For those of you online that really know me, and have listed me as a friend on Facebook, I’m sure you’re already familiar with a number of groups I’ve created. For example I currently have started the following groups:
- I Enjoy adding Random People To My Friend List Because it Boosts My Self Esteem (for those of you with 800+ friends)
- Omega Kappa Kittens (the craziest Frat ever!)
- I’ve Killed and Eaten My Own Cow (no not really)
Okay, so the above referenced groups are jokes, and in some cases offensive. In fact, I lost a bid to create the website for the Vegetarian group on campus because they really believed I had killed and eaten my own cow (which probably would have been more humane any way). Animal politics aside, social networking sites, namely Facebook and MySpace offer unique, guerrilla marketing opportunities.
Unique ID has been a part of BNI (business network international) for a while now and we have seen some great results. For those not familiar, BNI is an exclusive networking group. A group starts up in an area and can include one person from a particular industry. Every group member must then refer all business to the person in their group.
But, we were cautioned before going in to view the members of our group not as potential clients (which of course they can become), but instead as potential sales people. These individuals, whether they’ve used your services or not, will reference your name in regards to the industry you are in, establish a good relationship with them, and you will establish a good relationship with their clients, their friends, their family… and soon thousands of people will have heard your name and learned of your services.
So too can social networking sites offer these same types of benefits. You connect with your friends already, why not stay in front of them in a business capacity? Use the powerful tools within networking sites to explain what you do to friends and family, to keep them abreast of the latest trends and technologies in your own industry.
Facebook in particular offers great group features. Facebook allows you to create a group about whatever topic or topics you want. Most recently I’ve created the Web Design and Programming group and invited many classmates, friends, even teachers into the group where I hope to discuss problems and topics in web design or programming, offer help, build an online community for everyone.
In creating such a group I have created value for the individuals that are apart of the group, I have connected with a number of like-minded, skilled, potential sales people, and finally it is a network of valuable talent, resources and skills that I can tap into later, perhaps as employees or referral sources.
Harnessing the power of Web 2.0 doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend copious amounts of money on web ads. Instead, I’ve found tremendous value in molding the connection features offered by these social networking sites into my own business.
Do you have a unique (guerilla) marketing technique that harnesses the power of Web 2.0 or uses a commonplace feature of a favorite website to drive sales and traffic?
Zachary Katkin is the founder of Naples Web Design Firm, Unique ID Web Design . Zach can be contacted via the company’s web site.
You can read Zach Katkin's personal blog, theNapkin for more information on running and marketing a small business online