I’m sure that a lot of people have heard about social networking and how it’s becoming the new way of marketing, so let’s review what a social network actually means and some strategies of how to best use it. A social network is a network made up of people or organizations which called “nodes”. These nodes share one or more types of interests. That could be: hobbies, share of beliefs, friendship, business, thoughts…etc. With the development of internet and online services, the term “social networking” came into action and became one of the most used terms in the world. Social networking is the act of interacting and sharing content and information with people that have the same interests. These days online social networking is becoming very easy that you can participate in a network or group in a matter of minutes. Like every industry, social networking has its major players; these players are online services or platforms that connect people who share the same interests or activities. These services provide different types of interactions over the internet, such as: E-mails, instant messengers, profiles…etc. These days social networking has become probably the most powerful tool for internet marketing companies. It is a must if you want to build a reputation and lasting relationship with your customers. There are hundreds of web-based social networking services these days, but we will discuss the most important players: Facebook: This service is up since February 2004. Indeed, it is probably the most used service over the internet. It has more than 500,000,000 users (which is obviously a very huge number!!!) A Facebook user creates a profile, adds other people as friends to exchange messages and information and join people of the same interest. This service is becoming an obsession that is popular among all ages and all walks of life. Twitter: This service launched on July 15, 2006. It is a social network and a micro-blogging platform. It has more than 75,000,000 users today and is growing very fast. Users can send small messages called Tweets (140 characters) to be displayed publicly in their profile pages. Twitter has become a necessary tool for internet marketing these days because it has a very powerful effect on market leadership. A good word about your company can almost instantly echo among the endless walls of the Internet. LinkedIn: This is the world’s largest business professional networking service. It has more then 75,000,000 to date and has been up since March 2003. This service connects you to trusted contacts in order to exchange knowledge, opportunities, recommendations, and ideas with professionals. Social networking can be very tricky for marketers, so here are some strategies that you’re going to need in order to do it the right way: 1- Share valuable information: In order to become an authority in your field, you have to give people valuable information that saves them time and effort. 2- Build a reputation by helping people: Helping people is the only way of building a good reputation (because people know people!!!) This way you’ll expend your customer circle very quickly. 3- Give advice: Try to be honest and give advice to people, because people follow the ones they trust. 4- Interact and build relationships: Try to interact more with your followers or customers in order to build a long term and good relationship with them. 5- Check for posts or comments: Try to log in to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts frequently to reply or just thank people for posting. 6- Update: Try to update your profile more frequently so people will look to you as an active member. 7- Check what’s going on: Check for updates in your subject or market that you know your friends/followers are interested in. 8- Fuel up: Try to learn as much as you can on the subject you and your followers are interested in, in order to filter only the useful information and give it to them. 9- Give people what they need: In order to execute social networking the right way, you have to try giving people what they want and not just something you found interesting. These are the most powerful social networking strategies that you’re going to be using in order to get your social networking-based internet marketing done the right way.
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