In this blog I will give you an idea of how to get started into the world of social networking for business. Whether you are a newbie to social networking in general, a personal user of social networking or you are already engaged in networking to some degree already I will cover some tips to get you ahead in business.

What are your goals?

First of all what are your goals? If you don’t have goals it’s difficult to know what is the point. Some personal goals you might have could be

  • Establish a new company or product in the market
  • Get a new job
  • Increase sales of your products
  • Rebrand your company/products
  • Support your customers through social media

Where do I need to network?

Once you have understood what your goals are you need to think about the best ways to communicate with your customers or potential customers. This could be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blog or any other place your customers frequent.

What have I got to say?

What are the key messages you want to tell people? These could be some of the following

  • Educate your customers about the quality of your products
  • Make customers aware of potential issues that they face that you can help them with
  • Promote case studies that you have on existing customers
  • Tell people your thoughts and ideas
  • Tell people about product updates and news about your product

What content have I got to share?

This is the key to building a successful network. Initially while you find your feet by simply sharing other people’s information. For example when you stumble across an interesting article or blog post, share it. If you have been through YouTube and found half a dozen videos which are very interesting about a certain topic then put together a play list and share it.

What content can I create?

Once you get a feel for what content is out there. You may want to create your own content. Ideas for content could be

  • White papers – industry reports about specific topics
  • Webinars – Online presentation which can be interactive with phone dial in, chat windows or tweet chatter done with a specific hashtag. Although done at a specific time they can be recorded and uploaded to a website for on demand access for anyone who can’t be there on the day
  • Podcasts – audio recordings which are usually done on a regular basis which discuss topics around a key theme or for a specific target audience
  • Screencasts – these are usually demonstrations of a website or software package function to help either show features, educate existing users or provide customer support
  • Interviews – these can done with people around your business to help build awareness or to put across a more personal side to your business
  • Case studies – it is best to take advantage of video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo and include an interview of the customer with them explaining the key issues you have helped them fix and what it is that made them do business with you.

How are you going to tell people?

Once you have worked hard on all your content you need to tell people where it is. Think about doing some or all the following

  • Add your network links to all your website, email signature, business cards, PowerPoint presentations
  • Tweet about everything you add
  • Comment on other people’s blog posts, status updates, tweets, forum posts
  • Add into or start a weekly/monthly newsletter for your customers/prospects/potential customers

How have you found your journey into social business networking? What challenges have you faced in your journey to becoming a social networking professional? How have you incorporated social networking into your business life?

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