The average business owner is very confused when it comes to Online marketing. Many see no purpose for Social Sites as they relate to business. I am here to dispel several myths about Social Networking. Here is a list of what people have told me, What is the purpose? They are too hard to set up. They are overwhelming. Social Sites waste my time and fill up my email. I am an avid believer in Networking - both in person and Online. Networking (and sales) is all about building a relationship with your potential clients or power partners.
The purpose of Online networking is to build trust and to become the authority in your area of expertise. It also builds links pointing back to your website (if you don't have a website then you need to get one). People buy for people they know and trust. How would anybody that finds your website on the Internet ever know and trust you? By participating in Social Sites people do get to know you and understand your business philosophy.
Social Sites are not hard to set up or maintain. Here is how I do it. I created a new email address - you could use hotmail, Gmail, yahoo, or a different business email. Create a Word document that has your biographical information everything from your name to a bio on yourself and a paragraph or two about your business. Have a current photo of yourself (or your logo) stored in an easily accessible file on your computer. When you set up a new profile just copy and paste from the Word document and upload your photo. It is that easy!
All correspondence will go to your Social Networking email address that you can check on YOUR schedule once a day or once a week or once a month it is up to you. By managing your activity through a different email there is no wasting of time or weeding through emails to get to your business email. These steps will take away the feeling of being overwhelmed.
There are a few Social Sites that I recommend every business owner uses (in addition to SmartGuy.com). They are:
Every industry will have a Social Site that is unique to them. These sites are important to use to keep up to date on all the changes in your industry. The ones listed above are important for every industry. I will give a brief overview of each of these sites.
1. LinkedIn This is a Networking site of Professionals. It is like an online resume (if you fill out the entire profile). They also have applications you can add to your profile that will turn LinkedIn into an interactive site. You can post PowerPoint presentations, share files with your network or training group. By activating the different applications you can turn your profile into a training area, an online portfolio, or an up-to-date place to find stocks, current news, etc.
2. FaceBook is a great place to start special interest groups in your niche market. FaceBook also allows you to pull other content you might have on the Internet into one place. For example if you have videos posted on YouTube you can embed them into your FaceBook account. PowerPoint presentations, HubPages, Squidoo Lens, and just about any other content that is in your business market can be added to your FaceBook account. This truly can be a one-stop shop for your business if you set it up correctly.
3. Twitter can be used to draw people to your website. It can also be interactive with your Blog and FaceBook account. By updating your Twitter status you can update your Blog and FaceBook status at the same time a great time saver. I use Twitter to post links to new Blog posts or new content I have put up on the Internet. I also use it to pass along positive messages or business related messages to anyone following me or in my other Social Networks.
4. BetterNetworker is a relatively new Social Networking site. Its main focus is the Network Marketing Industry. It is a business training site for Network Marketers. One might ask why I joined since I am not in Network Marketing and I do not have an MLM business. The skill set needed to be successful in business is the same for a brick and mortar type business or an MLM type business. BetterNetworker.com has many awesome training articles and some very thought provoking ideas for your business. If you are one that likes to give back to the business community this is a great place to post training articles, videos, and participate in the community.
What Good things have come from my Social Networking efforts?
I have gained new clients, gained Power Partners, and I know people that have landed a dream job from participating in Social Sites. I get traffic to my main website from all my Social Marketing efforts. Just this week I received a phone call from someone in California that wanted to talk with me about my business after reading a response I posted to a forum topic he was interested in. This person gave me the opportunity to help him with a problem he had with his business and I gained a new client. It took me 3 min to post the comment and I gained $500.00 profit. This is a client that I would have never met if I did not participate in BetterNetworker.com.
If you are already participating in an Online community then congratulations and keep up the good work. If you are not then you need to start. More and more of my business is coming to me from Internet Marketing every business owner needs to move into the 21st century and get Online it is the future of marketing.