Social Media-Networking tools
Many people use the term “Social Media” to represent the vast array of social networking sites, social media sites, and tools available. What we’re really talking about is the Social Web. The Social Web is made up of Social Networking and Social Media.
Social Networking is about sharing the conversation. Social Media is about sharing content. Combined they form an effective toolbox to grow you business.
Sharing the Conversation
There are hundreds social networking sites available and you could spend unlimited time trying to determine how to use each. I’m looking to use social networking in as efficient manner as possible so I focus on two networking sites and one hybrid.
The two sites that I use are LinkedIn and Facebook. Both allow me to build communities of people, engage and interact with them, and communicate to on an ongoing basis. The results may include branding but the end goal is always monetization.
LinkedIn is a natural fit from a membership perspective. The average household income per member is $109, 000, close to 80% have attended college, and 49% are decision makers. The average LinkedIn member is a great prospect.
LinkedIn is a somewhat closed environment and it takes time and effort to build the right communities and typically most of our communications are indirect in nature. I want those in my networks to see the messages I deliver over time and to get to know, like, and trust me so that when they have a need for the services I provide, I’m top of mind.
It also doesn’t hurt that you have the ability to prospect and then see how you connect into each opportunity.
Things are much looser on Facebook. Building communities of the right people still takes time and effort but you can reach out to others without some of the restrictions on LinkedIn. I still primarily communicate with indirect messages, but it just seems easier to do on Facebook.
Most of my prospects live in Atlanta and the Atlanta network on Facebook has over 1.8 million people. If I can engage the right ¼ of a percent, that’s 4, 500 people to communicate my message to.
The hybrid is Twitter. Twitter is a microblog which seems like it would be part of the social media side. But there is a community aspect in terms of those you follow and those that follow you. Relationships do develop and you can build a significant community of people.
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I think paying money for social media tracking tools is nuts.