Social Networking seems to be everywhere you go these days. You may be wondering how involved in Social Networking you should be getting for the sake of your business. Is all the hype true? Is social networking really a gold mine for small businesses? Should you be abandoning your business model and, instead, spending the day on Facebook and Twitter?
Probably not! All indications are that social networking can enhance your business’ online presence, but it cannot replace entirely more tried and true methods. As in all things, moderation is the key.
There is no doubt that at least some large companies are increasing sales through social networking. In fact, some businesses now even have positions open for full-time social networking staff. The question is, should you? A deep involvement in social networking represents a significant investment in time. On the other hand, one of the first things you learn about how to start your own online business is that it can be done with fairly little time or money.
In addition, even in the short history of social networking, there are already some cautionary tales. Remember what had happened to sites like Second Life and My Space? These were both social networking endeavors that some companies invested a lot of time and capital into, only to find their promotional efforts were wasted.
This is not a risk small or medium business owners can afford to take. Instead, the wiser course may be to concentrate on the basics, like using a good web site hosting directory to find a great cheap web host. Add follow up auto responders to your site, and you should be in great shape.
You should get involved in social networking–especially if you can have some fun doing so! What you want to do is establish a viable presence in social networks that you can maintain with a minimal amount of time and effort.
For example, if you choose to create a Facebook page for your business, its main purpose should be to direct potential customers to your website. You do not want to attempt to create a duplicate of your website on your Facebook page. That would only lead to a doubling of your efforts as you try to keep two pages updated instead of one.
Instead, view your Facebook page as an advertisement. Load it with teasers and images of your best products and services that will encourage people to visit your website.
If you are thinking about starting to use Twitter, this can have a double benefit. You can join your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that every time you post to Twitter, your Facebook page is updates automatically.
This can effectively increase the visibility of any sales, specials, or promotions you may be running with little effort. You should already be notifying as many people as possible of these promotions using your email auto responder software. At the same time, you can easily copy and paste the contents of your promotional e-mail onto the wall of your Facebook page and then tweet about it.
Do not forget to work both ends of this equation: make sure to add links on your website encouraging people to sign up for your Twitter feed and become fans of your Facebook page. This takes no money and very little time. Social networking is one of the best options you can use to boost your blog.