“Effective” Strategies for Leveraging Social Media to Expand Your Company
The last five years have seen a phenomenal expansion of social media. Social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and, more lately, Twitter have proven their worth in facilitating professional and personal connections online. They are here to stay to the point where company owners are flocking to take advantage of them as a new means of advertising their wares.
Soon after, there was a deluge of social media “secrets” for sale, which unwittingly taught many online marketers how to taint the system. Unfortunately, many have joined the social media trend to expand their network and force their marketing on others. Social media usage is widespread, but only a minority of users are using it well; this discrepancy inspired me to write this piece.
Effects and Causation
The initial appeal of these platforms was that they made it easy for people with similar interests to find one another and regularly shared relevant content. Those involved felt obligated to contribute frequently to the discussion because it piqued their interest. This allowed for two-way talks rather than one-way broadcasts. With the advent of Twitter, this is proving to be even more the case. These were meant to be “secure” online meeting spots, free of unwanted messages and advertisements.
The purpose of social media is not for someone to relentlessly spam their contacts with product pitches. Subject lines like “I Made $45,000 in 30 Days!” and “New Company Opportunity in Pre-Launch. Jump Aboard!” aren’t helpful and don’t inspire the reader to do anything besides dismissing the email. Thanks to the revolving automation software, these communications are already being sent out at irregular intervals (every 30 minutes). The problem is that nobody contributes anything worthwhile from behind the computer, so nobody pays attention.
Be Powerful: Establish Yourself As A Valuable Trademark
The best way to use social media to expand your company is to provide value by connecting, listening, and giving. Author of “Trust Agents” and social media guru Chris Brogan put it best: “Give and provide value. Connect those that can help each other’s company. Be on the elbow of every deal being made. Give, give, give. It’ll always come back to you. If you don’t get that, then you’ll never be a trusted agent.”
The point is that you need to be seen as an asset in meeting their needs if you want to gain legitimate connections that will funnel traffic to your site or consumers to your company. For that, you must inquire and pay attention. The benefit of social media is that it allows you to make an impact without being the brightest bulb in the room. All you have to do is place them in touch with the right expert and help them fulfill each other’s business needs. You can help them discover their purpose by directing them to resources on the internet that can answer their questions.
Excellence, not quantity, in networking, is all that’s required.
People often say you need thousands of contacts to spread your message and grow your company. If nobody is paying attention, your response rate will be about the same as if you sent a mass mailing or made a cold contact. It’s not just the number of possible business connections on the internet but also their essential character. To what extent you can assist others and, in turn, advance your objectives depends on how well you have labeled yourself.
If your social media connections are made up of individuals who know and trust you, you won’t need nearly as many to become successful. Being selective about your friends and acquaintances also helps you spend much less time with them. Determine in advance if the person is a spammer or if they suit the profile of your ideal customer or prospect.
You want them to sit up straight and read what you’ve sent them because they know you’re a reliable source and you’ve sent them something useful. Remember that the end objective isn’t just to “get more people” but to build a solid enough electronic business relationship that your customer will feel comfortable recommending you to others.
Please understand me; I’m not suggesting you need years to build a name for yourself. A simple, occasional email asks, “What challenges are you facing this week? Is there any way I can help your company be more successful?” or something similar. People have replied, “I just wrote a blog entry and was wondering if you could read and remark on it.”
Amazingly, once you get the ball rolling, stopping cannot be easy. Your connection should think of you and say, “Hey, I know someone who might be able to help you out; let me bring you two together,” whenever they hear of someone in need. You’ve just given that contact the confidence that comes from knowing they assisted someone else in their network.
Remember that nobody likes to be treated like a statistic, and everyone values being treated individually and asked questions. So carve out a little time every day to be more strategic about your connections and how you’re building your brand. It would be best to put time and effort into creating a helpful network before you can expect to reap any benefits. Once you do, you’ll notice that they eagerly anticipate the opportunity to repay your kindness. It’s the point of using social media in the first place.
I’ll be your biggest supporter and cheerleader
Business expert Patrick Daugherty, aka “The Business Counselor.”
Chief Executive Officer, Learn2Earn It Now; Author, The Biz Coach Magazine .com]
The author of “The Success Steps for Creating Wealth Online” (http://members.Learn2earnitnow.biz/ss), a comprehensive course on making money online through internet marketing from the comfort of home. Find out everything you need about search engine optimization (SEO), Internet marketing, affiliate programs, social media marketing, generating free traffic, and designing a successful online home business chance. We show you every single method that works to make money online. You’ll also find information on where to get free company mentoring and coaching.
Caution: in 12 months, you can learn to live like you’re retired. Only those who are 100% committed to success should attempt it.
Patrick draws on his extensive background in online success and training to help new and aspiring online entrepreneurs and owners of Internet-based business prospects achieve financial success and live a life of fulfillment. He’s currently teaching a thousand individuals to make six figures this year. Patrick and his gorgeous wife Diane raise three kids in rural Pennsylvania.