Mix Up Your Networking: How to Approach Social Networking – Part 1 of 4

By Amelia ClarkFrom a business perspective, social media allows you to reach a broad range of customers with the open opportunity to connect with them.  That’s what is amazing about social media – you're able access to millions of people and personally tell them about what your successful business is doing.

Think about it like this: if you own a local floral shop (or IT company or car wash or real estate business), whenever you are out with friends, or picking up your kids or at a business dinner, you tell new people you meet about your organization.  You tell them all about the newest exciting deals or your history or what’s unique about your location, right?

At least, that’s what you do if you are any kind of effective business person, because you never know if the person you are speaking to is going to need flowers for their wife, their house, their entire building, or their son’s wedding.  Social media gives you the capacity to meet a lot more people, meaning more relationships and more people who know you own a floral shop.  Not that I should have to point this out, but the more people who KNOW about your business, the more people are going to remember your business when they need flowers for Mother’s Day.

Please remember, Social media is more like a conversation with a friend you met through a friend – you learn about them as they learn about you.  Don’t broadcast! It’s like shouting at people who are in the same room with you, which you (hopefully) would never do.  Just talk to people and keep in mind: you never know.

If you are running a company that is a little larger, your business deals and money making relationships may be more directed, but the concept is still the same.  You can use social media as another way to connect to potential clients, colleagues, and partners by finding groups and sub-communities that focus on specific industries, topics, or services.  It’s all about who you know, right?  Well you can get to know a lot more people with proper use of Web 2.0 social networking sites.

If you have absolutely no experience with social media, more and more companies are offering profile setup, content management, and coaching services.  A lot of companies are hiring or contracting people to manage social media campaigns.  If you are a one-person business, you may want to start with only 1 or 2 applications and see what happens.

What’s holding you back from launching a social media campaign for your business?