By Bardi Toto
Many business owners are frustrated by social networking sites that have not achieved the results they expected. That usually means they were expecting too much without putting in the required effort. Unfortunately, building a profile and even staying active on a site is not enough to bring people to you. The secret to successful use of social media is making connections and feeding relationships to develop strong bonds. To do this, businesses have to make it about people and not about their products.
Establishing connections is about more than being active on Facebook and Twitter. There are hundreds of specialized social networking sites, several of which could prove more successful for a company than Facebook and Twitter alone. It is about going after a niche market. For instance, if you have a product related to cell phones, reach out to everyone in social media who has an iPhone or smartphone.
Establishing connections is about more than being active on Facebook and Twitter. There are hundreds of specialized social networking sites, several of which could prove more successful for a company than Facebook and Twitter alone.
The number of social networking sites focused on consumers, retailers and business users and their needs is rapidly expanding. Today, there are social networking sites for moms (cafemom.com), baby boomers, (eons.com), people in and around government, (govloop.com) and event scientists, (scispace.net; researchgate.com and sciencestage.com). There are more than 20 social media sites that are geared toward business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs. The list includes the well-known Linkdin.com and plaxo.com but also contains Upspring.com, a social networking site for promotion and social networking; XING, a European business network with more than seven million members; JASEzone, a professional community where you can find potential clients and business partners; and Fast Pitch, a business network where professionals can market their businesses and make connections.
Business owners need to find social networks that include their target audiences. Because niche sites focus on content that relates to a particular topic, the visitors that arrive at your site will have more of an interest in your blog and will be more likely to come back in the future.
To use social media effectively, create your identity and build your brand so you stand out from the rest, stay ahead of your competition and be active, but do not take on more than you can chew.