Social Networking of course is in its infancy, at least to web site traffic generators, so what are the so far under-penetrated benefits of social networking?
It is significantly cheaper to employ online social networking strategies than to pay for advertising. When you social network, you can prescreen potential customers. You learn what your prospects like and what they don’t. That personal relationship you gain when you connect with your potential customer is more valuable than what you would get had you advertised. Advertising is impersonal: the “one size fits all” concept does not seem to work anymore.
Credibility and Trust
Connecting with prospects on a personal level builds trust and credibility. A general rule of thumb is to offer your services, expertise or help before you ask for it. It is acceptable to promote your services when asked. If you’re not careful, your attempts could be considered spam. Instead, wait for the opportunities to present themselves instead of forcing a situation.
It’s Who You Know
When you socialize, you meet others who know others. How are you going to meet the president of a large corporation? You start by talking to his friends. You ask your associates if they know someone who is connected with him And on and on.
Social networking relationships are supposed to benefit both parties. Never take more than you give. When the opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to ask your contact to introduce you to a prospect. The old saying rings true: it’s not what you know; it’s who you know.
There are many reasons to employ social networking as a marketing tactic. Ensure that you have extra time to spend. While it’s true that the upfront costs are less, this method takes up a lot of time in research and building relationships.