GT Bulmer | Social Networking In Business GT Bulmer © Affiliate Power Central

Social networking in business takes planning if your goal is to create customers and make sales. You can’t approach it from a traditional selling point of view or from a traditional social networking point of view.

With traditional selling, you put your sales message out there and try to attract a targeted prospect, someone with a serious interest in what you are selling. They contact you or visit your website looking for more information about your product or service. If they have made it that far, chances are they want you to convince them to buy.

With traditional social networking, sharing is the foundation, not marketing or selling. The purpose of building a social network is to provide you, and them, with a circle of like-minded friends and acquaintances who share information and recommendations. This does not typically involve you trying to push a product on them that you are selling and are obviously biased towards. …

If you want to use social network marketing to promote your Internet home business opportunities and generate sales of your products and services, you will have to take a different approach and plan your steps accordingly.

It is true that social networks make viral marketing and word-of-mouth marketing much easier than it used to be, but the aim should not be direct sales. Rather, you want to become an active, recognized and appreciated member of the network so that you can create multiple points of connections between your direct contacts and their various circles of influence.

In other words, in a traditional setting, you will get to know your friend or your prospect one-on-one and on occasion they might give you a referral. But in contrast, in today’s Internet world of social networking, if your relationship with that one direct friend or prospect is positive, they may add you to any number of social networks, giving you massive exposure to many of their circles of influence.

If you treat this relationship with respect, it could mean huge volumes of traffic to your website … where your sales messages and marketing campaigns can then do their work.

Social Networking in BusinessSocial networking in business means applying the same rules of website optimization and keyword marketing you use elsewhere online:

– When you join a social network, know who your targeted prospects are and then look for the circles in that network where they might hang out.

– Join discussions in that social network and contribute helpful ideas and solutions that relate to your marketing niche.

– Wherever you post content in that network, optimize that content for the keywords that you know your targeted prospect will respond to.

– Take advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in your field.

– When you are allowed to post a web link, make sure the link and the destination are relevant to the content it is tied in with on the social site.

The power of social network marketing comes when people who get to know and appreciate you share your profile link or your web links with others in their networks who they think will also benefit from what you have to say or offer. If their recommendation is strong enough, the people they share it with will in turn pass it along to their networks, and so on.

The key is to be a friendly, helpful contributor, not a promoter.

Social networking in business can work wonders for you, but first, you need to approach it properly and that takes planning. Know who your target market is; locate their hangouts on social sites; and then work hard at adding value to their experience without pushing your products on them.

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