Why Social Media Isn t Working

Social media Sites For Businesses

To get the most out of social networking sites, small companies should look past the hype, set concrete business goals, then start experimenting

Social networking online seems to be exploding: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg, and so on. When I ask how these sites can help my business, the answers can be vague. I am trying to relate it to face-to-face networking, which includes sharing ideas, information, and resources with other businesses. Are these sites useful for those goals? There is only so much time in my day and I need to use it effectively. —B.H., Scarborough, Me.

You are correct that social networking is a rapidly growing, headline-grabbing phenomenon. The question for entrepreneurs is how to tap into this trend as a business opportunity, rather than simply a way to connect—or reconnect—with people, says Peter Delgrosso, strategic vice-president for corporate communications with Web.com (WWWW).

"For the most part, these social networking sites should be viewed as complementary to your online presence. Think of it as a nice-to-have, not a must-have, " he says. "When used properly, it is something that can gain your business some attention. However, you need to realize it shouldn't be seen as a replacement to your traditional online presence."

Greg Sterling, of Sterling Market Intelligence, considers social network sites primarily for meeting people, asking for advice or referrals and, carefully, doing online marketing. The uses vary by application or site, he notes: "Sites such as LinkedIn can be helpful in connecting with people you want to meet for one reason or another. Twitter and Facebook can be helpful when you're trying to notify a group of people about something you want to promote or about a happening of some kind."

Find Your Networking Niche

Take a few minutes—it doesn't have to be extensive—to look over the top sites and experiment to see what works for you. Even an hour or two a week can help you figure out which sites you like best and are most effective for your particular business. "The viral nature of social networking is quite extraordinary and something that can garner a lot of attention to your efforts in a hurry, " Delgrosso says.

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Popular Q&A

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Social Media Sites For Business - Why Bother?

LinkedIn
Twitter
Those are the three big ones. Other wise the website, like a questions page.
Also Pinterest if it is a product based company - surprisingly it is the one that helps generate the most sales from posts.

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