Websites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace let you show who and what you are through online interaction. With help from these social networking sites, you can find long lost schoolmates or friends through people search. Singles looking for partners can ask for help from several online dating sites.
If you want to improve your business, social networking sites are simple to use. Although there are many forms of social media, social networking sites are by far the easiest and at the same time, most effective tools for doing so. Companies have expanded their niche with the help of social networking sites. Even solo merchants gather customers without the need to employ marketing agents to market their products and services. Why employ salesmen when you can use social networking sites to perform your own sales pitches in chats, forums or blogs?
Although it is a simple job, there are proper (and decent) ways to use social networking sites in your business. Here they are:
- Try to be friendly and sociable. Some of the social networking sites are Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. These allow users to add friends, interact with others and post personal updates.
- Interact and add friends at a normal pace, not a marketing agent’s pace. If you think making hundreds of friends in an instant will make your marketing easier, think again. Those hundreds of people do not even know you, so why bother listening to you? Start with only a few. Get to know them. Pretty soon, word will get around about how compassionate and ever present you are. You will get more friend requests that way, therefore expanding your target market without forcing it.
- Be patient. Like with every social media, it takes time to get an audience, to offer your products and see results. And even though you are already friends, you cannot expect them to grab whatever you offer. Most likely, only 3 out of ten will try your product or service. One or two of your satisfied customers can spread the news themselves by posting positive comments and blogs about you and your offers. Then again, it will take some time before the repeat orders start to come in and you make others interested.
- Avoid being self-centered. You can talk about yourself, but avoid too much linking out to your site. Have you ever spoken to anyone who keeps saying, “I am this” or “I am that”? Sounds irritating, right?
- Do not be too conspicuous. Facebook and MySpace are social sites, not a market area. Selling there is not the top priority. Some might get bored with your posts and they will not bother checking your site.
- Do not use an auto-direct message in Twitter. It is always better to have a one-on-one conversation. If you are too busy to respond to your followers, do not use auto-DM. Instead, know your audience. Have at least 15 minutes of your time every morning and evening to check them out and interact with them. If a person finds out you are using auto-DM, he knows you care less about his contribution to the conversation, so why should he care about yours?
See? It is so easy that eventually, you will realize that you do not need to do marketing anymore. All you have to do is start the fire and let it spread. That is how social networking works.