Thank you for rejoining us as we work our way through our series, How to Start a Business Online. In the past few installations of this series, we have explained how to identify a need among your target audience, providing solutions, the importance of conducting market research, and the website essentials of keyword research, content creation, and hyperlinking relevant links.

This week, we are going to go into the topic of social networking. In order for any online business to experience any degree of success on the World Wide Web, social networking is a must.

Social Networking
photo source: pixabay

Develop a Strategy

As with any business endeavor, a strategy must be developed in order to succeed in social networking. If you rush into the endeavor without a strategy, you are sure to fail. The first method to developing a strategy is to understand that social media is NOT like traditional venues in marketing and advertising. It is a platform of social connections, a high integration of technology, and a means to connect and share with others. Social networking is a means of conversing with others on the World Wide Web.

To develop a solid strategy, answer the following questions – as it pertains to your online business:

  1. Why is my business going to social networking?
  2. What do I hope to achieve by taking my business onto social networking platforms?
  3. Who will I be talking to on the platforms?
  4. Which social networking platforms/channels are optimal to my goals?
  5. Which conversations should I start or join?

The Goals

As you continue in the process of developing a social media plan, you must define your goals. Remember, goals that are considered to be “quantifiable” are goals that are considered to be the “best”. The most common goals that you should consider include – but, are not limited to – the following:

  1. Marketing Goals
  2. Lead-Generation
  3. Sales
  4.  Brand Building
  5. Brand Enthusiasm
  6. Customer Loyalty
  7. Human Resources
  8. Virality

Conversation Success

Once you have your goals established, it is time to sign your business up for various social media platforms. Today, optimal choices include Twitter, Facebook, and those that are similar in nature. The next step is to get your business involved with some of the conversations on those sites. In order to reap the highest reward for your efforts, follow these conversation pointers:

  • Study the etiquette of each of the platforms and act accordingly.
  • Ensure a high level of transparency. People love pictures, personal details, and other types of information about those that they are conversing with.
  • Keep all of your interactions conversational.
  • Be certain to only talk about what you know. Do not get distracted or sway.
  • If mistakes happen (and, they do) simply admit them, work to resolve them, and move forward.

If you are starting a business and need assistance with your social networking endeavors, we are standing by to assist you. We offer high-quality services that will have you up and ranking high in no time, flat!