Though “business” and “social” may seem to be opposites, “business social networking” is an undeniable phenomenon in the twenty-first century communications scene.
Hundreds of millions of people worldwide connect with friends via social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and they are often interested in their acquaintances’ recommendations on where to purchase a particular product or service.
Business owners who want to get ahead can hardly afford to ignore this online blend of business and personal relationships in developing their marketing strategy.
Not only can businesses connect with customers through a well-planned presence on social media, but they can interact with other businesses as well. Hence the term business-to-business, “B2B”, networking. An increasing number of business people are finding social media an effective way to maintain contact with suppliers, contractors, and retailers.
What Kind of Contact Happens through Social Media?
Social media allows for spreading a single message to a whole group of people. As an example of how business social networking could happen: a satisfied customer could tweet about how wonderful your company is, and you could retweet her message to your list of potential customers.
Social media also allow for a message to be directed toward a single recipient and yet are visible by many others. For instance, you could post a message on your customer’s Facebook wall thanking her for her purchase and reiterating your availability for any future needs, with a link to your website; everyone who connects with your customer on Facebook would be able to see your post and some might be interested in your products.
Following Blogs, Websites, and Twitter
Don’t worry; we’re not talking about online stalking! Someone who makes posts on a blog, website, or Twitter wants to be noticed. To “follow” such posts is similar to subscribing to a magazine; you receive notice anytime a new post is made. Including “following” in your business networking plan will help you to see what your customers’ needs are as well as what your competitors are offering.
A Wise Professional’s View of Social Networking
At the time that people first encounter your business online, they are likely not your customers yet. But it is important to remember that any one of these contacts could become your customers in the future. The first impressions they receive of your company through your social networking presence will help determine whether they become customers of you or of your competitor.
Naturally, if you have no presence on social media at all, your competitors who do will automatically have the advantage in that arena. So don’t be afraid of beginning your business social network; if you need help, contact a social networking professional. You have little at risk, and much to gain.
LinkedIn and Business Social Networking
LinkedIn is the largest business networking website in the world with over 150 million members in over 200 countries and is available in a number of languages. The slogan for LinkedIn is “Relationships Matter”.
If you would like more information on the benefits of LinkedIn in business social networking follow the link here Learning LinkedIn From The Experts. This leads to a HubSpot ebook. If you wish to have further reading the following books may be of interest: