Social and professional networking tools are now some of the best ways to get the word out about your product or service as a business; not to mention that it is free! LinkedIn and Facebook, among other professional networking sites and internet tools available, offer a prime low cost solution for putting your business’s message onto the internet while consuming very little of your company’s resources.
LinkedIn has emerged as one of the top professional networking websites, while Facebook has emerged as one of the premiere social networking sites. What many people don’t seem to realize yet (or at least aren’t taking full advantage of) is that in addition to promoting your professional profile or keeping in touch with friends or colleagues, LinkedIn and Facebook can be a very effective marketing tool for promoting your business. The reach of these networking sites is global, yet depending on your business and the type of content you post, with these networking sites you can easily target your local area as your primary focus.
By creating a LinkedIn and/or Facebook group, your business can have an extension of your corporate website that can be used as a marketing tool. If you have a smaller company you might even be surprised to find that your new networking group attracts more web hits than your corporate website, and that it enables you to reach your local market better than many of the other marketing vehicles available such as phone books or online yellow pages.
These networking groups can succinctly promote your business’s product or services, contain links to your main website, and perhaps most importantly provide a platform for providing collaboration that allows others inside and outside of your company to post content such as videos, photos, notes, and links.
This collaborative posting and managing of content, part of what makes ‘Web 2.0’ what it is today, is an invaluable resource that should be leveraged by your business. These groups are also a great place to post job openings, and can provide loyalty to your brand while connecting current fans as well as current or past alumni (employees, vendors, contractors) associated with your company (see the D-Link Alumni group that I created recently in order to get back in touch with former colleagues). Even old forgotten customers may come back into the picture that you have lost contact with!