Social Networking for the Online Business

23 03 2009


Social Networking seems to be on every online marketers lips these days. I’m not an online marketer but I do have to agree with them when it comes to the value of social networking. As a small online retail business I’ll try to explain what social networking means to me and how I utilize it.

  • The best social networking for your business doesn’t even come from you. It comes from blogs, comments on boards, discussions, and shared experiences past customers had with you.

Yes that is right! They are out there sharing information…networking socially you can say :)How do I utilize this for my business? By providing the best customer service, admitting mistakes, providing solutions, giving benefits to repeat business and of course providing the product they bought! It’s what marketers may call “creating a buzz” by having others talk about your product. How do you know if this is happening? Search your web url in google and look at some of the links – you’ll see people sharing your info. Make sure it’s positive buzz.

  • If your product isn’t creating the buzz you want (or you want more!), or it’s a new company with little history on the internet you could pay bloggers to write about or review your product.

Or you could offer a free product in exchange for a review. For instance, my product is popular in the diet community. I could research diet networking groups and blogs – find one that is popular and has a lot of activity on it and make an offer to the blogs owner or members. Know who your customers are, why they are buying your product. Then, understand what social circles they may utilize.

  • Utilize popular networking sites.

Yes, you can go on digg.com, twitter.com, youtube.com, facebook (running out of breath) and so on. Make your profile share who you are and what you do. Maybe, just maybe one day they will remember you when a friend says….I wish I had a..(your thing here). After all, that is true networking isn’t it. And I guess today the internet is the new “Social”.

  • I’ve “dugg” my own site, I admit it πŸ˜›
  • I use my youtube account to show videos on my site – and benefit from the youtube community
  • Yes I’ve even written articles on my products, made comments on boards.
  • I even use this blog to link to my site and tell you what I do πŸ™‚
  • ok ok….I am a errrrr do you call one who tweets? a twit? (I asked but noone responded) Anyways I use twitter, share my online experience with strangers
  • I use facebook pages to offer FAQs and more information on my products.

The results?

  1. 40% of my traffic comes from PPC (pay-per-click marketing),
  2. 40% Natural search results (SEO) and
  3. 20% from refering sites (Social Networks/blogs etc)

The interesting part. The “bounce rate” (number of people who come, and leave from the first page) is lower for social networking then with PPC. That’s a good thing. It means those coming do so because it was “recommended” or they were “refered” to me by a contact they had with another site. Half the “sell” is already done for me πŸ™‚

The other benefit from Social Networking – You’re going to learn A LOT from others. So although it is a huge cost in time, the benefits are worth it!


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