Social networking by definition focuses on building communities where people share common interests, hobbies, activities at times a common vision – a forum for interaction where knowledge-base is shared across boundaries, where difference are openly discussed, a place where one gets an opportunity to meet someone new each day. Being social animals inherently we need to interact in order to survive, being dependent on each other for fulfilling our needs we need to socialize; hence the need for networking.
The benefits which social networking can have on your business is innumerable, the opportunities immense as long as you know how to make use of the network for benefiting your business. One of the reasons to connect and expand is to find like minded people for exploration for seeking and generating potential leads.
There is a good possibility of finding unexpected collaborators to help each other succeed in each other’s ventures which is another benefit achieved through active and intelligent networking. Ideas shared and discussed mutually can lead into starting new ventures hence expanding business opportunities for the future.
It is pretty obvious that one cannot succeed in isolation; interacting with people and reaching out for suggestions, opinions, carrying out surveys to know what the trends are and how the future trends might shape up can easily be achieved by involving as many people as possible – for the same on many networking platforms different forums or business groups are established to debate or talk about subjects of mutual interests.
With the boom in the internet world and the convenience of getting in touch with people using various online mediums attracting audiences of your choice has become a blessing. With such tools in hand one can attract audiences which one cannot through TV or other traditional media, hence increasing your customer base tremendously increasing the run time interaction with your customers.
Following are a few general social and professional networking sites which are common in all spheres of life:
1 – GENERAL NETWORKING:
- AIM Pages
- Windows Live Spaces
- Yahoo! 360
- Cofoundr – Entrepreneurial
- Fast Pitch
- Small Business Brief
- StartupNation – Entrepreneurial
- Startupping – Internet entrepreneurs
- Synergy Street – Entrepreneurial
- Tapped In – Educational professionals
- Venture Capital Network
For more look at the following sites:
For small businesses with limited budgets professional and social networking is the best means for getting attention – make them know you exist; the easiest way to get in touch with as many layman or professionals as you can. Also through marketing you may be able to make many business acquaintances quickly which you may not be able to make using the traditional means. But beware, spamming your potential lead, client, or any professional is never a good idea. A thought out strategy to reach or build your clientele is mandatory.
Social networking for self promotion, in the case you are a sole proprietor or a free lancer, is a penniless way to showcase your talents and abilities. Envisioning of building a global business from scratch can become a reality by capitalizing on the essence of collective wisdom from seasoned professionals. Online networking is the best way for virtual marketing without investing anything other than your time and effort.
Building business relationship, enhancing your contacts, creating or increasing your PR is the dire need for any startup or a thriving business. Such contacts for PR can easily be build and maintained through constant active networking. With huge amounts of data available for professionals on these forums finding the relevant talent to fit into business venture has become easier over the years.
Mostly these networking forums are referred to as Viral meaning how quickly the network spreads attracting huge audiences. Companies prefer having active blogs and registering to professional and social networking to advertise the news, events, and latest happenings. Sharing success stories and acting as mentors they increase their site ratings, PR and setting trends throughout the market. Collecting metrics can help them determine the increase in your sites popularity.
With so many sites to chose from it becomes impossible to chose and select which one to register for and which ones to leave. Here is a tip – start from a site which best suits your talents and interests and network with people having similar ideas as yours. As your contacts mature you would know which way to chose at times through professional referrals and at times with people contacting you directly. Just keep the radar on!
Continue reading on Social Networking in Business (part 2/3)
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