Jun 102012
 

Business Social Networking- LinkedinBusiness Social Networking: Build numbers or build relationships? You may have asked yourself after hearing all this stuff about connecting with your audience “How can I possibly create a relationship with all the friend requests?” Let’s get into a few strategies on how to do it timely and effectively.

Today it seems like everyone is concerned with acquiring one the many labels out there, which provide more and more false sense of accomplishment every day. There are the LinkedIn LIONs (Linked In Open Networker) with more than 500 1st generation connections, then the Twitter Gurus with tens of thousands of followers , and let’s not forget the Facebook Ninjas with their multiple thousands of “friends.”

Business Social Networking Guru'sDoes any of this really matter? Yes and No. Obviously you want a large audience and it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking all you need is more connections, but most of us sacrifice relationships for numbers. With all the marketing mediums changing everyday people DO NOT want to be sold to. Now think about the strategy of just building large numbers of connections, what are you going to do with them once you have them?

Your goal may be to add value, but you barley know anything about the audience so how can you possibly add value to thousands of people that you don’t even know?

The answer is: it is a massive hit or miss.

Quality over quantity. This is the difference between working smart or working hard. Obviously having a large number of contacts is great, you don’t want a small audience of only a bunch of people you know. “New blood” is the life-source any business, however time must be dedicated to interacting with select people you have deemed your “Hot Prospects.”

Business Social Networking Ninja!These are people you have personally looked into and have determined that developing a relationship could be mutually beneficial.

Ok, but what can I do to continue building a strong following, personalize select connections, and manage my time most effectively?

Here are 4 ideas to help you out:

1) Create Lists

You can create lists on each of the networks. (On LinkedIn they are called Tags) What is great about creating lists is it enables you to categorize your contacts. So instead of having just a big hodgepodge of people you have them organized into categories set to your specification so you can keep an eye on the key players you want to build a stronger relationship with.

2) Use Social Media Dashboards

Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are the first 2 that come to mind. There are quite a few out there here is a link to a great review site for many of others Click HERE. These help you organize multiple social networks in one place so you can organize your lists and communicate with everyone without having to log in to all the sites directly.

3) Talk to you new connections

No I did not use talk as a metaphor for email, dm, private message, or inmail. Actually use a phone for something other than taking pictures or going online and call someone! If getting away from your computer is too much of a stretch use Skype.

You will be amazed at someone’s willingness to talk with you. We are so accustomed to all of the digital forms of communication when someone we meet online asks to speak with us that it is a HUGE pattern interrupt and they almost can help but saying “Sure.”

Try to set just a few phone appointments with new connections a week and watch how your exposure, traffic, and credibility increase.

4) Exponentially expand your network

Two tools I enjoy are Toplinked and Tweetadder. It may seem like I am contradicting myself a little here, but I think having more friend requests to sort from empowers you to be a little more choosey when adding new contacts. Big numbers can really become more of an ego booster than an income generator if not utilized properly.

I would much rather sort through inbound connections than blindly search. At least these people potentially have some kind of interest in you. Although, every 2-3 weeks I do a personal search for some interesting people to start trying to connect with.

Pretty much what this all sums up to is plant the seeds now and reap the harvest later. I know kind of an obvious notion, but the success in using social networking for business stems from mastering the mundane.

Master the simple tasks over time and you will be astonished how your business’s social networks are going to begin spinning off income.

What is your favorite social networking tool?

Jan 012012
 
Business Social Networking Doggies

You must read on to understand why dogs are dressed in dice costumes...

That’s right! I figured out a way to combine two of the most popular online activities into a useful and enlightening post to help grow your business through social networking.

Let’s face it the internet and social media is where it is today partially because of all the porn sites that were some of the first sites making billions online back in the day.

Now let’s get to the topic of how the hell this relates to your business and your social networking.

I think it is pretty hard to argue with the fact that LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and social networking in general have become the technology de joure of the past few years, and will remain that way for the next few as well. Ten or even twelve years ago it was like “Wow! This internet thing is awesome I need to get myself a website.” Then everyone and their mother went and spent whatever it cost to get a website to highlight their business.

Now websites are more important and less expensive than ever, but if someone asks you, “Are you on Facebook?” and you say “No,” the only thing most of us can say to ourselves is “Seriously?”

Yes, for the most part every business that is planning on actually growing into next year is jumping on the social media band wagon, and rightly so. “Bandwagon Marketing,” is what I have termed this wave of businesses utilizing social networking for their marketing efforts. Why? Because everyone and EVEN MY MOTHER is all over it!

Back to the point of the post, how and why you must stop masturbating with your business social networking. Just because you have 50 social networking profiles set up and you got yourself a blog doesn’t mean it is time to sit back and watch the sales roll in or that it is time to alert the world to every product, service, special offer, coffee break, or bowel movement someone in your company has.

The purpose of business social networking isn’t to pleasure yourself, it is to make more money and grow your business.

6 quick tips:

1. Posts and status updates must provide a pleasurable experience of some kind for the audience whether educational, inspirational, or entertaining. “I just had the best cup of coffee ever!” does not cut it!

2. Learn how to optimize your profiles and websites with information your readers can relate to, that is useful, and has a call to action.

3. If you are getting a few hits to your website and either aren’t tracking things accurately or are just not converting anyone this is NOT the time to invest in SEO to get more traffic. Sharpen up the site, do some testing, make some sales, then work on getting more people to the site.

4. Spend your time wisely online. Set up your action plan and stick to it. You are running a business it is time to treat it like one.

5. Don’t post the same thing 15 times 15 different ways throughout the day. If people didn’t take advantage of your first crappy offer posting the same offer phased differently every 15 minutes for the rest of the day isn’t going to be any more effective.

6. Be unique. Just because you jumped on the bandwagon doesn’t mean you can’t throw some fuzzy dice on the rear view to make yourself a more noticeable. Do your best NOT to be like everyone else. Those who stand out make the most money.

Thanks so much for reading! Stay tuned as we are going to be getting into some of the “how to” behind the strategy and highlight some great case studies over the next few weeks.

Please share with our fellow readers the best internet marketing tip you have ever received, and how it helped you grow, monetize, or benefit your business.

Have an awesome day!

Oct 152010
 

Are you ready to stop chasing the next dollar and start really building a business through social networking? Than these are 4 invaluable tips you must adopt today.

Before you can solidify your decision to take your business’s social networking to the next level you need to accept that this whole technology wave isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it has barely even started! There is probably some 13 year old kid in Wyoming messing around with an idea that is going to blow away everything we already think we know.

Everyone out there who is not only serious about their business’s online presence, but is also making money from it, understands this whole concept goes deeper than just setting up a website and a bunch of social media profiles. These people have taken these 4 steps that work wonderfully offline and implemented them online.

#1. Become an Attractive Member of the Community

Your presence is what makes you approachable. Your approachability is the determining factor to whether or not most people will choose to engage you further.

Build your name and your reputation into something that is appreciated and recognized, even if it is by only a few at first. Everything must start somewhere. The second you adopt the philosophy “I can’t achieve what they did,” you lost. McDonalds, Coca Cola, Oreo, and every other house hold name brand did not start out like that.

It is the little things compounded over time that establishes your reputation and creates massive success.

#2. Engage with others regularly

I have worked at home and I have had an office; do you know where my business grew the most? Panera Bread! Why? Because I was surrounded by people I didn’t know.

Every time I had a meeting over lunch or coffee I was engaging with the person I was meeting with, but more importantly I was engaging with everyone around me who could overhear my conversation. Meeting after meeting someone would approach me afterwards or sometimes even during the meeting, and ask for a card or pass me theirs for me to contact them.

Sharing, commenting, blogging, tweeting, re-tweeting, and all the other forms of communication we partake in online do not go unnoticed. Answering questions on LinkedIn, unconditionally (fancy way of saying don’t pitch to the people you respond to) has led to countless deals for so many people, because someone else with the same questions went back and read the thread and contacted the perceived expert.

#3. Know Where to Spend Time

If you have a lawn maintenance company it wouldn’t be the best use of your time to go to a health and wellness expo trolling for clients, right?

Learn how to categorize your contacts after doing your research.

Ninety plus percent of us are guilty of logging into Facebook and four hours later we are watching Youtube videos when we look up say “Whoa! Where did the day go?”

One of the coolest features in pretty much all the social networks you use for your business is lists. Once you have these lists created you don’t have to subject yourself to the noise of all the people, who are still valuable, but who you just have not yet researched. This will reduce your time messing around online exponentially.

(Click on Tutorials to learn more about list)

#4. Be Yourself

I love what Gary Vaynechuck says in this video, “When our grandparents did dumb $#!* it got lost in history, yea its gone. Everything you do wrong it’s gonna be known for ever.”

Let your personality shine through, sharing and posting things that you like, that are funny, or you just think is cool draws the attentions of those who dig the same stuff as you do.

There is absolutely, positively no cookie cutter business social media plan, or any internet marketing plan for that matter. You can talk to 10 facebook “experts” and get 10 different ideas/ strategies. Does that make 9 out of 10 wrong, NO!

Business social networking is a profitable way of marketing, the only downside for most businesses is that you need to stay on top of new trends. Please share any golden nuggets of your own below!