Using Social Networks to Get ... "The Kevin Bacon Game"By Lois Carter FayA few years ago there was a big push toward ... ... ... creating a network of trusted business
Using Social Networks to Get Business AKA "The Kevin Bacon Game" By Lois Carter Fay
A few years ago there was a big push toward one-to-one relationship management, creating a network of trusted business associates on whom you could rely. Getting to know them, up close and personal. Or at least using software to generate personalized messages. And getting to know your prospects and customers is, of course, still a very good practice...probably your best way to succeed.
But in the impersonal world of computers and technology, getting personal is a difficult thing to do. You may have never met your client or the folks you joint venture a project with. But it's likely that you have communicated via email, perhaps spoken on the phone, read articles they've written or kept up with what they have said in discussion forums.
Making it Personal Now there's the many-to-many approach, more commonly called social networking. Of course you've heard of Match.com, primarily designed to connect those who are interested in dating. For this membership site you don't need to be "invited" in and you can try it out for free.
Quickly, many other such sites have jumped into the social networking arena, garnering tons of publicity. There's Friendster, LinkedIn, Ryze, Tribe Software, Orkut, MeetUp and probably others. The "market" has virtually exploded with companies that create networks to help you connect through others with the people you want to meet or do business with.
Kevin Bacon If you're a follower of the TV show Friends, you'll know the characters on the show played "The Kevin Bacon Game," in which they had to connect Kevin Bacon to another famous person in six or fewer connections.
For instance, Cuba Gooding, Jr. is in Home on the Range with Judi Dench, who is also working with Roseanne on Home on the Range, who worked with John Goodman on the Roseanne Show, who worked with Dan Akroyd on Saturday Night Live, who worked with Jim Belushi on Saturday Night Live, who was John Belushi's brother, who worked with Kevin Bacon on the film Animal House.
It's a variation of the old "6 Degrees of Separation" theory that has been around forever. And it's a lot like the new social networks.
Creating Your Network Most of these social networking groups create networks based on various common interests and for some, on trusted connections--which is much greater help to business folks. LinkedIn and Orkut are this type of network. You create your network link by link by link so your social network is bound to be a higher quality network than one in which anyone can join and contact anyone in the network.
Here are the websites for the social networks I mentioned:
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Marketing Idea Shop's founder, Lois Carter Fay, is a marketing strategist with 30 years of experience to help you generate and implement ideas and strategies to grow your business. She works with women business owners, small business owners and managers to help them use their marketing dollars more effectively and increase profits. A marketing columnist and the author of three marketing ebooks, she is now writing her next ebook, Success Secrets of Women Entrepreneurs.