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?

May 302012
 

Become the Business Social Networking Terminator!“T” factor? Who do I Terminate? My business’s social networking plan doesn’t address this!

Think for a moment why people would come back to your site. Needless to say great content is a must, but are you creating a personal experience?

The “T” factor helps you terminate your competition and portrays you as a more approachable resource. What I am referring to is Transparency.

Transparency in your online and offline business networking efforts is what humanizes your audience’s perception of you. All of these “new” ways of marketing seem to have people thinking that; 1. They really are new ideas, and 2. The more money they throw at it the more ROI they will make.

Let’s clarify this and give you some strategies to implement that will help you become more valuable and expand your viral growth.

None of these new age techniques are new. The internet is a new player, but the game is still the same. I just started watching the show “Mad Men,” it is about the early stages of advertising companies in the 60’s. Very cool show, but their objectives are the same as today’s advertisers.

Get your audience talking and raving about you!

Word-of-mouth is and always has been the strongest form of advertising known to man. How does this relate to being transparent? Well, would you be more likely to refer someone to contact, website, or business that has a persona of being stuffy, serious, always business, and almost seems scripted in conversations?

Probably not.

You would however, refer someone with personality, friendliness, and an openness to help? In a heartbeat!

Even the standard term “business networking” has evolved into “business social networking,” or “social business networking.Social is the key word.

How are you incentivizing and socializing with your audience to make them raving fans? Spending more money on banner ads and commercials will continue to show a smaller and smaller ROI. Investing in customer communication and customer gratitude will exponentially increase your earnings.

Top secret tip of the day:

Ok, I just implemented this and it has already shown to be an easy, and awesome way to grow a group or fan page virally. It starts on your website.

1. You have your opt-in box giving something of value on your website. (If you have one and nobody is taking advantage of your offer… Change it!)

2. The next page, for me, is an email confirmation page.

3. Once email is confirmed you are sent to a “Welcome and Thank You” page that has a contest with instructions that most people will take advantage of.

My page looks like this:

Welcome and Thank You for subscribing to BNL’s email list!

Every month we are giving away a $25 Visa Gift card!

Please see details or watch short video tutorial below

To get involved all you need to do is:

  1. Become a fan of BNL on Facebook
  2. Tag BNL in a post sharing this link http://businessnetworkinglife.com (To “tag” someone put the @ directly before typing someone’s name)

If you need a little visual watch the video.

When completed your post should look something like this:

Business Social Networking Resource Tag

Now I have captured somebody’s email with an offer of value, and made a secondary value offer for a chance at $25 to share something they have already seen value in. Even if you have 1-3 people a day doing this is it worth $25 a month for 30+ people talking about why everyone should check your site out?

Business social networking will continue to evolve and it is imperative for you to share your personality and humbleness to your audience while providing incredible value.

Let us know one super awesome strategy that has helped you in your business.

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!