Connecting the Connections: Social Networking for Small Businesses
So you run a small business and are trying to figure the value of social networking. Everyone keeps talking about it, and it’s great to keep in contact with friends the kids, but does it make sense for my business? Well the answer is yes and no.
Unlike other marketing and sales activities you easily track results; increase your reach, and most importantly reduce your cost of sales.
Social networking can be market visibility that keeps giving back.
Imagine you run an ad once in the local paper and parish magazine for your service or product. Guess what, next week you need to do the same again. Know which works best for you? Maybe; but if you are like a lot of small businesses, you are not sure.
Don’t mistake social networks for search engines. Remember that most people looking for a product are going to go to a trusted source or free source to search it out. Most go to Google, Yahoo or Bing, type in their search criteria and see what comes up.
This is why businesses, especially small smart businesses advertise locally on these sites. If you are looking to come up on the first page with organic search then serious work is needed to make sure your web presence is evident. But that’s another story.
Back to social networking. Certain tools are a no-brainer for your business, and some are in the social networking category. Number One is your own businesses blog. Then promote it.
By using simple and mostly free technology you can promote the visibility of the blog with simple social networking strategies:
- Make sure your blog has the same URL as your business web site.
- Promote the blog to your existing customers and prospects via email.
- Include your blog listing and link in every communication to customers. (Include in your email signature line)
- Sign up to free services such as Google’s Feedburner to make it easy to subscribe.
- Post informative links to other social networks (Twitter et al)