Maximize Your Effectiveness on Social Networks
People want to do business with people whom they know, like and trust. Finding ways to connect with people and share something of value with them will help to bridge the gap. Social Networking is perfect for accomplishing this. Be sure to keep in mind that building trust and building relationships online takes time.
You do not want to become known as someone who is always trying to sell something. Instead, become known as a person who has a lot of knowledge and experience to offer. How you can accomplish this via Social Networking is by participating in group discussions and helping others. People will become accustomed to seeing your name, and in many cases your photograph. You can also initiate conversations by asking questions. Frame your questions in ways that encourage people to reply. For example, which question would you be more inclined to answer? 1) I have a great product that can help you save a lot of money and, buy my stuff! or 2) I noticed last week that Jim K. was asking for suggestions on how to connect with Health Professionals in Canada. I posted a few ideas. Today I would appreciation your tips on how I can connect with Massage Therapists in New England.
My favorite Social Networks are, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Ning and Fast Pitch Networking. Remember that Social Networks are for building relationships, not trying to sell people stuff. Sell them on YOU, not on your product! Your first step is to select a social network and set up your profile. Be sure to take a few minutes to fill out your profile and add your photograph. This will make a world of difference. You do not have to spend a lot of time Social Networking each week. In fact, you may want to delegate a brief 30 minute session, 1-3 times a week as part of your business development strategy.
Once you have your profile set up, spend some time exploring the site. Many Social Networks have groups or forums that attract Niche groups. Participating in groups and on forums that attract your niche market is the perfect way to build relationships and grow your business. A word of caution, just like in “the real word” you want to use common sense and good judgment. Most social networks allow you to email back and forth from within the system and thus you do not need to give out your personal information unless you want to.
A great way to drive traffic to your blog or website is by having your web address in your profile signature. This is viewed as an acceptable and low key way to market your business and also provides people with a way to find out more about one anothers’ products and services. Once you know your way around, you may want to initiate a group discussion. This will shine the light on you and will facilitate relationship building and thus future business and referrals. Become known as a “go to” person and an expert in your field. Set yourself apart by adding audio and video to your Social Networking profiles and at least once a week post a reply to a question or participate in a discussions.