In the social media age, business success stories powered by the online communities Twitter, Linked In, MySpace and Facebook are plainly visible. What’s more, those who have profitably leveraged these tools are often profiled in the media and-or willing to share the secrets of their success.
Palm City, FL based equine dentist Geoff Tucker had a regional-centric business until he chose to expand his reach via Facebook. By actively nurturing contacts through Facebook, Tucker was able over the period of 2009-2010 to generate approximately 100 new sales leads and ten to 15 actual sales. His feeling is that horse people like to do business with vendors they know, and Facebook proved to be a perfect way to prospect for new customers on a referral and networked basis.
Facebook can also be a perfect conduit for those who have become more creative in their presentation of business opportunities. In southern California, high-end real estate agent Andrew Karigan scheduled an open house for a showing of a five-million dollar home at the evening twilight hour, with music provided by a local string quartet. He then sent out event invites via Facebook and other social media applications, thereby making the recipients feel privileged to have been invited and drawing them into an event designed to be anything but the run-of-the-mill home showing.
At the April, 2010 F8 Conference in San Francisco, Facebook developers commingled with entrepreneurs and executives to discuss the newest tools being made available to leverage the social network for business. If it was not already clear, the conference brought home the idea that to profitably survive in the 21st century, small businesses and large corporations need to make sure their official websites are seamlessly Facebook-enabled. Based on the premise that more and more website visitors will be coming to a corporate website while already logged in to their Facebook accounts, it is imperative – through Open Graph and other recent improvements – that a visitor’s impulse ability to comment and purchase is made as effortless as possible.