Can Social Networking Help My Small Business?

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When people work with or buy from a company, they want to know that the company is reliable, trustworthy, and can provide the desired items or services. However, what initially brings customers to your business, and keeps them coming back, is having a clear, likable personality. However, it can be hard for your company to show its personality and connect with people. You get caught up in your products or services and forget that at the end of the day, people buy from those they like. Social networking and the Internet are cost effective and efficient ways to build contacts and stay in touch with customers and prospective customers. Building and maintaining relationships is the key in any business, and social networking provides an ideal start.

Social networking websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, allow your style and personality to emerge in a unique way. Unlike constantly selling and pushing your agenda, social networking allows you to share information about yourself and your company with people who want to find out more about you, such as other companies in your industry or prospective customers. This changes the dynamic because you are now attracting people by sharing useful information, who can then provide you with new insights or tips. This fosters a strong relationship with possible business contacts or potential customers, and allows you to build upon that relationship by continuing to use social networking platforms.

A short while ago, people might have thought it strange or pathetic if you randomly decided to write letters or e-mails to old acquaintances from high school, asking to be friends again. However, social networking has made this practice not only acceptable but also embraced. Social networking allows you to connect with people you see daily, friends you haven’t seen in years, people you’ve never met in person, but could be potential business associates or customers, and everyone in between.

Taking advantage of social networking provides a completely new platform to talk with your prospects in an informal way, which encourages building a rapport. Using social networking allows you to make formal contacts while maintaining a relatively informal demeanor, which leads to more natural, honest conversation. This honest communication gives you the feedback, information, tips, and contacts necessary to further your business aspirations. Social networking may be a bit time consuming, but if you structure your efforts, focus your plan, use it effectively, and give the process enough time to grow, you will see results. While you grow those connections, you are also actively creating a personality for your business, projecting a positive image and providing helpful information that is beneficial to your customers. In the end, you are using social media as a tool to grow your network, generate business relationships and expose your message to an infinite number of prospective clients. With social networking, you get all this while simply interacting with other people and having fun…not a bad approach.

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