Social networking a.k.a. the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Ecademy, LinkedIn and so on have become the new marketing buzzwords. Everyone is interested in finding out about them and knowing how to use them to get business in through the door.
So, if you’re interested and want to use them in your business, where should you start? Here’s my top ten tips:
1) Don’t expect to see clients immediately. Social networking is a long term strategy. It’s about relationship building. The more people see you adding information and content to online networking sites, the more people will get to know you and want to do business with you.
2) New social networking sites are springing up all the time, so don’t expect to keep up with all of them. Choose 3-4 to keep on top of and work on these. That means setting up your profile and regular posting on there so that people can get to know you.
3) Write a generic profile of your business and about you on Word and then use it on all of the social networking sites you’re going to try out. That way, if you get invited to start using another one, your profile is already written.
4) Link your social networking sites as much as possible. By that I mean, use sites like http://www.ping.fm to help you manage all of your sites. That way, you can post on one site i.e. Twitter and have the content automatically sent to all of the other social networking sites you’re using.
5) Write as much content as you can. Put your articles on there, give your opinion or views on topics and write down tips. You can write absolutely anything on social networking sites, so get creative.
6) Write as often as you can. It’s no good setting everything up and then ignoring it. For social networking to work for you people have to get to know you and that means you need to write as often as you can i.e. at least once a day.
7) Use tools like http://www.tweetlater.com to set up posts in advance. That way, even if you can’t physically post something, packages like this will do it for you.
8) Remember to find out about other people. It’s not just all about you. Contact some of the people that request you add them as friends and find out about them. The more you build that relationship, the more likely it is that people will want to do business with you.
9) Very often on social networking sites, groups of like-minded individuals and businesses have been set up. That means it’s easy to find all the people interested in what you do. Join these groups and start participating. You never know what could happen.
10) Finally, please be careful out there. Remember that anyone can write anything on the web, so although you may be genuine, the person you’re communicating with may not be. Take extra care when doing business on the internet.