By Michael Conforti
Since its rise to prominence in the social networking universe, Twitter has helped a president get elected, disseminate news from war-torn Iran amid rigged elections and brought awareness to a Moldovian revolution. Facebook, meanwhile, has eclipsed 550 million accounts, or about one for every 13 people on Earth. This is to say—social networking is an incredibly efficient way to reach a massive audience with a powerful message. What better way to put these tools to use than by reaching out to your customers to let them know you need their votes in the Best of L.I. 2011 competition! Unsure how? Here are some pointers:
Posting a link to the Best of L.I. 2011 voting page on your Wall with a small explanation is a quick way to reach all your friends and fans without bugging them. Here’s what you should do:
• Log in to your Facebook page. Once logged in, click on the “Link” icon (it looks like a piece of paper being pushpinned to a wall).
• Type in or paste the link to the Best of L.I. 2011 voting page.
• In the message box, type something to explain to any potential readers exactly what you need them to do: “Hi everyone! We’ve been nominated for the Best of L.I. 2011 awards! Please go to the link below and vote for us under the [category name] category! Feel free to share this on your Wall, and thanks for all your support!”
• Once both the link and message have been entered, click the “Share” button. That’s it!
It’s not a bad idea to repost this on your Wall from time to time—remember that Wall posts appear on your friends’ newsfeed, but soon cycle out, so there will always be a bunch of people who didn’t see it the first time. On the other hand, too much self-promotion can turn your fans into foes. Try to strike a nice balance between the two.
The same idea works for Twitter, but because of the site’s 140-character limit, we’re going to take one extra step first.
Visit the Best of L.I. 2011 voting page and copy the URL.
Since that URL is 33 characters long, we’re going to shorten it before putting it into a tweet. There are a range of websites that shorten URLs: bit.ly, goo.gl, ow.ly. Visit one of these sites and follow the on-screen instructions. You should wind up with a URL around 15 characters long. It might look like a jumble of letters and numbers, but don’t worry—it’ll take you to the same website as http://longislandpress.com/bestof. Copy that shortened URL.
Log in to your Twitter account and post a message urging your followers to vote for you:
“We’re nominated for Best of L.I. 2011 competition! Please vote for us at [paste shortened URL here] under the [category name]—Thanks for the support!”
Like Facebook, feel free to repeatedly ask your followers to vote (they are allowed to vote once per day, after all).