Social Networking is an excellent marketing tool for you and your business. When you utilize various Internet sites to connect with and reach out to others, you market your business to others, create a brand identity, make new contacts, and learn some things along the way. Best of all, it is FREE! (For the most part, you need access to a computer and to the Internet). If you question the importance of social media involvement take notice of these stats in this video. Be sure to return here for your tips.
Three things presented here will help you improve your social networking:
1. A technique to maximize your social networking strategy and to minimize the time online.
2. Suggestions to improve your networking opportunities and grow your network in a productive manner.
3. Valuable Resources and links to get more information regarding social networking and how to maximize its potential.
Maximize The Benefit-Minimize Time Online
With so many sites to take advantage of, it does not take long before you are spending the better part of your day Tweeting, posting and updating your various accounts/sites. You need a plan to optimize your networking.
Choose 2 or 3 sites as your primary locations to network. At this point in time, these 4 are the most important to be involved on:
Whichever of these 4 are not chosen as your Primary sites should probably be included as Secondary sites. There are many other sites and some up and coming sites that you may serve you well as Secondary sites too. Don’t take on too many though.
Four or five days a week (no more) you should be logging on to your Primary sites and publishing valuable content, comments, links, and tips. It does not have to be too many – two or three things that others will enjoy and find useful is all you need. There are methods to link your posts/tweets together so what you ‘tweet’ is also posted on Facebook and on LinkedIn – or whatever combination you want to set up. Personally I prefer to log in and post separate material on each, although that does take a little longer. Log into your Secondary sites for updates only 1 or 2 times per week. Don’t forget, there are also tools available to schedule your tweets at different times of the day to keep your business in front of the live audience available at any particular time. One of the best is Hootsuite.
Grow Your Network and Make It Prosper
Your network will experience the most growth if you practice these techniques:
• Provide valuable content – helpful links, ideas, and insight that will be helpful to others in your network or who are following you.
• Don’t post/tweet “sales pitches” or spam – instead discuss constructive ideas and thoughts.
• Once every month or two go back in to your profiles on all your sites to update your information. Keep everything current – up-to-date. Refine and update keywords, descriptions, bios, contact information, and discussion groups you belong to.
• Provide links to your web sites, and to your other social networking links. These links are useful in SEO – Search Engine Optimization.
• Join ‘Groups’ on your networking sites – You will find useful discussion groups especially on LinkedIn and Facebook.
• Once or twice per week, post and respond to a few messages in the ‘Group’ postings.
• Once or twice per week, comment in one or two blogs you check in on from time to time.
• Start a blog and write in it regularly.
Over time these comments, posts, replies, links, tweets, and blogs will add up and begin a ‘web’, if you will, of connections associated to your name. If you don’t believe that is true, do a search for your name now and take note of what comes up. After 2 or 3 months of practicing these techniques regularly then search your name again and see the difference!
Valuable Resources and Links
Since I am a voice actor, one of my favorite sites for social networking information is Social Media VO. It is a site run by Dave Courvoisier and Terry Daniel specifically for social networking as it relates to voice talent. It is such a wealth of great information it would serve most anyone or any business well to visit for the resources, insight and information it provides.
List of social networking web sites from Wikipedia
Social Networking – Business Exchange
Mashable – 90+ Essential Social Media Resources
Social networking is a fantastic free marketing tool that can help you grow your business. With some experimentation and planning you will be able to utilize the internet to the fullest advantage. With today’s available technology, why not take advantage of it and make it your business?!