Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Social Networking: Five benefits for businesses

Mention the word Social networking and the first thing that comes to mind for most people is teens using Myspace and YouTube. Social networking has evolved beyond these two websites making sites such as LinkedIn, FaceBook and XING common places. Social Networking is no longer a teen phenomenon.

- LinkedIn states that its site includes profiles of more than 25 million professionals, with 25 new members joining every minute every day.

- comScore Video Metrix conducted research and found that in December 2007, YouTube had 77.6 million viewers who watched 3.2 billion videos.

“Like traditional networking, the most effective networking centers on building relationships, engaging others, and developing solid word-of-mouth marketing” said Patrice-Anne Rutledge author of Profiting from Social Networking.

Here are some of the benefits of implementing social networking for your business:

Advertise products and services: Don’t have a large marketing budget. Social Networking is a cost-effective approach for businesses operating on a tight budget or even looking to use another medium. The NFL used Myspace during the 2007 and 2008 Superbowl to showcase the commercials. Viewers were able to post comments on their favorite or not so favorite commercial. This type of medium can be a great spring board for you to showcase new products and services that you might be contemplating.

Market research: Companies study customer behaviors and purchasing patterns. Social networking lets you conduct your own market research with existing and potential customers. A great website to track what customers are saying is Yelp! ( “Real Reviews, Real People.” Customers have a chance to provide views on services rendered from various industries which include spas, hotels and travel, restaurants, real estate and professional services.

Recruiting: Social networking allows you to reach out to individuals you may have never had access to before. Businesses are utilizing sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to recruit employees. This is an outstanding and cost-effective tool to not only recruit employees, but also engage potential partner’s investors and distributors.

Information sharing with fellow contacts: Are you an expert in your field or industry? Sites like LinkedIn enable you to ask and answer questions related to your industry and just share information with professional contacts.

Video and Audio Podcasts: Share video and audio broadcasts and make them available to customers, employees and your network. If you own an interior design or landscaping business, why not take video footage of your work to share with the social network! Maybe a video podcast will not work for your topic of discussion. Audio podcasts are an excellent way to delivery topics related to health issues, business, education and technology.

Helpful Resources Include:

How to Say it: Marketing with New Media by Lena Claxton and Alison Woo
Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Podcasting by Michael W. Geoghegan and Dan Klass
The Truth about Profiting from Social Networking by Patrice-Anne Ruledge
YouTube for Business: Online Video Marketing for Any Business by Michael Miller

Social networking can be profitable to your business in many ways. Just like any marketing campaign, there’s a potential for an increase in revenue, reach into new markets but most of all name recognition. You don’t need to incorporate all of the social networks out there, but find the one that fits your business environment and work with that until you are comfortable and then add another.


Reggie Waller is president of RWJ Consulting Group, LLC, which provides business and personal coaching, consulting and training services to individuals and businesses. For additional information call 267-254-6800 or visit
RWJ Consulting Group

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