“Eye Opening” First Weeks in Social Media

Peter Fickinger

I am now two weeks into this new world of social media and I continue to apply what I am learning. As I stated in my first article, I plan to write not of the how, but rather share my journey with you. I understand that for some, this could be like following a story of a guy who just discovered an ATM machine or Netflix for the first time, however, I am pretty confident that there are MANY like me who have been blind to this phenomenon. I certainly hope that my experiences will inspire those of you to get started or maybe even open your eyes to the business side of Social Networks.

Here are my findings with the three separate FaceBook strategies that I (we) have implemented since June 8th.

  1. Personal PageDiscovery: I found my current customers. So many of them live here and are surprisingly active. Most are owner operators who are extremely passionate about their work. Like me they see no conflict of blending personal and business. This platform doesn’t seem strategic for them, just fun. Many of their friends are fellow business owners.

I have found that Constant Contact emails and newsletters rarely were read, however, it seems on FaceBook, the very same customers are quick to engage.

It appears with personal friends and family that if you are not “connected” on FaceBook, your relationship may have suffered a bit because you are “not in the loop”. I have enjoyed re-connecting with so many of them. As a leader of a business with a quest to develop my personal brand, I want to use my page to share who I am personally (with limits)… family, fence, and fun! It seems I am lucky as I have a limited history on FaceBook, and there is nothing I would be embarrassed to have anyone see in my News Feed.

I have tried to post at least once a day with something interesting that will get a “like” or a “share”. This has been good practice for how to apply to a business strategy. Finally, I am studying the advertisements, and observing the difference between social and strategic use of the platform, especially regarding what gets MY attention.

2. FaceBook Business Fan Page — Although this type of page is usually for a business, and I have no activity outside of my job, I decided this will be a “passion page” of industry insights and fun. It will be brand neutral. I don’t plan to sell or promote anything, just provide useful content for my friends and customers ( and someday followers lol). I invite you to follow me at FenceCoach.

Business Fan Page

The discovery here has been:“I am in the drivers seat, so I learn first hand about “boosting posts” and advertising”. I had never seen this as my marketing teams have always handled our brand pages. On this page I will distribute my long form written content, specific to my industry. I will learn so I can teach my customers how to leverage it for their business. The cost for ads here is as little as $7 per 1000 which is probably the best value you can find. There is even an Ads Manager App! Who knew? I “boosted” a short video for $100 and received 2600 views. My “experiments” here will benefit all other areas of my business (and yours if you follow this blog weekly).

Attention — Small Business owners and Sales VPs! To understand how social media advertising will help your company, you may need to see it in a very micro level. I suggest you develop your own fan page that you drive…even if it is for a nonprofit or selling lemonade. You will learn!

3. FaceBook Groups -

I am awestruck by my discovery of such a powerful tool. If this “app” were available independently, it would be worthy of an investment for our business as a communication platform. I am super embarrassed that we had never created a Group Page for any part of our business. You can make it private, by invitation only with a “request to join” . My new goal is that all dealers of our brands participate in a Group Page. There is no better way to stay connected if the content is relevant. Apparently we can do live training's, share info, generate polls, and communicate changes. We set it up last week and already have 80 members. If this forum turns out to be just an exchange of information, ideas, and goodwill among our top customers, it’s a win. I have a gut feeling on this one that it will be a game changer for our brand.

Groups Page

It is simply amazing that these FaceBook platforms are available at no cost! Well — I may have spoken too soon, as I see they are now considering a fee to join a group.

Creating Content — if you want to move fast, you learn immediately that YOU are the writer, producer, director, actor, editor, and distributor!

My Video content created in one week (to be released)

I interviewed on camera two customers and a new team member. I also did promo videos from the field and “on the spot” communications. What I have learned is that this will be my “pillar content”. From this I will launch a “long format” Show titled…..The Fence Show. From these interviews, I will rip the audio for a Podcast . I will further edit the video and use small pieces for other purposes such as recruiting…. in each video interview I asked the question “what word best describes our partnership ”? … rip these answers and I have a recruiting video for a platform such as LinkedIn.

As for the others; such as Twitter, Instagram, and the rest, I haven’t a clue of what to do there yet, but I am just as excited to learn and share. It is difficult to find the time to do all of this, especially, the video editing. I have been working at night and weekends to do some of the tedious tasks.

It seems that Social Media was never very interesting to me personally. It wasn’t even that compelling from a business perspective. However, when you thread the two together with a little entrepreneurial energy, the light goes on, and we can see the power. There was another “secret” that I learned in that speech; IT TAKES WORK!!

…………………and I am about to find it takes extraordinary content to get attention in a very crowded space.

Peter Fickinger

Written by

30 years experience in Fence Industry From installer to Sales and Marketing Leader of several of the worlds top brands #builtbybarrette

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