The growth and success of social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn has created a new business paradigm. Instead of relying on bricks and mortar businesses to grow their client base, they have instead turned to the Internet for an effective way to reach their customers and prospects. While this has been effective for smaller businesses that lack the budget for expensive marketing efforts, larger businesses that want to take advantage of these new technologies can take advantage of their mass-market potential.
If you own or work for a small to medium sized company, it is essential that you understand the social network phenomenon. You may be an accountant or bookkeeper who works in a small town and are simply looking for a way to increase your earning potential. Or you may be a young entrepreneur who wants to make his mark in the world by bringing attention to a product or service he believes in. Whatever your reason for considering joining social networks, it’s important to remember that it isn’t simply a question of popularity. When your company creates its own social network, it becomes important to realize how much of an impact it can have.
Although it is tempting to think about the financial rewards when discussing expansion into the social network scene, remember that this is no time to pinch pennies. You need to evaluate the costs of having your social network. Will you have to pay for domain names and hosting? How much will it cost to set up your own email system? These things need to be accounted for when making the decision to have a social network, because although you may think it will be worth the expense, the cost can quickly mount up.
While you should have a goal of creating a large social network, that goal should not be achieved overnight. Small steps, day by day, can lead to big results. For instance, if your company has recently started offering services through a website, your social network would not be successful if the volume of traffic visiting the site is overwhelming. Therefore, it is important to consider the volume of traffic each day and adjust your strategies accordingly. It is also important to remember that there will be people who come to your site looking for information, so even if you do opt for a large social network, you still need to provide useful information to these people.
The best thing to remember about having a social network is that the more people that become a part of your network, the more likely you are to attract new customers. If you were to choose a particular network and wait to see if it became popular, you could easily be waiting for years before your company benefits from the added exposure. Instead, do something proactive. Create a plan and get your company into the mindset of being an employer.
Of course, the other question you should be asking yourself is what your company would do if no one decides to join your network. Would you still exist? This is the question that many people fail to ask themselves, which leads to the problem of making a decision based on assumptions and not facts. The fact is that a social network would help you with your sales.
So, what are some of the benefits of using a social network? First of all, your company’s website can be accessed by people throughout the world. In addition, your website can be updated more effectively through the use of social media. Finally, many of the advertising options available on a social network may not be available on a company’s website in real life.
Before answering the question “Should your company have social networks,” it is important to remember that this would not be the first time you decide to use a social network. Social networks have been around since the beginning of the Internet, so it stands to reason that there has always been an interest in using the Internet for business purposes. Now that this tool has become available to everyone, it is important to weigh all of the benefits and weigh the cons before deciding if your company should use a social network. If there are significant benefits, then it may very well be worth your effort to include a social network in your overall advertising strategy. If there are no major disadvantages, then it may be a good idea to leave social networks entirely and focus your efforts on other forms of advertising.