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September 25, 2014

Is Your Business Doing Enough Networking?

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It’s been stressed many times in many ways that businesses must be involved in social media.

That is where their customers are spending their time, making it the most effective way to reach their target audience.

From Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest to LinkedIn, there is always another place to get involved. Add in social media conferences and online chat sessions and you have to wonder when it is enough?

Start with a Plan

It is common for a business to realize it needs to be on social media and then set up a bunch of profiles. It starts tweeting and posting and becomes overwhelmed by all of the time it takes out of a day.
For a small company, the owner or manager may give up all of it when he or she runs out of time. Often, no true benefits are seen from all of the social networking anyway.

To be successful with any social media networking, a business must have a plan.

Social media is a must if you want to gain new customers. Do you want to interact with current customers and provide a higher level of customer service? Do you want to introduce them to new products or remind them of your services?

For many companies it is a mix of getting new customers and retaining current ones that drives them to social media.

Find Your Audience

Once you understand your purpose for social media, you must figure out where your target audience is hanging out and when its members will be most receptive to your networking.
For instance, a home interior company would do well on Pinterest because people go to that site to look for ideas about decorating.

While many people have profiles set up on multiple networks, they usually only spend time on one or two of them. This is where your focus should be. Find out where your audience is spending its time and what it is doing there.

Right Mix

Not every social network is right for every business. It is best to begin with one or two and focus your time and energy on learning how to be effective with those. Find out what works best on Facebook and learn how to create attention-getting tweets. Discover which images create the most repins on Pinterest.

Attending social media conferences is one way to learn from others about what works and what doesn’t. It is far better to maximize your presence on one site by doing things that are effective than creating multiple profiles on multiple sites that don’t get noticed.

With social media, nothing is permanent.

If you work with one site and find it doesn’t meet your needs, you can move on to another one.

Take the time to understand about social networking in general and then focus your energies on getting it right on one or two sites. This will maximize your results while minimizing the time spent. That is how you get a good return on your social media investment.

As a business owner, marketer or social media manager, which sites are you using to reach customers in 2014?


Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and social media marketing.