Where is everybody?
It’s not news to you that everybody is on Facebook. The statistics on Facebook use are astounding. If you’re starting up a new business, I always recommend getting a Facebook “Fan Page” before anything else. Once you’ve established a personal profile you can create as many Fan Pages as you want, so if you have a couple different businesses you can accommodate each with its own page. It’s also a nice way to keep your business separate from your personal profile. So before creating your website that’s sitting out there all alone, just waiting for visitors, create a page where you can let the networking happen for you.
The Best of Both Online Worlds
If you have more budget and time, it’s ideal to have both a website and Facebook — and then cross-link them. I have a website that is built on the WordPress blog platform. This just means that the website is easy to update (I don’t need to use HTML or CSS). Also, since WordPress is such a highly used platform, it has a lot of Plugins already built for it — like the Wordbook plugin, which automatically posts to Facebook when you post to WordPress. It doesn’t require much technical skill; just the determination to find out how to install the plugin, activate it, and so on. Just like anything, you can Google it and find out a lot more than I can tell you here. Here’s a snapshot of the WordPress interface I see when I update my website:
Well, a) Because you can, b) It saves you time, and c) You never know where a job lead or customer will find you. I was recently googling (googling must be a verb by now, right?) to find out more information on muscle spasms, and I came across the blog of an acupuncturist who specializes in the exact problem I was having. If I didn’t already have an acupuncturist, I might have called her. She had tons of great info on her blog. Her blog led me to her Facebook page, where I could get a glimpse of her personality.
Ditch the Fat Book
The Yellow Pages are a thing of the past. If you’re spending money on ads in those big fat books, you may want to reconsider. The first thing I do when I get delivery of the Yellow Pages is put them out for recycling. I don’t have time to sort through a huge book, and neither does a vast majority of the population. Go where people today: online. Promote your business on the sites where people already spend time: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
If you do any of the above, you must remember one thing: Keep it current. Having a modern online presence is like a having a pet fish: If you don’t feed it everyday, it won’t survive. (You won’t enjoy the results.) By the same token, if you feed it too much (i.e. You post new statuses and blogs every moment), your fans may become irritated and stop listening. Provide quality content that is helpful and relevant, and you can’t go wrong.