If you haven’t read our article ‘Social Networking and Business Image’ then it may be a good time to read it as we cover the first two ‘musts’ when you decide to embark on social networking. There are 100’s of sites to get involved in but you may eventually decide to stick to just one site because it suits your business and works for you so our guide covers them all in a general non-subjective way.
Business success can be achieved if you approach social networking in a certain way and following on from our last article we have written some further tested points to follow.
Cutting Costs Through Social Networking
We have already established that social networking can offer up more leads in return for our time and our willingness to appear less formal than perhaps we do in a face-to-face environment. Social networking sites have been established to connect us and they are free, plus you can receive instant feedback on your products.
You may eventually decide to stick to just one site because it suits your business and works for you so our guide covers them all in a general non-subjective way. However try a few sites and find that final one where there are good quantities of like-minded people, people that are passionate and want to socialise in your area of business and you will build a following that you can market to, for free.
Through all of this, remember to say who you are – anonymity is no longer a good idea, why would you hide your true identity if your business is a trustworthy one? Build trust and you will build loyalty.
No Direct Sell
The whole idea of getting into social networking is not to promote your business but to raise awareness in an indirect way, give it personality and ultimately build your business success. This is done by interaction, engagement and getting conversations going. The wrong idea would be to sign up to, say, Twitter and start hard selling your products. Firstly this does not say much for your business ethic so, as we mentioned in our last article, try to remain a little laid back that you would usually – people do expect less formality. Secondly it tells your followers that you have your blinkers on and perhaps are not interested in them and that’s a good way to turn people off.
Try a bit of humour, you are there to network not sell and there is a big difference. Once you have a good group of followers that are interested in you and your industry you can throw in some subtle messages regarding the product or service you are looking to sell. Again we are talking about trust and loyalty so interacting with people and engaging them in a quick bit of chat will tell them you are aware of them and are not simply connecting to sell them something, they will feel a little more comfortable with you and your business this way.
For most SME’s spending money on advertising campaigns will soon, if it hasn’t already, become a complete waste of money as 95% of people don’t take any notice of most advertising. We do believe that businesses are going to be very disadvantaged by not involving themselves in social networking and perhaps getting to know people that may well be their potential customers.