The power of networking via Social Media

Cash strapped businesses cannot ignore the need to maintain their visibility and risk losing existing customers who may assume they have disappeared, nor can they risk not having a way of finding new ones.

Despite any lack of cash, entrepreneurs should be innovative and find ways to best use their time to promote and grow their business.

Many people use networking as a great way of doing business by going to functions or attending a regular local networking club such as BNI. With effort and discipline networking can grow a business by generating leads and making introductions. It works best where a close-knit team work together to promote each other’s business.

Networking via social media online can be similarly effective and have the benefit of offering you scope for establishing some highly valuable relationships with people anywhere you want to do business. Unlike face to face networking, location is not a barrier.

Like face to face networking, social media networking is not a short-term fix; both require time and effort to build relationships which in turn produce results.

It takes a while to find your feet but a start is to participate in online discussions to find other like minded networkers. Like networking clubs, finding the right online groups takes time but there are plenty to check out on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

In addition to finding the right group you need to find the right social media for you and your business. It is no good being on Facebook if the people you most need to connect with tend to be on LinkedIn.

Building the right group is also important. It is no good having lots of followers or members if you aren’t working together to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. Having 10 Followers on Twitter who

Follow each other and work together by promoting each other and actively referring leads to each other is far more valuable than having 1,000s of Followers or even worse, Following 1,000s of others.

If you are lucky sometimes your message ‘goes viral’ but it takes practice to find a message that others are genuinely interested in. Like all forms of networking, the hard sell on social medial puts people off, but a Tweet, post or comment that is genuinely interesting or valuable turns its readers on. If inspirational or engaging they may share it, and then you might get lucky.

The challenge is to make it work for you. Perhaps you can respond by sharing an inspirational comment for others!

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