We get asked the question, "How can social networking help my business?" a lot throughout our line of work along with "How can I tie social networking into my website". I'll try to answer these questions for you.
In case you might be wondering, what is social networking exactly and what are social network websites? Social networking websites are communities of people who come together through the internet with similiar interests. For instance, a popular social networking site, LinkedIn, focuses on entrepreneurs and building relationships with people to grow everyone's business. Pretty similiar to networking groups in person.
A recent Neilson report indicated that approximately nine million Australians are now interacting via social networks. 78% of internet users sent or shared a photograph within the last year, while 74% shared or sent a link. The largest increases in usage were posts on Twitter, wiki articles and engaging with companies.
In good news for business owners, about 86% of internet users say they are looking to fellow users for information about products, services and brands. With powerful results such as these, why not impliment a social networking campaign?
The more friends you make in the communities, the more people notice you and your company, the more people visit your website, the more people realise what you do, the more referrals, etc, etc, etc. Social media in my opinion isn't about pushing your product/services onto people. It's about pulling people into your product/services.
If you have something you feel is of value to people, give it to them. Most of the time, it's just knowledge, but that's all people ask. The more knowledge you give, the more people trust and value your opinion, and in the long run, the more people that trust your company and products/services.
Whether it's through Facebook, Twitter, a blog, or LinkedIn it all comes down to the same main concepts that I just listed.
Yes, without a doubt. Search Engine Optimisation is a must also, but with the combination of social networking marketing and SEO, your company should see some significant results if done correctly. Both can be very powerful and both are very different in their approach to drive in more business.
If you are new to social networking, I recommend signing up for a few of the free websites such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. There are endless amounts of free social networking websites out there. Get used to how they operate and how you can benefit from them.
From there, I recommend starting a blog. On your blog you can have links to your Facebook account, your LinkedIn profile, and even have your twitter posts shown. This also gives you the ability to post something of value that you feel your clients or, better yet, prospective clients can benefit from.
Once you have that, if someone asks you a question on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can simply answer their question briefly and say, "If you want more information, feel free to check out my blog here" with a link to your blog. Now people are not only reading your blog, but visiting your website. Hopefully this has helped answer some of the basic questions you had regarding social networking. If you need any more information, don't hesitate to contact us.