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June 30, 2009

Social Networking 101 – How to Use It to Increase Your Business!

You know how often I get asked about how effective social networking is for someone’s business, from my clients or when I’m out networking from random business owners?? Hundreds a month.

It’s amazing. It’s amazing how many of us are on the social sites but also how many are not!

I think if you’re an entrepreneur, no matter whether you do business locally or globally, you should be doing some amount of social networking as ONE source of lead generation in your business.

Of course there are hundreds of other ways to get leads too and I’m only talking about ONE right now (and it’s not always the most effective depending on how you utilize your time but it’s certainly affordable).

Lead generation is ONE goal to have when you network online but it can also do the following for you:

  • solidify long lasting relationships – either personal or professional
  • provide an easy way to connect faster with target prospects, referral sources or mentors
  • establish yourself as an expert in your field by answering discussion questions, posting tips and articles or even inviting ‘friends’ to live events like teleclasses and webinars
  • drive more traffic back to your site for special promotions, downloads or interaction
  • provides a central place to share photos, videos and basically get more publicity than you could ever pay (or pray) for

Is it worth it to spend my time on the forums or having profiles on these sites?

I say definitely yes.

  • You want to ask and answer questions on forums and blogs
  • Post comments, articles, events, information, tips, surveys and polls, anything to get the visitors attention
  • Record and post interesting or business related videos (nothing too embarrassing!)
  • Send people requests to join your ‘network’, ‘fan page’ or ‘group’
  • Pursue those in related groups for interaction, advice, joint ventures, etc.
  • Dig deeper into the websites of those you’re really interested in working with or those you want to pay attention to you and relate to them on a deeper level if you can – this is the way to make the most of your time I think.
  • And so much more….

Whew! I know this can seem daunting and more sites pop up every day right?

I mean, you can even start YOUR OWN social network these days (not that you want to).

So, what should your ROI (Return on Investment) be you ask?

Well, granted this stuff sucks up a ton of time! So, if you’re delegating some of the initial connecting and basic weekly/daily posts and then you’re only in there mostly to dig deeper, get personal and maximize your time; then you can really build a great following. One that’s loyal and interested in new things you send out. A following that clicks and interacts with your profile, your videos and your website.

This is how then you get them on your list over time, get them to attend teleclasses or join your programs or even refer you!

I can tell you that the hardest part of figuring out whether your time/money invested in social networking is paying off though is that it’s not that easy to track results.

So, if you want to really find out if it’s working for you, you have to set up systems that allow for really detailed tracking – tracking your traffic, conversions, customers and more.

K. Sawa Marketing International. 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