Making Social Network Portals work

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Nothing grabs more attention at any business meet these days than two things. One, the never ending tale of how the plunging economy is devastating business, and two, how does one cut costs. Firms are slowly ( and painfully ) realizing that every dollar now counts and ingenuity in using it will decide who weathers these times, and who will not.

facebookSo how can marketers get more bang for their buck in trying times? Beginning this issue, we shall look at one technique each month that adds to the marketing muscle but is easy on the pocket. We start with Social Marketing. 

Nothing grabs more attention at any business meet these days than two things. One, the never ending tale of how the plunging economy is devastating business, and two, how does one cut costs. Firms are slowly ( and painfully ) realizing that every dollar now counts and ingenuity in using it will decide who weathers these times, and who will not.

 

So how can marketers get more bang for their buck in trying times? Beginning this issue, we shall look at one technique each month that adds to the marketing muscle but is easy on the pocket. We start with Social Marketing.

 

Leveraging Social Network Portals

 

Almost each of us has a presence on one or more social networks - LinkedIn, Facebook, Ecademy etc. What is interesting is that most marketers don't use these networks due to pre-conceived notions. What if they shoved aside perceptions and gave these networks a try? The trick is to use them the right way. Here are 10 steps.

 

Dedicate time: It is important to make social marketing a part of your business day. Allocate at least 30 minutes. Anything less and you may fail to spot opportunities.

 

Exclude, not include: If you want your network to throw up great leads, the first critical step of is to build a good member list. 500+ connections may look impressive, but can you manage them? Quality matters here, so research your contacts thoroughly before adding them.

 

3 Map your power groups: It is time to do some research. Go back into history and make a map of how you landed most of your deals. There will surely be a pattern and you will find that certain types of individuals give you the maximum business. Make a list. And make them your friends.

 

linkedin Background research: Once you get your list right, make sure the people on that list are likely to get you leads. Do research using private message tools available on most network. Ask your friends about them. Trim the list.

 

Fish them out: Get your existing friends or connections to provide you an introduction.

 

Follow-up: Once you get introduced and begin a dialogue with your prospects, invite them to join your network. Categorize them as new leads in your Facebook or Linkedin contact list. These people are valuable when it comes to introducing new prospects.

 

Give your profile a make-over: Remember, when you seek an introduction, your profile is going to be visited first. Make it look good. Add pictures of your products, get recommendations, link-it to your blog, anything that makes them stay and get interested in you.

 

Use technology: Facebook and LinkedIn now have several third-party applications that help you be more effective. You can add a presentation, a video or any other application that makes your profile better.

 

Review and track: Strategy for social network is unique for each individual. Once you identify a successful pattern, build upon it. Documenting your successes on freeware CRM tools helps you get reports on how your network is working or not working for you.

 

Believe in your network: Don't give up, even if results take time to show. 

 
 

The writer is Chief Thinker, Rezonant

 

Issue BG94 Jan09