The Small Business Social Media Profiles is a series where BlogWorld talks with small businesses about how they’ve incorporated social media into their website, marketing, and promotion. We ask for their input and hopefully encourage you to further your social media reach!
Founder, Laura Cunningham, used her background in psychology, and what she learned from experience, to create a targeted search system for her clients. It is this specialized process that sets her business apart. The dating ocean is large; her little black book is the entirety of the internet online dating world. But she tells her clients they don’t have to be the best at fishing to catch the right one – they just have to be very good at throwing the wrong ones back without wasting too much time on them!
Because of her success with online dating, her background in psychology, and her legal training in counseling, her clients and co-workers often wanted to discuss online dating and how they could find “The One” for them. With the decreasing demand for business and real estate work in this economy, and the increasing demand for help finding love online, her matchmaking and date coaching business, Meet Your Match Online!, dedicated to helping others achieve her same success, was born. They offer a wide variety of services from a $45 First Impression Profile Review (creating the right first impression is critical) to a $725 platinum package for daters who need the works (a new profile, new photos, several hours of consultations, matchmaking, weekly updates and targeted search reports of the searches they run for them, etc.).
When did you start integrating Twitter and Facebook into your business marketing and outreach?
After getting my business set up through the legal channels, my very first stop was getting my online dating website in place and a marketing plan going that was heavily focused in social media. I turned to an online and social media marketing company – The River Rock Group – for all my needs. They helped me to develop a marketing plan which incorporated online elements as well as getting out from behind the computer and into the real world as much as possible (e.g. speaking engagements!). I learned quickly that if you’re not visible on social media outlets, you might as well be invisible! Since one of the demographics my company caters to a young adult crowd, I knew that dominating the online space would be a critical element to our success. Since we have a fun and flirty sort of business, it lends itself especially well to the online banter prevalent in Facebook and Twitter. As a small business owner, the danger for me (and challenge) is not to lose focus of all the other marketing activities I need to be engaged in by getting bogged down in social media, which can take a lot of time without producing the “overnight success” many business owners dream of.
How did you begin promoting your account and encourage fans to follow you?
I have found that by asking provocative questions, commenting on articles and studies, and posting polls and surveys about dating etiquette and beliefs, I can really engage my followers, and spark lively debates on our blog – which gets people commenting and helps spread the word. Popular recent topics include honesty in creating online dating profiles, turning a first date into a second date, whether luck is a factor in finding love, and when to meet someone in person that you met online.
Everyone knows someone (or IS that someone) who is a truly amazing person but is just so busy and buried at work that they don’t seem to ever find the time to date. Through our social media presence, and through video promotions using sites like YouTube, we can say to those “I’m Too Busy” people that when they are ready to date, we’re here to help AND we’ll even do the searching for you. If you can put in a couple of hours, our services will do the rest of the work to get you matched up with compatible partners.
Do you run any contests, or specials, or have other interesting activities in place for social media?
We use regular promotions on all our social media outlets to attract a following and generate continued buzz. Right now we have “Meet Your Match Online Mondays” where we offer a new promotion every Monday. We’ll also be incorporating MYMO Monday Night Social Events (saving the sacred Friday and Saturday nights for dates!), bringing our different client demographics in on separate nights to mix, mingle, and learn about a topic of interest to them, such as online dating safety tips, how to get a first date (and turn it into a second), or how to date after a divorce, or as a newly single parent. Social media will be critically important to getting word out about these events AND to finding out what our clients and potential future clients want to hear about. We’ll Tweet and share pictures, find a central meeting location for those who want to attend, and get buzz going on Facebook too. I will also use social media to promote my book, How To Meet Your Match Online, which will cover topics like online dating safety, determining exactly who you want to meet, creating the perfect online profile, and proper first date etiquette in a world where chivalry is on life support.
How important do you think social media is for a company?
Social media is important, but it is just one tool of many in the small business owner’s toolbox. My goal over the next month will be to figure out how to harness its usefulness while not letting it use up too much time. I need to remember to stay focused on the primary goal of helping singles find love through online dating! I would recommend that other small business owners hire a marketing consultant – like The River Rock Group – to help them stay on track and not lose focus of their larger goals in making their businesses successful.
How do you deal with questions/concerns/complaints via social media? Do you ever fear being too accessible?
Although being too accessible can be a curse, for a start-up, we see it as a blessing (and hope we can get to the point where it’s a curse – I’m only kind of kidding…). While date coaching is one of the services we offer ($45/month), we will also do a certain amount of this service for free for our Twitter followers. If our followers pose dating questions to us, we will answer them directly or, if we get the question enough, we’ll even do a post about it for our blog.
If you’d like to have your small business profiled, please shoot me an email with your name and website!