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Making Social Media Work for Your Business

By Carl Weiss
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Are you looking to for a cost-effective way to grow your business?  Do you want to break the demoralizing cycle of cold-call, sales pitch, and call-back, while attracting the attention, respect and recognition of prospects and clients the world over?

The good news is that accomplishing this task is easier than you might think.  What I’m talking about is using social networking as a business tool.  When it comes to social networking, there are two schools:

  1.  Registering with a social network
  2. Using a social network

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For the most part, many small business owners fall into the first category.  This means that while they are enrolled in such networks as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others, they rarely feed the nets.  Unless you are willing to post to your networks on a daily basis, you will attain little or no advantage for your business from either prospects or clients.  Add to that the fact that if the amount of followers in your account is in the tens or even hundreds, then you are short sheeting yourself when it comes to being able to tap into the power of social networking.  This is due to that fact that if you create a post, only ten percent of your followers are likely to read it and only ten percent of those who read it are likely to act on it.  This means that in order to get into the game you need to create a base of followers in the thousands.  The way you do this is by providing consistent and compelling content.

What Social Networking is Not

Bearing in mind that most social networks are less than five years old, there has been a certain learning curve in order to employ this medium for promotional purposes.  Some online marketers assume the correct way to feed the social nets is to send out an ad copy.
Social Networking
Social Networking (Photo credit: .hj barraza)
This couldn’t be further from the truth. While social media is possibly the world’s most powerful form or word of mouth marketing, the last thing that your online following wants to receive is ad copy.  Face it, Americans are bombarded practically 24/7 with advertisements.  From the moment they wake up to the moment their head hits the pillow at night, they have ads come at them from every direction.  As a result, people start to tune out ads.  So this is not the best way to engage and grow a following online.

What Social Networking Can Be

Social Network - Copertina
Social Network - Copertina (Photo credit: marcomassarotto)
Social networking can be one of the best ways of convincing the masses to do business with you.  For the most part, these tools are some of the most cost-effective advertising vehicles known to modern man, since they cost little or even nothing to use.  But the secret to employing this technology successfully is to entice your audience with useful, time-saving, or entertaining information that relates to your business.  Rather than hammering away at your prospects with a full-frontal sales assault as you would with traditional advertising, by embracing social networking, you can achieve better long term results by offering valuable tips, news, updates and information. You can also embed or link such things as podcasts and videos to your posts which
This tactic can do two things for you:

1.      Demonstrate to the prospect your knowledge of the subject, which is a good way to increase your credibility and decrease prospects buying hesitation.

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2.      Create an atmosphere of mutual interest and trust through which an ongoing rapport can be created and mined.

Get this formula right and not only will you convert more prospects into leads and sales, but you will also sell more to your existing customers and keep them loyal for longer periods.  Plus, consistent social networking can greatly enhance your website's standings in the search engines and you have two powerful reasons to start social networking for business.

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Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on

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