I hope that by now you have your website, a Facebook account and a Twitter account, and anyone who finds one should be able to find the others because you have linked them. Now the question is, how do you get people signed up for them?
First, be sure to include the information about your services on all your print materials. This ensures everyone you meet has access. Keep your business cards with you so you are always ready to share no matter where you meet someone.
Secondly, be sure to add your website to any listings. Start with the Natural Childbirth Directory and then move on to join all the directories available. You will find a listing of directories at the Natural Childbirth Directory.
Consider sending an email to all your recent clients letting them know about your new internet presence. Invite them to become a friend or follower, and encourage them to share the links with any who might be interested.
But the most important part of internet social marketing is to be social. It is not enough to have a Twitter account, you need to tweet. A Facebook fan page is useless unless you post things. So here are some suggestions to make things work.
1. Make a schedule for posting and tweeting, and stick to it. You can be as simple as having two or three times a week you post something, or you can have a detailed schedule. For example, on the Birthing Naturally Fan Site I always ask a personal question on Monday and I post a birth related question each Friday. I can post more often if I want, but this makes sure that I keep the page current. Remember, the posts and Tweets are your way to reach new families interested in what you have to offer.
2. Make a list of topics you would like to share and discuss, and then choose a topic for each post or each week. Topics can easily be used and reused since you will change what you say about them each time. For example, this week on the blog I talked about marketing – specifically on the internet.
3. Subscribe to two or three RSS feeds that provide information about birth. Check them periodically for topic ideas. If you use Outlook, you can have feeds read into your inbox. If you use gmail, you might prefer using the Google Reader.
4. Make a list of blogs you like to read. Check them regularly and share interesting posts with your audience. You can start by looking through the listing of blogs on the right hand side of this screen.
5. Consider using a service that lets you schedule your posts and tweets so you can continue the conversation even when you are not able to be at your computer. I like to use HootSuite, I have friends who use TweetDeck. I am sure there are others. Pick the one that fits your style best.
Remember, the more you post the more information your readers have to share and the more likely your audience is to grow. Though not all of your readers will be local, every reader helps to build your reputation as a trustworthy and influential birth professional. This makes it easier for local families to trust your services and hire you.