5 Tips for More Effective Business Social Networking

Effective business social networking is a skill, one that is easy to begin with, and one that gets better with practice. As a business owner, one of your main concerns will always be how to improve your return on investment for time spent social networking.

While it is easy to set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, using these sites to meet your business objectives requires a considerate approach with consistent action.

Let’s take a look at five tips to assist you to become a better business social networker and make more profitable business connections online.

1) Realize that online networking is similar to real life networking. In real life networking, you make connections one person at a time. The same is true for online networking. Don’t be seduced into thinking that you can create meaningful relationships with a lot of people at once, simply by posting updates about what you do.

A better strategy is to consider the online social networks as providing you more access to more people, from the comfort of your home or office, while realizing that the basic relational skills to make a connection remain similar both online and offline. In other words, meet a lot of people, but meet them one by one.

2) Keep your desired outcomes in focus. If you will be using social networking to grow your business, it is wise to capture baseline data and keep track of your success along the way. Let’s say, for example, that you want to increase your number of local contacts and relationships using Facebook. Take note on how many contacts you have as you begin, and then make periodic assessments of how many new contacts you make. Only by measuring before and after will you know if social networking is helping you reach your goals. It is often simpler to select just one metric per campaign.

3) Keep it simple. If you decide to focus on developing relationships one at a time, you want this to be as simple as possible. One way to keep this easy would be to focus participating in just one social network. Participate deeply in your chosen network, rather than sporadically across two or more. Given the time-shifted and asynchronous nature of social media, you must network steadily on one site to get the best results. Without a solid commitment, you run the risk of wasting your valuable time and efforts.

4) Focus on giving first. One of the best ways to demonstrate your expertise or the benefits of your business is by “showing, not telling”. This means that you offer advice, share resources, direct people to information that will teach and inform them. By filtering the most useful and relevant information for them, you position yourself as someone with credibility and you gain social influence. People will begin to notice what you say when they perceive you as someone who is helpful and offers information that helps them.

5) Cement your online connection in real life too. The best way to use social networking is as a means to create in person connections. Once you get to know someone better online, be sure to invite them to an event or meeting so you can meet in real life too. Make an attempt to set up a coffee date or lunch date, and to even do this when you travel out of town. I, for instance, try to schedule a meetup with one or two of my online connections each time I travel to a new city. People like to do business with people they know and trust, so the goal is to meet in person to cement that “like and trust” factor.

If you remember that the goal of social networking is to make real connections, and to improve the lives and experiences of those you connect with, you’ll be well on your way to more effective business social networking. Becoming well skilled in business social networking will grow your connections, will generate referrals, and will bring you new opportunities. All of which makes dollars and sense.

Using Business Social Networking

Business Social Networking

Business Social Networking is not a new concept executives have been using networking for centuries. Staying in touch with old college friends, colleagues and getting together on golf course or club is networking. The way we accomplish this task today has changed with the internet.

Finding people all over the globe to collaborate with on research and new products market are key these days. Business Social Networking will help your company to hit a home run every time.

You will discover some untapped market available across the globe that will buy your product. Find photos and graphics that are available for your use at no extra charge to use in your marketing. Find retail buyers for your product and take it offline as well as online.

Facebook and Twitter can go viral with content taking your company to a whole new level. Business social networking takes hard work and consistency. Social media sites are designed to be social with daily interaction.

The top three business social networking sites are linkdin designed to strengthen and extend your list of trusted business connections. Meet the Boss is a networking tool designed for business executives all around the world. It will assist you with making connections with other executives and problem solving together. All the content is posted in English. PartnerUp has the small business owner in mind. Here is where you can make connections with potential partners, advisors and business resources.

Business social networking tools can be found online they will do things for you like crunching data and find marketing statistics that will increase your bottom line. Find out if what you are doing is a good return on your investment.

Sprout Social was created for the companies to get social. Is a business software that will help you with your social media strategy. It will help you to run all of your social marketing from one place. Assist you in growing a highly targeted audience by managing your conversations and contacts.

Automating your networking is not what social media is about it does require a personal touch. Software is a great way to begin a connection it takes a human touch to maintain a long term relationship.

Some intriguing statistics that show the possibilities of business social networking. Did you know that the gen Y will out number baby boomers this year and 96% use social media? Social media has over taken porn as the number one internet activity. Last year one out of eight married couples met using social media.

The old ways of marketing your business are not as effective as they once were. The reason is networking is happening online these days. Companies need to have a strategic business social networking plan to survive.

How To Make Your Business Social Networking Efficient

I’m Tweeting, I’m blogging and I’m Facebooking (if that’s a verb?). Are you?

More to the point, are your activities generating any business for you and how much time are you spending on these activities? You can improve you efficiency at these activities and here are some ideas how you can do it.

If you are anything like me then I guess you are getting some business from social networking but you’re probably also spending a large amount of time on it too. Let’s be fair, “chatting” on social networking sites can be fun so it’s really easy to get wrapped up in a few conversations at the start of the day and soon find out that it’s mid-morning and you’ve achieved nothing.

It would appear that business social networking is here to stay, after all, most big businesses are getting involved and there’s enough consultants out there telling us that we should get in there and ignore it at our peril. It’s okay for big business though, they can afford to have one (or maybe more) people dedicated to Tweeting and building relationships all the time but it does not work like that for the small business. So how do you get the most out of business social networking without spending vast amounts of time on it?

The only way is to automate what you’re doing. Automate however with one caveat and that is to ensure that you’re process automation doesn’t take away the human element of your social networking activities.

The processes that you can easily automate include:

  • Synchronizing your various social networking accounts so that if you make a post on one, it will automatically populate your other accounts
  • Encouraging people to follow you by following them, and un-following them if they fail to follow you back
  • Setting up a target list of preferred people to follow and then using the above tool to encourage followers
  • Scheduling your Tweets so that effectively you can be Tweeting when you are asleep?

Synchronizing is easy to do, you’ll find the tools in the account section of any of your social networking sites and I fully recommend that you do this. My one word of warning though is to look critically at which accounts you synchronize, don’t mix personal with business, if you’re trying to build a business brand, the last thing your customers want to know is what you got up to at the weekend and who you went drinking with.

Follow me follow you is good, provided that it’s targeted. Just gathering followers for the sake of it might massage your ego but frankly it will only hinder your Twitter activities as you try to manage all your followers.

Scheduling Tweets can work well to. I heard of one guy who was in the snack industry and he found that his greatest response was when he Tweeted at lunch time so he scheduled more Tweets to go out at this time to supplement his own activities. Note the word supplement – Tweeting is not a pump it out solution, by all means use it to get more in efficiency but you still need the human element to engage with the responses that you get.

So to summarize, automation can make your business social networking life a lot easier but it doesn’t and never will do the whole job and whatever automation you choose to do, make sure that it is properly targeted to what you want to achieve.