The New Social Scene

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Friendster, BeBo, Hi5, FlickR—this list doesn’t even include blog sites. With hundreds of sites to choose from, it’s easy as a business owner to get lost in the hype of social networking.

As daunting as choosing and—here’s the real challenge—mastering how each social networking site works, hopping on the Twitter wagon could provide a huge benefit to your business. While print, TV, and radio have not completely lost their value to consumers, an Advertising Age March 2009 article stated that people are watching TV less and staying online more. Consider these reasons to put in more work socializing online.

Great Minds Think Alike

Social networking is all about developing relationships! The beauty of sites like Facebook and LinkedIn is that they allow you to target many niche groups that can be used to expand your business. Posting on a Facebook wall, updating your Twitter status, or creating a fan page can all allow you to both express and receive information with a large number of people who all have similar interests, opinions, contacts, networks, and ideas as you.

Free Marketing Research

The chat or messaging features on most social networking sites allow you to post ideas and to receive instantaneous feedback on products, services, and events. By posting new information on these sites, you can reach out to and listen to a large number of customers without the hassle of putting together focus groups or polls to gather information.

Keep ‘Em Talking

Creating your own group or page on these sites also allows your consumers a tangible resource to express their opinions and generate conversations about your business. These conversations (whether in person or online) generate word of mouth “press” for your company and help your company’s credibility. For example, positive reviews and recommendations from bloggers can generate the same positive (or negative) press as a review from a newspaper critic can generate.

It’s Networking Without Your Business Suit

Certain social networking sites have taken over the traditional networking scene (e.g., after- work happy hour) and allows you to meet clients, journalists, etc. all from the comfort of your PC screen. One journalist blogged about using the search function on Twitter to locate interviewees, businesses, and people related to the story topic he is assigned to cover. Once he finds interesting conversations on that topic on Twitter, he researches PR people who are talking about that topic and are in that specific industry. He then uses LinkedIn to get contact information, establish formal communication, get information, and write his story.

Sources:

1. How to Use Social Networking Sites for Marketing and PR, By AllBusiness.com, New York Times, December 24, 2008

2. http://www.dailyblogtips.com/how-journalists-stay-connected-bloggers-take-note/

3. SHOPS SEEK CONTROL IN SOCIAL-MEDIA SPACE. Abbey Klaassen. Advertising Age. 3/09.

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One Response

  1. More! More!

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