Social Networking: 5 Tips to Build a Better Business

Building a successful online business means creating a strong community and developing customer loyalty. These five social networking tips will help you get the job done.

When it comes to building online communities and interacting with customers, social networks can be a big help — especially for small businesses that can’t afford to launch their own private online communities.

Communispace Corporation, an online-communities marketing technology and services firm, believes that online communities can help companies connect with their customers, capture marketing insights, and also build brand advocates within the community.

Before jumping on a social network to interact with your customers and clients, consider the following best-practice advice from Debi Kleiman, vice president of product marketing at Communispace.  These tips will help you build a better, smarter relationship in the socialsphere.

Tip #1: Go where your customers congregate

Some businesses simply start a profile on a popular social networking site and hope customers will find them there. Kleiman says that a smarter way to get started is to find out where your customers already are. 

“It is smarter to join people where they already congregate. These customers have already formed the social glue that holds online relationships together, so you don’t have to create a new space,” says Kleiman.

For example, if you are a travel agent, start communicating and participating in the social spaces where those interested in travel already gather online. Start out by being a good resource — offer advice and talk without a sales pitch.

Remember, there is no single best social networking tool that will fit all businesses and marketers.  The goal, Kleiman says, is to start participating where your customers already gather and then build towards the larger goal of being the resource and forging relationships.

Read the complete social networking article

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