Friday, September 25, 2009

Social Networking What is it? How can it help you?

When you were in school did you hang out with the jocks, science club, chess club, or drama club? Well if you did you were a part of traditional social networking. If you go to a Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club or Classic Car event, then you are part of a social network

Social networks allow for the relationships that tie us together. When you meet someone for the first time you ask them “What do you do?” Or, “where do they work?” Or, “where they grew up?” Or, “where they went to school?” Through these questions you might discover people with common interests and develop new friendships. A social network begins to take shape.
When you go to someone’s house you get a feel for who the person is. You get to see family pictures, artifacts from where people have travelled, a guitar sitting in a corner, or a workshop for fine wood carvings. When you attend someone’s house party or meet people at a social event you become tied into a larger network of people.
Some of these people may never use your products or services, but guess what? If they like you and get to know you, they will eventually run into someone who can use your services and they will recommend you. Bingo! The power of social networking!
If you sat down to draw your social network in regards to which you are connected, you would have a difficult time establishing your complete sphere of influence. This is why internet social networking is so powerful. It allows you to hook up with old friends, make new ones, share photos, music, videos, and areas of common interest all in an interactive way. You can also join groups based on your interests such as politics, hobbies, favorite TV shows, job hunting, or seeking your soul mate! Again, the power of social networking!
Now apply internet social networking to your business and you can see how you might be able to raise your profile if you focus on the demographics of your target market. Different Social networking sites will achieve different networking results as they are focused on different target markets.
To implement your social media strategy you will need to decide which one of the social networking sites will best suit your specific goals. Below is a guideline to some of the most common.
  • Micro blogging (Twitter)
  • Business Networking (LinkedIn, Xing)
  • Social Networking (Facebook, MySpace, Blogger)
  • Photo & Video Sharing (Flickr, You tube, Picasa)
All Social networking sites should be used to share information freely and allow people to get to know you and your interests. Then you can subtlety redirect them to your main internet marketing tool - your website. This will take some planning and fore-thought but by following the above social marketing guidelines you will be able to use social networking to “Build Your Business”.
Donald Robichaud President
FloodLight Consulting Build Your Buisiness

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