Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube?

Those in business are well aware of the power of having a website. More recently, the utilization of social networking sites for business promotion and lead acquisition is gaining popularity. Because social networking takes time, companies that are serious about their business success have decided to hire paid staff whose sole responsibilities are to connect with prospects and customers to drive traffic to company websites using social networking techniques.

While considering this idea, I took some time to conduct a little statistical analysis using Google’s nifty search trend analysis tool. This link provides research about search trends for 5 well-known and reputable social networks: MySpace, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and YouTube. I must admit, the YouTube results surprised me. But, other than that, this data informs me that the trend of employing social networking, for any reason, is a critical strategy for businesses whose future growth and revenue relies upon connecting with potential customers or consumers living in the United States.

Social Network and Your BusinessIf you are a solopreneur or small business owner, you may not have the capacity to outsource or employ full-time staff for social networking so that duty will fall to you. The time that you spend on social networking is not frivolous time. Prospecting is an important part of establishing your new business and helping it continue to thrive.

There are many ways to attract your market using social networking. All networks provide personal blogging features. Duplicating content is not advised, although it is inconvenient to have to create multiple blog posts for every social network to which you belong. Since we all must prioritize how our valuable time is spent, a far superior solution is to use RSS outbound feeds to publish blog posts to all your social networking profiles. Since it is a feed, it is not considered to be duplication of content.

Most networks offer groups, forums or both. Groups and forums allow you to interact with the online community and begin to establish relationships. Including a link to your blog is a great way to assist your blog’s Page Rank through linkbacks and does not inhibit the confidence of members who appreciate what you have written. As an example, imagine that your business is home remodeling. Joining or starting a group about home repair is a great way to demonstrate your expertise, in a helpful way, and attract new business.

Social networking is often abused by people who do not understand how to effectively build online relationships. The keyword is relationship. Remember to be courteous, to write professionally and, perhaps most importantly, to establish a common ground for communicating with an individual or group before you begin to promote anything.

All too often, I see marketers make the social faux pas of leading with an offer. Even worse than that, in my opinion, is submitting a comment or wall post that includes a banner or link to their business. If a single-minded marketer, whose sole interest is making money, begins to bombard a group, forum or me with endless links to business opportunities or affiliate promotions, I tend to lose interest in them and what they have to say. I know that I am not alone.

For marketers who are conscious of the fact that there is more at stake than making money, social networking provides a method of establishing credibility, loyalty and referral business. The latter is THE most important aspect of any business endeavor. People who come to you on the basis of their friend’s recommendation already believe you can deliver the product or service they seek in a professional and cost-effective way.

Social networking is no longer an arena just for the kids. Business people who do not grasp the importance of utilizing these sites effectively will fall behind the curve as this trend continues to rise in popularity. Facebook has embraced their place by enhancing their Fan Page feature so that it is a better way to promote one’s business. Well known companies like Microsoft, IBM, Wells Fargo, State Farm and Prudential all have well-attended and active Facebook Fan Pages.

The power of your future business relies upon ready access to existing and potential customers who are interested in your product or service and who also want to remain informed. When they opt-in to your Facebook Group or Fan Page, you have gained permission to market to them and, if you do not abuse this privilege, your business can grow and you will prosper.

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Comments

16 Responses to “Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube?”
  1. William Clements says:

    Hi Marj,

    This new blog is very nice looking and has your custom brand at the top. Keep up the great work and be sure to at least add new content every day or at least once a week at the least because when your site is indexed for search engines they are looking for new content. The determines where you are placed and if you get high rank and stop writing when the search engines try to find new content snd there is not any your rank lowers.

    Good Luck, and thanks for inviting me to look at your blog:-)

    William Clements

  2. Jill Caldwell says:

    Marj – great post. Very well written. And I agree with you wholeheartedly about how you represent yourself in the social networks. If someone feels a connection with you, they will follow you. If you continue to offer value their trust will grow and they will then be open to your business opportunity.
    Jill

  3. Hollye Clardy says:

    Hi Marj,

    I think your blog site looks very impressive! I can tell you have spent lots of time adding information to it. Keep up the fabulous work!

    I would love to chat with you sometime maybe on skype.

    Blessings to You!
    Hollye Clardy

  4. Hello Marj!

    WOW! Lady you sure did one FANTASTIC job on this one! But then you always do a GREAT job on everything you do!

    Your Future is Only Beginning and you are well on your way to that high level of achievment you work long hours and put all of your heart and soul into! We’re very proud to know you Marj!

    Marj, YOU are one incredible teacher and are so helpful to everyone! It’s people that NEED to read all you write and think about this thing called “Online Marketing” and LEARN how to achieve what you have already in all of your contributions to the online communities!

    I really do LOVE the part about people posting banners and business opportunities on personal profile pages! I have a strong rule personally about that, and I delete anyone’s post on our personal profile pages that include such!

    It’s not about them, it’s about YOU when it’s YOUR personal profile page. People should maximize their relationships by FIRST respecting others they visit on profile pages. READ about the person their interested in getting to know …then and ONLY then in private messaging or by private eMail or phone call, discuss their businesses and how they can help each other!

    In that way, you are NOT alone Marj! For instance the eMail bombardment! I sent something personal and funny to a co-marketing acquaintance today. I got back their PROMO for their business. It strikes me odd that SOME people think they only have to consistently send their business links to us, but NEVER truly get to know us or anything we do.

    Marketers NEED BADLY to LEARN that they’re in a PEOPLE business. It doesn’t matter what they’re promoting be it a product or service. They NEED TO LEARN to promote themselves and build relationships FIRST and foremost! Once they’ve learned how to do that …success can come easily!

    Thanks for ALL you do Marj! You’re a SHINING STAR, Role Model and Exemplary Example of how things get done and how to do them correctly! Keep up the GREAT work you’re doing Marj!

    Warmest Regards,

    Gary & Viktoria Affron
    Florida – USA
    http://www.mitogenx.com/pimktg

    Offices: (386) 438-8056

  5. Sherry Prince says:

    Marj,

    This is a fantastic blog, getting to the heart of the how to correctly promote your business. Many new networkers don’t know this unless more experienced ones tell them. I feel that it is up to us to show the new or uninformed (network) marketer how to properly use attraction marketing.

    thanks for doing your part,
    Sherry Prince

  6. Looks Great Marj! . . . Build your relationships first! . . .the rest will follow in good time. . . Thanks for the message.

    Bobby “Whataman” Jackson

  7. Lorraine Baldsing-Fitzpatrick says:

    Hello marj,
    This is awesome the way you have got your page displayed for all to share,
    Thank you
    Lorraine B-Fitzpatrick

  8. Bill Rowe says:

    Marj,

    Great post! Your insights are spot on as usual! By building that relationship from the start you will know if you have a potential customer or perhaps even just a good friend. That’s what’s so neat about the social networks. And by making those connections, you can learn so much from other marketers. Things you may have never thought of.

    Keep up the great blogs Marj!

    Bill

  9. Mary Bosveld, The Supergranny says:

    HI Marj, This is a really great blog. You have condensed & packed in a whole heap of valuable information for Online Marketers & ‘would be’ Online Marketers.
    I agree with you & Viktoria…I am most unimpressed when people post their advertising banners etc on my personal pages…I feel they are actually exposing their own lack of Online Marketing Skills when they do this.
    Another thing I don’t like, & this will be a matter of opinion.. is the LAZY man’s way of leaving a comment on your page with all the glitter & glamour graphics. I would far rather a friendly, warm comment than can lead to good relationships.
    Best Wishes Marj from Mary the Supergranny

  10. Steve Crowley says:

    Great post Marj. I’ve tried the posting banners on profiles. It doesn’t move you anywhere to building a relationship people. Generally when i have a contact on My space I tell them straight out that I’m not interested in people that just want use my profile as a place to advertise their banner. That’s what BANNER EXCHANGES are for!

  11. Robert Howard says:

    Fantastic job Marj. You blog is looking beautiful. I think you nailed it right on the head. No one wants to be spammed and taken advantage of. People just need to take a little time and they would realize how much farther that goes.

  12. John Piro says:

    How much more can be said than all the comments already made?

    You have sooo much knowledge Marj. I’ll be selfish and suggest you do a blog post at least every other day. Not only will it help your positioning for the keywords you choose but everyone will learn from what you have to share. Even if they already know what you have to say – what you share will substantiate their thoughts and others will provide important linkbacks to your site which increases your page rank without you even realizing it!

  13. Ken Underhill says:

    Excellent post Marj! Chock full of value and content. You have a strong grasp on the power of social networking. Your blog site is very attractive and well thought out. I can’t wait till your next post!

  14. Connie Baum says:

    Oh, my goodness! Where did I get the idea this is a new blog? This is wonderful, full of all kinds of good info and lots to choose from.

    I particularly like how you have a beginning paragraph and then we go to another page to finish reading the post. I must learn how to do that.

    I was delighted to see how high you rank in the Search Engine rankings, too. How impressive that you have so many comments posted! That is tremendous. Makes you feel all loved and appreciated, doesn’t it?

    Good job, Marj! I’m so pleased to be in your sphere of influence!

    Wishing you well,
    Connie Baum
    Follow me on Twitter.com/motherconnie

  15. HI Marj,

    This is a wonderful article and so full of great content. I totally agree that people all need to understand that if they don’t take time to build relationships, business will not occur. Offline people need to understand that if they replace the time spent on blogging, Twitter and posting in forums, they could save thousands of dollars on their offline advertising. That’s the toughest part to get across to an entrepreneur.

    With my networking clients, the first thing I work with is learning how to build those relationships – it’s not just here I am, here’s what I do and now buy from me. Some just don’t understand that they should always be thinking of the other person and how they can help them solve their pain, make their life easier or just simply send them a resource for future use.

    I’m thrilled to see you posting on this subject. Relationships first, no matter what and offline businesses need to be educated about the importance of social networking. Netweaving the offline contact into online connections can create some beautiful relationships.

    Great job, Marj!

    Carol Deckert, Networking Coach
    Lancaster PA USA

  16. Larissa says:

    Hey Marj,

    I wish I could write as beautifull as you. Your post are always fun to read. Each time I learn from them.

    You are really gifted to find the right topics and write about them. I am exploring the social networks. Some work better for me than others. Facebook is strange for me. Twiter and ecademy work much better for me.

    It usally depends on the people there. If I have the impression they are only talking with one another and refuse to recognise new people than I loose interest.

    Larissa

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