Social Networking as Part of Relationship Marketing
If you're doing business in the eCommerce universe, it's vital to build a strong network of relationships with your clients. Exploring social networks, as a way to form new or expand upon existing business relationships will be worth investigating, if your business has not yet done so.
Copyright (c) 2008 Christian Fea
If you're doing business in the eCommerce universe, it's vital to build a strong network of relationships with your clients. From time to time, it's necessary to gain new business, new clients and new customers to bring into the pool of focus for building this network of relationships. You may be doing all the "right" things, such as newsletters, email marketing campaigns and advertising on other websites, but you still feel that you're not attracting as many new customers, or building as many new relationships as you'd like. Exploring social networks, as a way to form new or expand upon existing business relationships will be worth investigating, if your business has not yet done so.
Popular networks like Facebook are thought of as a place to keep in touch with long distance friends, share photos and stories about your life. But these online social networks are also a great way to make new business contacts. Each network is structured differently so you may want to join several, or investigate the sites on your own before deciding which ones to utilize for business purposes. Implementing consistent social networking can be the next step in a relationship-marketing based strategy for your business. Below are a few of the most popular social networks and what they have to offer from a business perspective.
When thinking of a social network, many adults assume they are juvenile or the domain of teenagers and twenty-somethings. If you have an aversion to the idea, LinkedIn is the best place for you to start, as it has a mature, professional audience with a combination of social and business networking. When you join LinkedIn, you can list your contacts, both social and professional, and invite them to join. Once your contacts have joined, you then have access to their social and professional contacts and they have access to yours. This is a great way to reach out to new people and make connections because of the mutual friend/associate you have in common.
Facebook isn't just for kids anymore, the demographic of this particular social network continues to broaden, and it's a great resource for making contacts and potentially looking for people to hire if and when your business expands. Facebook has a number of useful features and advanced applications, along with a certain level of privacy that doesn't exist in other networks. It also has the sheer volume of numbers on its side: with 600 million searches and more than 30 billion page views a month, there is a seemingly endless pool of resources to tap into.
MySpace is perhaps the social network that is geared most towards a younger population. However, try not to let that deter you. The Internet is making it easier for younger, tech-savvy people to create their own online companies, which means there is large market of younger business owners and entrepreneurs, as well as potential customers that you can connect with on MySpace. Young people also have more disposable income than ever before, which means that subscribers to MySpace have money to spend, and they're always looking for unique, niche market products.
Building strong customer relationships as part of a relationship-marketing platform is an important ingredient in the success of your business. Using these social networking sites has the potential to connect you with an extremely talented and professional cross-section of people previously untapped by your business. Part of any successful relationship-marketing platform involves reaching out and building relationships with people with whom you have something in common. These social networks are an excellent way to expand your network of business contacts.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability. Join his JV Wealth e-zine at http://www.christianfea.com/joint-venture-wealth-report/?a=3