes http://fb.me/livviematthews.
You can make sure your new link is correct by posting your new URL in a new browser and making sure it works.
In case of the very long Facebook URL for a status update you’ve written, Bit.ly can still be used to shorten it. Bit.ly is pre-configured to replace the longer Facebook links with Facebook’s shorter new URL’s.
Have you used your new FB URL’s?
Pull up any blog post, look at a twitter stream, or log onto Facbook and you are going to see some mention of Social Media and what we should do to connect and engage with customers or in short, how to build relationships.
I just have to share this “real time” example. Just about every morning I stop by McDonalds on my way into the office. Being the creature of habit that I am, I’m usually ordering the same thing…A Susage McMuffin and a Value Sweet Tea (I’m a Southern girl and lovvvvvvvve my sweet tea!).
McDonalds has trained their employees well, right down to the drive through person who takes the money at one window and the drive through person that gives you your food at the next window.
The fellow that takes my order (any money) has gotten to know me and my order so well, when I order a “Coke with lite ice” , he would say “You aren’t getting your sweet tea today?” I even made a mistake one day and ordered my Sweet Tea without adding “no ice” and he said “No ice, right?”
This doesn’t sound like much, but think about it, hundreds of people are going through their drive through each day. Many are ordering the exact same thing I’m ordering, but the drive through person “knows” me and my order and that makes me feel special.
Now isn’t that what social media is all about: connecting and engaging were it counts…with the customer!
As we’ve talked about with social media marketing, keeping your name in front of your patients and clients on a regular basis builds and strengthens your existing relationships while establishing credibility and trust.
We are certainly in the electronic (e) age and along with it comes one of the most cost effective marketing tools for communicating with your patients and clients…e-mail and e-mail marketing!
One of the best tools for e-mail marketing is an autoresponder. Autoresponders are specifically designed for helping you keep your name in front of your audience by keeping in touch and allows you to send messages automatically to those on your email “list”.
Choose an autoresponder program like Aweber (what I use) , iContact, Constant Contact , Get Response, or Mail Chimp to name a few. These programs are double opt in, meaning people sign up and then they receive an email to confirm they subscribed to the email/newsletter before they can start receiving it. Once set up, all these programs are very simple to use.
Practice newsletters are one of the biggest uses for email marketing. You can also announce office events, important dental health information and tips, special offers, awards, welcome letters, appointment confirmations, and participation with school, community, or charitable events. You can include your patients in your “dental family” by announcing team members marriages, births, graduations, and office trips.
In addition to practice information like your newsletters and announcements, if you have messages on certain procedures, you can set an autoresponder to automatically send those specific messages when someone clicks on the message link. They can even be set to send a series of articles, messages, procedures, even courses..the list is unlimited for the use of an autoresponder.
NOTE: ALWAYS provide an unsubscribe link in all your e-mails allowing subscribers the option to “UnSubscribe”. Nothing is more irritating than receiving newsletters and not having a way to stop receiving them.
The length and tone of your e-mail newsletter messages is entirely your choice. It can be a few lines of text or a detailed newsletter or both. Your newsletter may be semi-monthly, monthly, or even quarterly. Again it’s your choice. If you choose once a month, then send once a month….every month. Later you may try sending twice a month.
Choosing the 2nd Tuesday of the month is a good example. Then every 2nd Tuesday of the month….send your information. The main thing to remember is once you have made your choice about when to send… be consistent! Always include your web site link and e-mail address in your information along with a notice to feel free to forward the information to a friend.
Your content can be written in-house by you or a team member (if time permits). If you don’t have the time or you don’t feel comfortable writing your content, it’s something that can be outsourced. Do make sure whoever you choose to write the content understands the purpose and audience of your newsletter. They are representing you and your practice.
Another great e-mail marketing tool is your e-mail signature (sig). It’s your virtual online business card. You are (or should be) sending out responses to e-mails every day, don’t just type your response and then type your name and send your e-mail. Instead, advertise your practice and web site every time an e-mail is sent from your office.
Your e-mail signature should include your name, telephone number, e-mail address and most importantly, your web site address and your social networking sites!
Remember: Keeping your name in front of your patients is paramount in social media marketing. With e-mail marketing…It’s your practice’s golden opportunity.
What are some of the ways you use email marketing in your practice or business?
Like it or not, Facebook has changed the look and layout of their Profile page. Some areas we had before, such as the small bio box underneath our photo, have been removed, while other areas, such as the banner across the top of the page has been added.
Aliza Sherman’s Mashable post How To: Customize The New Facebook Profile helps you make the most of these changes and shows you how you can modify some of the sections for more control over what is displayed.
Remember this only effects your Profile page, not your Business “Like” page.
Have you changed your setting to the new Profile? What do you like or dislike about it?
The Internet had made our globe smaller. We could send and receive information via searching online or via email. But unless we knew someone specifically, we still didn’t have direct access to interacting and engaging with specific people or businesses.
Marketing still consisted of traditional methods – direct mail, telephone ads, magazine and newspaper ads and presented a two fold problem:
- You had to be able to afford to place the ad and depending on the ad size, the larger ads went to “the big boys” due to the cost of ad space
- Once placed the fee was for a limited time period and being static in nature, there was no interaction or contact with the viewer unless they responded to the “call to action”
Enter Social Media Marketing. By the very name it’s “social marketing”, connecting and engaging with people on all levels, in all types of business and professions regarding the business of business. It’s no longer “business as usual”.
Social platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube – to name a few have changed the way people view marketing. They are free services to sign up with, have unlimited use, and have leveled the playing field for marketing your business or practice. Now for the first time, small business – even solo entrepreneurs - can market their business right along side “the big boys”!
But what’s even more important with social media is the access to people for connecting and engaging in conversations professionally and personally. Social media marketing is “word of mouth marketing”…on steroids!
The Internet and social media has certainly made it possible for people all around the globe to seem to be “sitting in the same room” discussing the different aspects of dentistry or any business.
We can ask questions, read articles, and have discussions all from the convenience of our computers, now even our phones, to information and people we wouldn’t have had access to just a few years ago…and the information –resources are available 24/7 – 365!
Facebook at this writing has over 500 million users with over half of those accessing Facebook daily. Twitter is approaching 200 million users. You Tube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world (Google is #1) and is owned by Google.
With numbers like these you can’t afford to not be using social media. If you and your business or practice aren’t utilizing social media and being talked about, referred by, or found online…you’re losing business!
Bottom line: Today, 85% of consumers are looking online for who they are going to do business with. They aren’t flipping pages in a telephone book, looking in a magazine, or scanning direct mailers. There’re on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google. There’re asking questions and viewing what others are saying. Are they taking about or talking to…. you?