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Dec 27

Social Networking – How To Do It

Social networking is no longer an option for someone selling goods or services. And I’m not talking about someone who sells goods and services online. I’m talking about everyone who sells goods and services. Social media is becoming a part of your customer’s daily life. And it’s not like reading a newspaper. Online anyone can say anything they want which can then go viral. It’s just as true for the international business as it is for the individual.

However, it’s easy to solve that challenge. Develop your social media image as a straight shooter who wants to be a part of the community and is a community member who gives rather than takes. Easier said than done, by the way. For you traditionalists, I don’t believe that it can be done online with advertising alone.

That old saying that “your perception of something is limited by your personal experiences” is so true, particularly as it relates to social media. Someone not familiar with social media has a tendency to try to make it fit into the traditional media they are familiar with and it just won’t work.

However, that’s not why you are reading this article. You want to know how to use social networks to increase your exposure to your customers, increase traffic to your store or Website and get new business.

Let’s talk about exposure first. Your first thought is, how can I get the greatest amount of exposure for the least amount of money? When dealing with social networks the goal is to let the network provide the exposure. You may do some strategic advertising, however, the bulk of your expense should come from payments to your social media in-house employee or consultant. Don’t advertise – communicate.

O.K., while you’re communicating, how do you maximize traffic to your website or capture page? Traffic isn’t as important as Targeted Traffic. You are not just interested in visitors to your site rather visitors who are looking for what you have to offer and may recommend your site to others. Here again the goal is to let the network provide you with the traffic. How does that work? This is going to sound really simple to the VP of advertising, however, you have to get people to like you and want to be your friend.

Social networking is all about people, people don’t make friends with companies or products; People make Friends with People. That’s why Network Marketing is so well suited for Social Media Marketing. Network Marketing is a person-to-person business model. Social Media sites, like Facebook, are creating a new Network Marketing revolution.

Let’s get back to friends. Though I don’t have room in this article too go into to many specific details, let me tell you, friends online are not like friends in the physical world. You will probably never meet your online friends face to face, however, they must feel that they know you, that you are sincere and that you care about them. How do you do that? If you are asking that question you have just answered one of your other questions. That is, you better hire a consultant and not try to train someone in-house to run your social media program.

And, by the way, you have to have a social media program. There are shortly going to be 2 BILLION people online worldwide. Facebook alone has over 500 Million users worldwide. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube enjoy over 200 Million users in the United States. Facebook is the largest and demographics indicate that the fastest growing group on Facebook, in the U.S., is women age 54 to 64. These are the women who control the majority (some 85%) of buying decisions. These are your customers and the only way you are going to be able to stay in touch with them consistently online is through your social media program.

A program is easy, yet not simple, to set up. The easy part is you just have to decide you’re going to DO IT. Most marketers want to make social network marketing fit into their understanding of how marketing works. Always remember social media networks are set up to make money for the advertisers so that the social media network can continue to exist. Advertisers are interested in attracting buyers. Traditional thinking advertisers would say WOW, we have all these potential customers on a given platform all we have to do is create some specify ads and we “got-um.”

Unfortunately, most social networkers don’t care for advertisements’, they click through them and, if you get too pushy with them, they go to some other network. However, most social networkers love people.

My recommendation is for people to set up a strategy that uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to funnel people to their Blog. Yes, that’s right Blogs are becoming popular once again as bloggers become adept at providing succinct, meaningful content to their friends. From the Blog they can be directed to your website or capture page. The social platforms, like Facebook, are devising ways to allow you to accomplish everything on their platform so their advertisers can get a crack at your traffic.

In my opinion they are not there yet. Develop a funnel to encourage your market to want to meet you at your Blog. And then let them decide to join, buy or take the action that will benefit both of you. Most important, share your knowledge, expertise and thoughts freely on the various social media platforms.

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