"What do I do about all those Social & Biz Networking sites out there anyway?"
Is it worth it to spend time on the forums or having profiles on social networking sites? Yes, it is and no it isn't. It just depends on how you utilize your time when you are there
What a great question, huh? You know how often I get asked this question from my clients or when I'm out networking from random business owners?? Hundreds a month. They ask me:
Is it worth it to spend my time on the forums or having profiles on these sites? - Asking and answering questions? - Posting articles, events, info, polls? - Recording and posting videos, sending people requests to join my 'network' - Pursuing groups for interaction, advice, etc.?
Whew! I know this can seem daunting and more sites pop up every day right?
Aren't you getting invites all the time asking you to join a friend's network in some new community or website that you haven't even heard of before? It's true, I hear about new ones all the time too.
This is a great new industry for marketers. Marketers who can build their 'community' so large (even with unpaid memberships) that then they can attract advertisers who will pay them to put ads on their site - that's how they make their money!
Others are even so smart to get us to pay them membership fees so that we can have access to talk to even more people in their 'network' or 'community' by sending eblasts via their 'network' or even by emailing others in their system. I know because I pay for a few of the sites I'm on now!
So, what's my R.O.I. (Return on Investment) you ask?
Well, it's still to soon to tell for me really but what I can tell you is the following:
- This stuff sucks up a TON of TIME! So I've actually started delegating my 'correspondence' to a VA to do for me (one that knows what she's doing on these sites). I wanted to pay someone to spend a good amount of time on these sites interacting to see exactly what response I could get because I know if I did a test with just the amount of time I COULD SPEND then that wouldn't be a very good test and very hap hazzard approach.
- Many of my website, internet or Search Engine Experts that I work with or know personally have mentioned to me that this kind of marketing is probably NOT worth too much of my time as it might only bring in a very small percentage of my overall prospects and new leads.
- Many people on these sites are so caught up in the building of their 'network' or 'friends list' that they really have NO IDEA how to utilize them for marketing purposes.
- I'm getting a better response rate and more referrals or direct clients from those sites that I'm a part of due to a personal or business memberships. For example, I've been coaching with Ali Brown for over 2 years and in her Silver Mastermind Program she has a forum online where you can interact with other Members and I found that since those people all are followers of Ali's, they tend to give more credibility to others in the same program and they interact more with other members for business and referrals. I have gotten one consulting client so far doing more interacting in that group in less than 60 days.
So, is it worth it for you to try or to spend your time??? My advice is MAYBE and IT DEPENDS. Sorry, but it really depends on where else you're spending your time and money FIRST.
There are a TON OF THINGS that many of the people who come to me aren't even doing in their marketing that are CRUCIAL! So, if you weren't doing those things first, then I'd say NO, don't add this yet unless you can delegate it; do the other things first (or even delegate them!). Building your business in a specifically, prioritized manner is the key because if you do one or two things out of order as an entrepreneur you could end up wasting a bunch of money or time!! Trust me or don't but I will tell you "I told you so" later if you don't listen to me now - I'm really good at figuring out EXACTLY what YOU need to do NEXT!
If you'd like to know what things you might NOT be doing in your business or in your marketing that could be CRUCIAL TO YOUR SUCCESS then I highly recommend you find a good Marketing Specialist to help you out.
A Marketing Specialist will be able to review Social and Business Networking sites and HOW they would play into your overall plan. I know of over 30 of these sites - there's more than just MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn, FastPitch - although these are the most common. ( Good luck in your ONLINE NETWORKING!!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(c) Copyright 2008 K.Sawa Marketing. Katrina Sawa is an Award-Winning Relationship Marketing Coach who's helped hundreds of small business owners take dramatic steps in their businesses to get them to the next level in business, revenues and life. She offers one-on-one coaching, group coaching and do-it-yourself marketing planning products. Go online now to get started with her Free Report and Free Audio at http://www.jumpstartyourmarketing.com