More and more people are being introduced to a new concept. It’s one that recognizes how social networking sites can be leveraged to dramatically impact a business.
Sites like Facebook are now being used to significantly increase the brand awareness of companies…
Some are using it to forge and foster important connections with the influential leaders of their industry or niche.
And still, others are tapping into its ability to be leveraged as a dynamic and interactive marketing tool.
The idea that someone — anyone — can join a social networking site, create a profile, establish a presence, and — within a relatively short amount of time — have expanded brand awareness, profitable industry connections, and a highly successful marketing campaign is almost laughable…
But, it’s one that’s quickly gaining legitimacy and momentum.
Now, bloggers are using social media/networking to reach a wider audience and gain readers…
Small business owners are incorporating social networking sites into their guerrilla marketing campaigns.
And, as a recent example, corporations like Visa are shelling out millions to Facebook in an effort to leverage the site’s reach among entrepreneurs.
The benefits of using social networking sites are real, tangible, and well-documented.
That said, there are a few principles regarding the use of sites like Facebook that will make navigating this new medium much easier. Below are 3 social networking principles that are well worth remembering:
1. Advocate Engagement - Actively interact with your friends, group members, followers, and fans.
Offer them a chance to develop a sense of ownership in what you’re doing by encouraging dialog, fostering a sense of community, and promoting two-way communication.
2. Building Relationships - People are social creatures. By nature, we desire to connect with one another.
Social networking gives everyone from solo entrepreneurs to small business owners opportunities to establish such vital relationships (which are often the backbone of word-of-mouth advertising).
Take advantage of those opportunities by leaving wall posts and thank you messages, sending gifts, and “tagging” friends.
3. Maintaining Transparency - This principle piggybacks of the previously mentioned one. Once a relationship is established, don’t just leave it at that. Go a step further…
Add photos, upload videos, update status messages constantly, import your blog feed… All of these things help you to “personalize” yourself or your offer. It puts the all important face behind the product.
This not only builds trust, it also leads to valuable relationships that could last a lifetime.
If time (or the lack thereof) is an issue, outsource some of those tasks to a virtual assistant. But, whatever you do, just don’t ignore them.