Filed Under networking
With a New Year you may be looking to add social networking to your business marketing strategy, but maybe you’re still wondering what it is all about. Let me see if I can explain the “basics” of social networking.
People use social networking as a means of “gathering” together virtually. They want to connect with others that share common interests. Once connections are established, they continue to gather together because they know each other, enjoy interacting and trust each others’ opinions on all kinds of things. People do it because it’s fun and it offers a sense of support from their peers. In other words, it’s SOCIAL and is about people connecting with people.
Social networking profits benefits to businesses as well. Businesses can use social networking to do the following:
Establish business connections and joint ventures. Because a lot of businesses are using social networking opportunities, there is no shortage of business owners to connect with. This is your opportunity to establish mutually benefit relationships to:
- Find affiliates for your products.
- Find new products to promote.
- Embark on co-projects like new products, websites.
- Discover new websites that will publish your content.
- Recruit guest bloggers, content contributors for your own site.
- Hiring skilled help (ex. graphic designers, programmers, etc.)
Get new readers / subscribers. It isn’t just about blasting out your blog or ezine link, but it can be a great way to communicate with others, get them interested and ultimately have them become a faithful reader / subscriber.
Create transparency and connection. It is also a great opportunity to be transparent and to truly connect with your target audience. Social networking allows you to show others the real you and that you are a real, flesh & blood person just like them. Trust is everything on the Internet and when you’re readers/customers trust you and know you’re the real deal, the more likely they are to buy from you and spread the word about you, which is our next benefit…
Word of mouth advertising. Everything we’ve talked about so far (establishing new business relationships, finding new readers and deepening connections) culminates in one of the biggest benefits of social networking and that is – word of mouth. Having people talk about you is better than any advertising you can buy. Word travels quickly and the benefits of a recommendation over a sales pitch are immense.
Think about it. If you join networks just to pitch, who’s going to want to talk about you? You have to create something to talk about.
Clearly, social networking can be very beneficial, but there is something you need to consider and always keep in mind when planning your social networking strategy.
Photo credit: Jana Koll