To run a successful business, whether it’s traditional or online, it helps to keep up with current technology. More importantly, learning to use the latest technologies to your advantage. One great tool that savvy business owners are using to promote themselves is social networking.
Social networks are websites that let people join, find their friends, and share information with each other. Most people use these sites to find friends they haven’t seen since high school or stay updated on what their friends are doing in real time. Most people have heard of popular social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, but there are many others out there that are much smaller, but perhaps more useful.
LinkedIn is a site that is smaller, but gaining popularity. The beauty of it is that it’s geared specifically for business networking, rather than simply networking with family, friends, and people you haven’t seen in years. This is a great place to get started networking. If you decide you want to branch out to other sites, there’s nothing stopping you from joining later.
It’s easy. When the first social networking sites started, only very few people used them. However, they’ve gained popularity because anyone can use them. While they include more advanced options for the technically savvy user, pretty much anyone can get down the basic idea of these sites with very little time and training.
Everyone’s doing it. Because they are so easy to use, everyone is using these sites. And they’re talking about them to. It’s hard to turn on the radio or TV without someone directing you to their MySpace page or talking about the latest post on one of these sites. Instead of going through all the work of gathering emails and contact info to develop your own network, you can market through ones that are already there.
So, social networks are obviously a great way to connect with business partners and customers you already have, but how can you use them to expand your business? Easy – once you develop a network of people with similar business interests, you can post things to everyone on your network. Not only will they pass it on if they are interested, but their contacts will see it on their page and will look at it too without your contact having to do anything. Pretty soon, your content and marketing materials are spreading through the Internet like wildfire.
An important thing to consider when venturing into social networking sites is not to spread yourself too thin. If can be tempting to use every single networking site in order to reach every single potential customer, but if you’re using so many outlets, you’re going to use up a lot of extra time and resources to reach just a few more people. A more intelligent plan is to focus all your resources on one or two sites. That way you can launch a targeted campaign that will probably give you better results.