How Do You Use Social Networking Sites for Business?

There are two schools of thoughts on this.

One is more of a hard core, in-your-face, almost used-car-salesman-y method. Some say using the first method goes directly against the spirit f why social networking sites were created.

The second school of thought is more of a long-view, careful approach. Some say that it’s too touchy-feely and not profit-oriented.

The truth is you have to look at your market, look at each method, and decide which one is right for you and your business. I find the second one much more profitable and effective, but then, my audience is fellow business owners, who already have thriving businesses and want a solution.

If your audience is the “get rich quick” or “lose weight now” crowd, you probably want to go with the first method.

So here are the two methods, in brief.

The first method is, get as many followers/friends/connections as you can on the site, and sell to them as hard and as fast as you can.

Exactly how to do that is a longer story.

This method is easier to do – how hard is it to get most people to accept a new “friend”? Not very.

The down side is high turnover. As soon as people figure out you’re connected to them because you want to blast your message over and over, a good percentage of them will just leave.

You also really have to learn how to maintain a constant, respectful flow of information without spamming. It’s a bit difficult for someone new to the internet to understand what is spam and what’s a commercial message.

It’s pretty simple. If that person agreed to communicate with you with full knowledge of what kind of information you are going to send them and how often, it’s not spam. Always make it easy for the other person to turn it off as well.

In the second school of thought, you target an audience as closely as you can, and put yourself in that conversation stream.

You offer to be helpful when you can, and at first just “be-friend” or connect with, people you already are acquainted with through business or social interaction, online or off, who share your interests.

Especially those that intersect with your business.

Then you set up your profile/ group/business page/community and keep your channel of information flow constant, so that your target market comes to YOU.

It’s slower growth, but you end up with a more targeted audience that is more proactive.

I call it “social presence marketing”. You market by being there, not by being in your face.

I’ve tried both, the second way made me more money and I was much more comfortable with managing it. The turnover is very low, and I know that every person on my list wants to be there and wants my news or updates.

In fact, sometimes they get testy if they haven’t heard from me in a while and will say so in public.

Nice little ego stroke. But that’s a bonus. 😉


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I know. That rhymed. Don’t taze me bro!