Much has been written and said about marketing your business online through social media . When you consider those venues for marketing, you should be cognizant of the fact that the first order of business before you market is to build relationships. People do business with people that they know and trust. Thus your concentration should be 70% building trusting relationships and 30% marketing your business.
We see the same kind of thing in brick and mortar businesses every day. In fact, when it is done right, it is much the same as marketing your business online. When a customer walks into a store, the owner or the sales professional has one chance to engage them on a social level. The salesman might ask the customer how they are doing, what brings them into the store, do they shop there a lot etc. If the interaction is positive, he/she might ask about their family, where they are from originally, what they do for a living, etc. If you think about it the latter questions are the same type that you might ask when marketing your business online through social media.
Facebook is a particularly good venue for getting to know someone on a social level. There is really something for everyone on Facebook. There are groups in just about every area of life. This is where you can share your passions and the things that you really enjoy about living. There are also games that many people love to play and relationships are developed through such interactions. Then there are the surveys that you can fill out about people you know or want to know better. If you want to engage socially, you certainly have the opportunity to do it on Facebook. This level of the relationship has nothing directly to do with marketing your business, but it is an absolute necessity before you make an effort to market your business to this audience.
Linked In and Twitter are also vital social connections to develop and share business and personal interests. Linked-In demands that you engage your audience with general content that relates to business practices and you as a professional. There is also an opportunity on Linked-In to share who you are in the business world and the knowledge that you have to offer others on Linked-In. Twitter is all about information sharing. Usually it is specific to a personal or business interest. It is safe to say that you will not successfully market your business on either of these sites, if you do not first honor the rules of engagement and provide professional and interest specific information to the social community.
You should also be aware when you engage the social community that it is not all about you. In fact there are others in these social communities who are there for the same reason that you are. They are looking for a platform to promote their professional interests. Be sure to take an interest in what they are doing. Opt into their Facebook Page. Like and Share their articles and posts and affirm their value to the community. Remember, what goes around comes around. Send their input around and it will come back to you.
Once you have developed relationships on these sites and presented valuable information to the community, you are ready to market your business online through these social networking sites. In fact you have developed a captive audience of people who are interested in whatever you are doing socially and professionally. Once you have their attention, go ahead and market your business. You may not get a great response at first. Keep engaging them on the social level and try again a week later. Like any form of online business marketing on or off line, it takes time. Be a steady presence in the market place and in time you will find that your social media network of friends are your best customers and most consistent buyers. Here’s to your success!
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