Although ‘Print’ always will have a place in the world, Social Media Marketing is just plain smart if you run a business. Social networking sites can help a business gain contacts, clients, and increased public awareness of their brand and service offerings. Even entrepreneurs who run small businesses from their homes can take advantage social networking sites to set up a global presence.
Is social media marketing and networking useful for my business?
When most people hear the word ‘Networking’ they often thing of a bunch of people meeting in a business room running around and throwing a business cards at everyone they see. The truth is that networking is anything that gets the company name out there, or connects your company to helpful resources or people. Social Networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and of course Facebook make this possible to do online, and not just face-to-face and small business in this day and age should be using them to their advantage.
Using the six-degrees of separation concept, a new contact, friend, or follower will expose your business to a new set of people who are listed as their respective friends when they ‘Like’ your page or ‘Follow’ your tweets. If they like what they see these new contacts will essentially market your business for you.
Not sure what to use?
Not sure what social networking sites are or understand what each of them is about. Here is a simple example created by Tad Hargrave http://on.fb.me/yr6Roa
Will they work for my business?
As long as you treat online social networking just as you would meeting someone in person, these sites will work for you. Here are a couple tips:
• Remember to create a page that reflects your brand.
• Be an active member of a community or site relative to your industry, and likes.
• Follow, Tweet, Like and Share things that are relevant to your business.
• Most importantly, Become part of the conversation and don’t just sit on the sidelines.
That being said, networking is only as valuable as the amount of effort you want to put into it. Just like meeting face-to-face, a first impression is a lasting one.