Why Should Businesses Use Social Networking?

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The internet is shifting from just an information gathering tool to a social participation arena with information at its core. Because of this, taking advantage of social networking can be an important part of your business marketing strategy.

Social networking has plenty of business benefits, but let’s break it down to four main areas. Understanding these benefits will help you shape an effective approach to your own social networking efforts:

Establishing business connections/joint ventures: Because a lot of businesses are using new media opportunities, there is no shortage of business owners to connect with. This is your opportunity to establish mutually beneficial relationships with other business owners who complement your products or services. Connect, share ideas, and form a profitable joint venture. Don’t limit yourself. Be creative. It’s worth the effort.

Getting new readers/subscribers: Social media generally requires more than subtlety than just blasting out your sales page link. People don’t participate in social networks to get a sales pitch. They do it to share information and opinions, build friendships, have fun, and be social. Be yourself! Share ideas, be helpful, give value. These things will build trust and your reputation. That trust can later lead to sales.

It’s easier to attract attention and gain a faithful following by sharing your content – your blog, videos, etc. Once you get their attention, this starts the marketing process by pre-selling your readers and eventually turning them into customers.

If you approach social networking as a direct selling medium, you may see a few sales here and there, but soon people will tire of your sales pitches. Use careful judgement here. It’s OK to announce new products, posts, etc., but don’t let that be all you talk about. Everyone on the internet is looking for answers and solution to a problem. Be the resource that everyone looks to.

Create transparency and connection: This is your opportunity for a more personal connection with your existing readers/customers, as well as the new ones you acquire along the way. Many of your readers and customers are most likely already using these networks. Having you join them on a more personal level allows your readers to see you in a different light. When your readers trust you, they’re more likely to buy from you and spread the word about you.

Word of mouth/Viral marketing: Everything we’ve talked about so far culminates in one of the biggest benefits of social networking – and that is word of mouth. Having people talk about you is better than any advertising you can buy. Word travels quickly, and the benefits of a recommendation over a sales pitch are invaluable.

Clearly, social networking can be very beneficial for your business. Give it a try!

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