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How to Grow Your Business: Online Social Networking

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Introductory presentation given to a local business group about how to grow your business using online social networking to build relationships. Includes ideas on Where and How to network, and time saving tools to increase efficiency when networking.

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How to Grow Your Business: Online Social Networking

  1. 1. How to Grow Your Business: Online Social Networking A Presentation for Marin Business Now By Julia Dvorin, Principal, Archer Web Solutions
  2. 2. About Archer Web Solutions <ul><li>Archer Web Solutions is a full service web solutions provider. </li></ul><ul><li>We integrate capabilities in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>marketing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>programming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>hosting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Into web solutions that are: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>powerful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>integrated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cost-effective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>scalable </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. ASSUMPTION: Networking is a critical business activity. <ul><li>Good networking is based on building (and maintaining) ongoing, reciprocal relationships based on trust and mutual understanding. </li></ul><ul><li>We all want to do business with people we know, like and trust. </li></ul><ul><li>The question is not WHETHER you should network and build relationships... </li></ul><ul><li>The question is WHERE, and HOW? </li></ul>
  4. 4. So how do we get to know, like and trust people? <ul><li>OFFLINE (face-to-face) </li></ul><ul><li>ONLINE (through the internet) </li></ul>WHERE AND HOW DO WE BUILD RELATIONSHIPS?
  5. 5. If you aren’t currently building and maintaining relationships online: WHY NOT? <ul><li>I don’t know WHERE to start </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t know HOW </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t have TIME </li></ul>Here’s what I hear in answer to this question:
  6. 6. WHERE to build relationships online: <ul><li>Social Network Sites (Facebook, LinkedIn) </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Forums </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail Discussion Lists/Newsgroups </li></ul><ul><li>Content Communities (YouTube, Flickr, Digg Squidoo, Del.icio.us, Amazon, Yelp) </li></ul><ul><li>Microblogging (Twitter) </li></ul>
  7. 7. WHERE to build relationships online: <ul><li>Community Spaces (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google/Yahoo Groups, Squidoo) </li></ul><ul><li>Your Online Space (e.g. your web site or blog) </li></ul><ul><li>Someone Else’s Online Space (e.g. their web site or blog) </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Online networking is most effective </li></ul><ul><li>when it is centered on your own credible, </li></ul><ul><li>professional online presence: </li></ul><ul><li>your web site </li></ul>
  9. 9. Your web site is your “digital home”, and it is available 365/24/7 <ul><li>What does your web site say about your business? Ask yourself: </li></ul><ul><li>Is your “digital home” the kind you feel comfortable inviting guests over to? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it making the kind of impression you want it to make? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it clear, easy to navigate, and visually consistent with your key business concepts? </li></ul>
  10. 10. I’m happy with my “digital home”. What next? <ul><li>Build more and better online relationships: </li></ul><ul><li>Start participating in other blogs and forums, and maybe start blogging yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a Facebook page or a Flickr stream for your business. </li></ul><ul><li>Send out an e-newsletter. </li></ul><ul><li>Share updates, news and links via Twitter. </li></ul><ul><li>But wait, there’s more.... </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Add some reviews of local businesses to Yelp, and encourage your customers to do the same for you. </li></ul><ul><li>Join industry- or topic-specific groups and participate in discussions on LinkedIn. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a Squidoo lens on a topic that you know a lot about. </li></ul><ul><li>There are lots of possibilities...which is right for YOU? </li></ul>Build more and better online relationships (cont.):
  12. 12. Successful online relationship building requires that you meet your customers wherever they are <ul><li>Questions for you to answer: Who are your customers? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do they “hang out”? </li></ul><ul><li>How do they like to be communicated with? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Are your customers: <ul><li>Boomers who like weekly e-newsletters delivered to their inboxes? </li></ul><ul><li>Moms who log onto Facebook after the kids are in bed to chat and share news? </li></ul><ul><li>30-something techies who use a feedreader to subscribe to their favorite blogs via RSS? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Millenials” on the go who use Twitter on their mobile phone to send and check updates on people or organizations they care about? </li></ul><ul><li>Passionate collectors/hobbyists who want to discuss details and opinions in an online forum? </li></ul>
  14. 14. HOW to build more and better online relationships: <ul><li>LISTEN </li></ul><ul><li>PARTICIPATE </li></ul><ul><li>GIVE </li></ul><ul><li>EDUCATE </li></ul><ul><li>BE PROFESSIONAL </li></ul>
  15. 15. THE BOTTOM LINE: <ul><li>Be real. </li></ul><ul><li>Be helpful. </li></ul><ul><li>Share your knowledge and your passions. </li></ul><ul><li>If you are real, helpful, and knowledgeable, people will like and trust you. </li></ul><ul><li>If they like and trust you, they will want to do business with you. </li></ul>
  16. 16. “ But I don’t have tiiiiiiime!” <ul><li>Prioritize. You want a return, you have to invest. </li></ul><ul><li>Be a smart monkey: use tools! </li></ul>
  17. 17. Tools for smart monkeys: <ul><li>Subscribe to blogs you want to read with an RSS feedreader. </li></ul><ul><li>Use Ping.fm to automatically post the same status update multiple places. </li></ul><ul><li>Show your latest Tweets on your web page. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Tools for smart monkeys (cont.): <ul><li>Sort your friends on Facebook and Twitter into appropriate lists. </li></ul><ul><li>Automatically cross-post your blog posts to your page on Facebook. </li></ul><ul><li>Announce on Twitter or LinkedIn that you’ve posted a new blog post. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Tools for smart monkeys (cont.): <ul><li>Re-use a press release or news article as a blog post, or vice versa. </li></ul><ul><li>Gather popular blog posts and related comments/discussions and share in an e-newsletter. </li></ul><ul><li>WHEREVER POSSIBLE, SMART MONKEYS REPURPOSE CONTENT </li></ul>
  20. 20. Start Networking Now: <ul><li>Marin Business Now has a Facebook page! </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to build relationships with people you’ve met today, and create new ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Share photos, videos, and links of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in discussions about topics of mutual interest with other local businesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Stay informed about future events. </li></ul>
  21. 21. For more detailed information about how to use blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn, register for our FREE webinar <ul><li>Wednesday, August 12 th , 2:00—3:00 PM </li></ul><ul><li>Sign up at our table or through our web site: </li></ul><ul><li>www.archerwebsolutions.com </li></ul><ul><li>GO FORTH AND NETWORK! </li></ul>

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