How many of us love to make new connections and find new clients online? Well, I do, and I would like to share with you some different places that are awesome for online networking and also, why, especially now, becoming a part of online networking and social media sites is such an important part of business.
To put it simply, social media and online networking gives you the power to make contact with millions of people all over the world. Facebook topped 300 million users and is used by newscasters to get opinions on topics, by radio shows to get recos for music to play, Best Buy now uses twitter to answer questions about tech and much more. This is happening folks. People, potentially your clients, are online and clicking away everyday and if your competition is in on it and working it, you are losing out. Don’t take this the wrong way. Your sales may be off the charts and money is coming in from everywhere and you might say, “I don’t need to get online, everything is working for me just the way it is.” and you would be totally right. In that case, establishing an online presence in the online networking and social media world would only grow your business more. For those who can’t say that and are looking for another way to get the word out, social media and online networking should be considered. If done right and effectively, it can’t hurt.
You have probably heard of the online phenomenon Facebook. I just mentioned it above and with 300 million users and more joining daily, it’s a big one. Originally created as a social media site (which it still is) Facebook put a little twist on things and added the ability to create pages. This is where your business would come into play. If you create a page for your business, you can build a following, provide updates on services and products, inform people of newindustry news that may affect them, etc. Having a facebook page and effectively growing your fan base through Facebook gives you one more avenue through which to reach your current customers and potential customers. Keep this in mind though, when on Facebook and your doing all of this, DON”T SPAM!!! Apologies for the change in tone but the fastest way to lose fans of your page is to post every 5 min. the same thing you just posted about this product or that service. Mix it up and keep the content relevant and interesting. 🙂
Through facebook you can also join groups and create groups to further your reach into the networking world. There are business groups galore, so get on and start meeting people.
As a business, you have probably heard at some point or another about LinkedIn. Think of it as a business facebook. This one is all business, no joke. Through LinkedIn, you can meet all sorts of people (CEO’s and presidents of companies, etc.) and do all sorts of things to get the word out about your business or products/services, and the best part is, it’s free. Yay, free stuff!! Once you create a LinkedIn profile, you want to make sure you fill it out completely and put a picture up there. After that, join some groups that you think match your industry or your customers and start meeting people within the groups. LinkedIn also has a thing called Q&A. You can answer questions other people have and also ask questions of your own to your network. Build up your network, spread the word about your company and meet other business people. LinkedIn is awesome for business networking but once again, DON’T SPAM. It’s getting to be a real issue in some of the groups and you will be booted if you SPAM the group. It’s pretty serious and can completely ruin what you are trying to do.
Things to Remember about Social Media and Online Networking:
One thing to remember about these online networking sites and just the principle in general is that you are building your reputation as a business just as much as you are building clientele for your products or services. Protect that reputation by not SPAMMING other members and by offering good information on your products and services in an unobtrusive way. This is very important because you can achieve awesome results but you can also, just as easily, loose your rep for your business.
Another thing to remember: It takes time and effort if you are to succeed in networking online. You have to build your following and your friends and connections from the ground up and keep at it. The payoff may not be immediate but just remember that when you have established yourself in these different places online, you are that much easier to be found online and you have more exposure to potential clients and customers.
If you have more questions about networking online or social media, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment or contact me through my online form. Big Cloud Media also offers consultation on these matters if you are having trouble effectively using them to get word out about your business so please feel free to contact me if you are interested in that as well.
Thank you for reading and God bless.
Big Cloud Media