In “The Zen of Social Media Marketing,” Shama Kabani presents the ACT model to describe the process of successful online marketing. The three components are:
- Attract – to get attention or stand out and attract traffic to your website
- Convert – to turn a stranger into a consumer or a customer
- Transform – to transform past & present successes into magnetic forces of attraction
As someone preparing to start up a small business, I feel that social media will be an essential tool for building my customer base. I see the value in creating and maintaining a Facebook fan page and building a following there. The page module allows me to easily share pictures, videos, and links that can all point people towards my website and blog. I am less familiar with Google+ but discovered recently that it is also easy to set up a very similar page on there. You can choose between whether it is a store page, a brand page, or a community page. It has a slightly different layout than a Facebook page, but all of the same features from what I can see.
One advantage that Facebook currently has over Google+ for me personally is that I have already established many relationships with people on that site who would most likely “like” my page and support me as I get started. I don’t have as many connections on Google+, and some of the ones I do currently have are not very active users. Having said that, many of the people I know on Facebook are people that I “met” online and gradually developed real friendships with, so given enough time I am sure that I can do the same on Google+.
By maintaining pages on both of these social media platforms I can attract people to my website and blog, convert them into consumers and customers that utilize my services, and then transform those successes by sharing stories of satisfied customers that attract more people to my business.
Another site that I have been getting to know a bit better recently is LinkedIn. I believe this site also has the potential to attract, convert, and transform, but in a different way. To me, LinkedIn is not about fancy layouts and eye-catching graphics and headlines, like Facebook or Google+ pages. If a potential customer viewed my page on LinkedIn they would see my skills, education, and experience, which might attract them to my website to learn more about me. Or a person who visited LinkedIn from my website might view my profile, feel confident about my background after reading about me, and decide to try my services and become a customer. In the same way, if customers or colleagues post recommendations on my LinkedIn page, then that might transform my past successes into opportunities to attract new ones.
While I originally viewed LinkedIn as a place for job seekers to find employment opportunities, I have since realized the advantages it has for someone who is self-employed. The connections I make on LinkedIn are opportunities to network and to meet potential customers, collaborators, and mentors. I might connect with someone whom I can refer my customers to for certain services, and they can refer their customers to me for others. By joining groups on LinkedIn I can meet people in my line of work and gain knowledge about how they create success for themselves.
I am someone who loves to continually learn, grow, and educate myself. By viewing some profiles of people in my area of work, I have already found a few courses that sound really interesting to me, so by looking at the education that others have taken I am gaining ideas for additional training that I might like to pursue. This has got me feeling very excited!
I am grateful for what I have recently learned through exploring Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, and feel that all three social media platforms have much potential to help me to meet my goals and develop myself both personally and professionally.