If you are looking to advance your business through social networking, there are some important aspects to consider. If you ignore these things, they will only come back to haunt you.
1. It’s Not Just a Fad
A large mistake that many current businesses are making, is assuming that social networking is just a fad. That it will pass and everything will go back to the way it was before. NEWS FLASH! Things rarely just go back to the way they were before. Sure, something will come along in another few decades that will be the next hot thing, but it will be some time before social networking goes out of still. You can tell that I speak the truth, because Social Networking is actually an ancient technique that has been employed since the first human opened the first store. Social networking at it’s heart is just socializing and passing on information through word of mouth. The only difference between then and now, is that with social networking sites, tools and marketers, we can socialize and connect with people much faster and easier. It’s definitely not just a fad, and it’s not going anywhere soon.
The real question is, do you want to jump on board now while the getting is good? Or do you want to wait until you think the fad will just go away, and end up paying even more to use the tools you could be using now?
2. What You Put Into It, Is What You Get Out of It
Just like anything in life, social networking gives back what you put into it. If you just want to use free sites and not pay anyone to be active on them, or you don’t want to pay for a decent campaign, then your not going to get much out of it. At that rate, you might as well just stick with old fashioned methods of advertising. Like the bill boards, radio and television commercials that every ignores.
3. Little Actions Are the Biggest
As a social marketer, I can tell you that one of the most important aspects, is that little actions makes the biggest impact. When you are socializing on social networks, it’s not so much about trying to advertise your business, as it is about just getting to know people and letting them get to know you. Whether you are the business owner, or just a social networking rep. Pay attention to what others on your social networking lists are doing. Comment on their pages, get into their stories and actively listen. It can’t just be because you want their money or their business. It has to be because you are really interested. And when someone comments on something on your page, whether what they say has anything to do with your post or not, make a point to always comment back with something cheerful.
Any little thing that you can do on your social networks, boosts your reputation. It helps to show people that you are a real person and not just a robot. You can go around a “like” a bunch of pages on facebook, or right a few blurbs on linkedin. They may not seem like they will get you far, but they will. And when you start adding up how many times you have done little things, you will be amazed at how far they have really taken you.
4. Your Rep is Everything
On social networks, your reputation is everything. Now here is the tricky part; your reputation is not about what you think it is. It’s not about your fabulous customer services. It’s not about how much quality goes into your products. It isn’t even about how unique and fantastic your website is. You can everything right in all those aspects, and it really wouldn’t make much of a difference on social networks.
Your REAL reputation, is about how personable you are. It’s about how REAL you are. If others feel that they can get to know the real you, they feel better about trusting your opinion about services and products. You also build a reputation by because knowledgeable in certain areas. If you seem like you know a lot, people will come to you when they need to find something. They will consider you an expert in many areas, even if you’re not really an expert of anything.
5. Viral Vs. Virus
Another issue with your rep, is whether or not people consider you a Viral company or a Virus company. If they consider you a viral company, then they feel that you are just so good at what you do, that your company and information goes Viral. Being Viral means that you have achieved your goals in social networking, and that you have a good reputation.
If people consider you a Virus company, that basically means that they have discovered you’re a scam artist, and they don’t want anything to do with you. This can happen even if you aren’t a scam, and usually happens because you spend to much time trying to get people to buy, try or partake in your service or product. Even if you had the best of intentions, or just weren’t sure what else to post, making a habit of only trying to further your agenda can get your marked as Virus. And once people think of you that way, the news will travel lightening, and there are very few ways you will every get your reputation back up. Trust me, you don’t want to go there.