This is a guest post, brought to you by Sarah Turner, freelance copywriter and owner of Turner Ink.
We’re now living in the age of social media and the dawn of the online persona. The internet has brought with it an abundance of social networking platforms which can be daunting to the newbie. But this shouldn’t be the case, because, in fact, it actually makes things much easier because now there are so many different ways to connect with people. It’s important to assimilate the culture – or face being left behind. These days, an online presence is not just an advantage: it’s an expectancy.
From a business perspective, social media provides you with a new and improved networking tool for meeting potential clients, as it can create a greater connectivity with the people you want and need to know. With the right knowledge and clever use of social networks, the success of your company is at your fingertips.
So, what’s the best networking tool?
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are a few of the social sites that businesses have successfully adopted for networking. But which one is the most useful? LinkedIn could be seen as the best social media platform for networking, as it’s a site essentially built for the use of professionals and businesses. So there’s no confusion, it’s mutually understood that this is where the working world can connect on an international scale.
It could also be argued that the popularity and global awareness of entities such as Facebook and Twitter provide the biggest platform for a company’s exposure, and create a greater amount of networking opportunities.
However, if you feel the best way for your business to show the world what it’s about is through imagery, then sites like Instagram could be the most beneficial for you and your organisation, as you can easily upload and share photographs and images.
So simply put, there’s no site that can be singled out as the best online platform for networking. It depends on how you want your business to be presented and perceived and the best means of doing this. The effective way of networking is to make sure you’re easily accessible. Using as many social media sites as you can manage on a regular basis enables more people to see your vision and interact with you.
Think about your goals
Social media is a free resource and lets the world know who you are and what you do. To get the most out of your online identity as a business, it’s important to know what it is you want. Networking is important but it’s not your ultimate goal; it’s just a step towards that goal. Your goal might be attracting new customers, making new business contacts or looking for new staff. Have a clear understanding of what your purpose is. Express what it is about your business that sets you apart from the rest, and what it is about you that people should be interested in. You also need to know who your target audience is. What is it about your organisation that interests them?
Tips on what to do and what not to do online
− Make sure your online profiles are connected. Include links to other social networking communities you’re a part of.
− Uphold professional standards at all times. The internet may seem like a more relaxed environment – it’s not.
− We’re a part of the ‘microwave’ generation. People like things that they can access and view quickly. With this in mind, make sure your profile is short, clear and as concise as possible. Create a bit of intrigue and interest.
− Use the different functions on the varying social media sites. For instance likes, retweets and shares are just a few things that can get the ball rolling for starting new networking relationships. Also recommendations on sites like LinkedIn help you acknowledge someone else’s skillset.
− Be proactive when communicating with people. Speedy correspondence reflects that you’re keen, reliable and engaged with the other person.
− Avoid being indecisive. Be as straightforward and open with new contacts as possible. People online respect and trust transparency and this can lead to strong business relationships.
− Make sure your grammar doesn’t slip and avoid ‘text speak’.
− Don’t forget to thank anyone you’ve communicated with. People respect that you’ve appreciated their time and help.
About Sarah Turner
Sarah Turner is a freelance copywriter who has a real knack for making the ordinary sound extraordinary. Her style is informal and witty. Some may say irreverent. But at least her copy is never ‘corporatey’, jargon-filled or vanilla-flavoured.
She specialises in website copywriting, SEO, enewsletters and online content. And she works for a range of clients, from creative design agencies, SEO consultants and web developers, to multi-nationals and SMEs. But she especially likes working for clients who give her free stuff. To find out more about Sarah Turner and the work she does, visit www.turnerink.co.uk.