There has been much written and said about marketing your business online through social media. When you consider those venues for marketing, you should be aware of the fact that your first order of business before you market is to build relationships. People do business with people that they know and trust. Thus 70% of your interaction should be devoted to building trusting relationships and 30% to marketing your business.
We see the same kind of thing in brick and mortar businesses every day. In fact, when it is correctly executed, it is much the same as marketing your business online. When a customer walks into a store, the owner or the sales professional has one chance to engage them on a social level. The owner of the store might ask the customer how they are doing, what brings them into the store, do they shop there a lot etc. If the interaction is positive, he/she might ask about their family, where they are from originally, what they do for a living, etc. If you think about it the latter questions are the same type that one might ask when engaging someone through social media.
Facebook is a particularly good venue for getting to know someone on a social level. There is really something for everyone on Facebook. There are groups in just about every area of life. This is where you can share your passions and the things that you really enjoy about living. There are also games that many people love to play. In fact strong relationships can be built through such interactions. Then there are the surveys that you can fill out about people you know or want to know better. If you want to engage socially you will certainly be able to do so on Facebook. This level of the relationship has nothing directly to do with marketing your business, but it is an absolute necessity before you make an effort to market your business to this audience.
LinkedIn and Twitter are also vital social connections to develop and share business and personal interests. Linked-In demands that you engage your audience with general content that relates to business practices and you as a professional. There is also an opportunity on LinkedIn to share who you are in the business world and the knowledge that you have to offer others on Linked-In. Twitter is all about information sharing. Usually it is specific to a personal or business interest. It is safe to say that you will not successfully market your business on either of these sites, if you do not first honor the rules of engagement. You must post professional and interest specific information to the social community in order to be successful with the LinkedIn and Twitter audiences.
You should also be aware when you engage the social community that it is not all about you. In fact there are others in these social communities who are there for the same reason that you are. They are looking for a platform to promote their professional interests. Be sure to take an interest in what they are doing. Opt into their Facebook Page. Like and Share their articles and posts and affirm their value to the community. Remember, what goes around comes around. If you spread their information around and it will come back to you.
Once you have developed relationships on these sites and presented valuable information to the community, you are ready to market your business online through these social networking sites. In fact you have developed a captive audience of people that now have an interest in whatever you are doing socially and professionally. Once you have their attention, go ahead and market your business. You may not get a great response at first. Keep engaging them on the social level and try again a week later. Like any form of online business marketing it takes time. Be a steady presence in the market place and in time you will find that your social media network of friends are your best customers and most consistent buyers. Here’s to your success!
If you are searching for more in-depth internet marketing skills, please see my resource box below. I would love to point you to the best training that I have found on the internet.